Car Week, 2017

In recent years the August conglomeration of automotive events (car shows, races, auctions and tours) on California’s Monterey Peninsula has taken on the generic title of Car Week. A ‘bucket list’ happening for car lovers, but with a derisive tone by some of the locals who are prone to complain – all the way to the bank.

Numerous enthusiasts of vintage racing were gratified to see six Allards running in the 2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This year’s Group 5A of 1947 – 1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars raced on Saturday for the first time in several years (the group usually races in Sunday).

Augie Grassis raced the J2X that was Carroll Shelby’s principal mount back in ’53 and ’54. The car’s previous owner, Peter Booth, regularly raced it at Laguna Seca throughout the 1990’s. The two red K2’s of Jon LeCarner and Doug Klink brought back fond memories of the long-term friendly rivalry at Laguna Seca and other west coast venues between Jim Degnan and the late George Myers. John Mote returned this year with his bright blue Buick-powered K2. This car’s previous owner, Paul James, was a frequent Laguna Seca participant back in the 1990’s.

The Allard pack was filled out by Vince Vento who again demonstrated his mastery of outwitting his J2X’s HydraMatic around the hills and turns of Laguna Seca, and Ted Herb who was racing his recently acquired and beautifully refurbished “BRG” K2.

A well-established Friday tradition plays out when a group of select racers, under the enthusiastic escort of the California Highway Patrol, depart from Laguna Seca to make the 14 mile trek up over Laureles Grade, and westward along pristine Carmel Valley Road to intrude upon the sedate, exclusive and lavish Quail Motorsports Gathering.

The Race 5A participants were this year’s select group, and Vince Vento graciously allowed Colin to ride ‘shotgun’. A few tense moments arose when Vince was informed of a flat tire as they were lining up to depart. However, Chris Campbell of Vintage Connection – with the combination of experience, the right tools and knock-off hubs – came to the rescue. Vince’s return to Laguna Seca also got momentarily delayed (by Colin…a story for another time), and might have missed the group were it not for another enthused CHP officer who made full use of his motorcycle’s lights and siren to escort Vince through and around the leisurely homebound traffic of Carmel Valley Road.

Thursday’s highlight is the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance when 100+ contestants in Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance make a two-hour tour around the Monterey Peninsula, down Highway 1 to Big Sur, and then return to line up on Carmel’s Ocean Avenue. This provides a special opportunity for thousands of car lovers to get a close hand look of the Pebble Beach contestants – free of charge.

Seven of the RMMR Group 5A cars at Laguna Seca were California Specials. These unique home-built racers held their own on west coast road courses – including the Pebble Beach Road Races – against a variety of European imports in the early fifties. California Specials were further honored this year by comprising a special class at the Pebble Beach Concours.

Bruce McCaw’s faithfully restored 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer was this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show award winner. Bruce has gathered an enviable collection of historic vehicles that includes several significant Allards including the Steyr, Sydney’s ’53 Le Mans JR, Walt Grey’s J2X Le Mans, and Irwin Goldschmidt’s Watkins Glen winning J2.

The infamous customized black & yellow Von Dutch Allard K2 crossed the ramp at Gooding & Company for $242,000.

Finally, Bill Marriott graciously shipped the iconic #14 J2 out from the east coast in honor of the late Bill Pollack. While in California, it was on display at both the McCall Jet Center Party and The Quail. The car was the focus of attention one week later as it took center stage on the front lawn of Bill Pollack’s Sherman Oaks home as friends & family celebrated his full life.

The Last Checkered Flag: Syd Silverman

Syd Silverman, owner and chairman of Vintage Motorsport magazine from 1990 – 2012, and a staunch supporter and participant in the preservation, presentation and celebration of motorsports and its history for nearly four decades, died on August 27 in Boca Raton FL. 

Though his profession was publishing, his passion was automobile racing. His life after the sale of Variety Inc. was focused on collector cars, historic auto racing and Vintage Motorsport, which he acquired in 1990. During that time he assumed role as publisher of the Allard Register for number of years, and continued to serve as sponsor for our newsletters (Syd was the reason there are no dues required to join the Allard Register!).

Syd caught the car bug at an early age, from working as a gas jockey and grease monkey at a local garage in his hometown of Harrison NY. His affinity for British sports and racing cars was spurred by his first sight of a yellow & black Allard J2X in a New York showroom. He rekindled is love of sports cars and road racing in the mid-1970’s at Ferrari club track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen, and he purchased his first vintage race car, a Hemi-powered Allard J2X in 1978. 

After selling Variety in 1987, he turned his attention to expanding and utilizing his growing collection of vintage racecars, which he campaigned in vintage race venues across the US. He organized two Allard reunions in 1982 and 1985, and played a key role in supporting the Allard gathering at Laguna Seca in 1990.

Syd continued to actively participate in vintage racing until 2007, and sold controlling interest in Vintage Motorsport to his son, Michael – also a longtime vintage racer – in 2012. He is survived by his second wife, Dr. Joan Hoffman; four children, daughter Marie Silverman Marich and sons Michael, Mark and Matthew.

Tech Tip: Brake Hoses

Old (bottom) vs New (top) brake hose

Old (bottom) vs New (top) brake hose

During the restoration of our car, we've had to replace more a few components that are no longer available. One of the main goals that I've had when sourcing replacement parts is to maintain the look of the original component while replacing it with one that is functionally superior. Case in point, the flexible front brake hoses. We are fortunate to have the original hoses and I wanted to use original style fittings, while upgrading to stainless steel flex hoses. The problem is that the modern stainless hoses look too modern. Also, where could I get fittings that had the same basic ends as the original?

First off, we should all be grateful for the Internet. I'm a firm believer that the Internet is solely responsible for the increase in quality of automotive restorations. After a few minutes of searching, I stumbled across the BrakeQuip Dealer Catalog. Armed with my original hoses, I measured the fittings and found the following BrakeQuip equivalent fittings:


Unfortunately they aren't brass, but these steel fittings are much stonger.

Next step was to find a suitable stainless steel braided brake hoses. I didn't want the typical stainless steel color as it just screamed modern...I was looking for something black, ideally with a matte finish. I found that black lines were available, but the outer coating was shiny. Then I had an idea...fabric wire loom covers look a lot like the original brake hose material...what if I bought some of that and slipped it over the stainless steel brake hoses while they were being fabricated. I found a 7' length of PICO 3/8" (ID) fabric loom (with asphalt coating) on Amazon that looked just like our old brake hoses.

Armed with my fabric loom hose, I went to our local ParkerStore and explained what I wanted. After convincing them I wasn't crazy, they agreed to make up the hoses to meet my requirements. They used their "smoke" colored stainless hoses, the fittings noted above, my PICO fabric loom, and put them together with a total length of 17.5". As you can see, they came out pretty good with a total cost of around $40 per line, less if you have a business account with Parker.

Detail: Old vs New

Detail: Old vs New

The outer wire loom housing pulled back to reveal the braided stainless hose within 

The outer wire loom housing pulled back to reveal the braided stainless hose within 

Keeneland Concours d'Elegance – July 13 – 16, 2017

PART I, By Peter Bowman (and the photos too!)

Lexington, Kentucky is located in the heart of horse country, and the magnificent Keeneland Race Course is home to thoroughbred racing every spring and fall. But each July Keeneland hosts a different kind of thoroughbred – of the automotive variety. The 14th annual Keeneland Concours upheld this tradition in grand style. This years’ show held a special attraction, a class organized by Jere Krieg dedicated entirely to Allards – the first time in Concours’ history they have had a single-marque class. The crowd was not disappointed, as 12 Allards were on display to delight the crowd.

After an informal gathering of Allard owners on Friday afternoon, the weekend kicked off in grand style at the 1920’s-themed Bourbon Bash at one of the historic distilleries in Lexington’s historic district – complete with gangsters, flappers, and even a speak-easy! Everyone had a grand time, but our ‘activities’ were somewhat tempered by the fact that we had an early call the next morning to get the cars on the show field.

Saturday dawned bright and clear, with heavy dew as the only reminder of the brief storm that rolled through on Friday. The show opened to the public to 9AM, with all twelve Allards arranged in a circle for judging. The judges assigned to our class realized the challenge and opportunity presented to them, as they were not familiar with Allards in much detail prior to the announcement of the class at this year’s Concours. We appreciate the considerable time and effort studying up on Allards beforehand.

They spent approximately 15 minutes judging each car, checking all aspects from operational gauges and lights, to the ability of the car to actually run, and making special effort to ascertain what features were actually original to each car. Quite an undertaking considering the wide array of Allard models present with cars ranging from the one-off M-Type coupe to an L, M’s, a K1, K2’s, a K3, J2’s and J2X’s. Ted Bernstein’s J2X was declared the class winner, with Tom Shelton’s J2 the class runner-up. The judges had a challenging task – complicated by the need to choose between fully-restored cars vs. highly original drivers, and also a couple of extremely rare examples.

Saturday evening the Allard contingent was among select invitees to Tom and Connie Jones’ auto collection, housed in a lovely warehouse complete with a fully-stocked and staffed bar displaying Tom’s wonderful toy collection. We were served what they called ‘heavy hors d’oeuvres’, which I called a buffet dinner, complete with mason-jar deserts of either strawberry shortcake or banana pudding! Surrounded by fabulous cars, motorcycles, and artwork, and no shortage of whatever chosen beverage anyone desired, we all had a wonderful evening enjoying the Jones’ southern hospitality.

Sunday morning was the Concours Tour d’Elegance, but only 2 Allards were present – the K1 of Jerry Bensinger, and my K2. The rest of the Allard crowd missed a grand drive, with a mid-point stop to get an amazing demonstration of glass-blowing. Our final stop was at the historic Boone Tavern for a delightful buffet lunch, with time to wander around the tavern before heading back to Lexington on our own schedules (and routes). All-in-all, a wonderful way to wrap up the Allard weekend, and a chance to look forward to our next gathering, wherever it may be!

PART II, By Jere Krieg

“Doc” Doolittle of Tellico Village Vintage Car Club made me aware of this gathering at Keeneland Race Course, and I was impressed. About 4 months ago I decided to travel to Lexington and meet with Tom Jones (no, the other Tom Jones), and came away with what I thought would be a good fit for Allard owners. This was their 14th year of supporting the Children’s Hospital in Lexington. Featured automobiles this year were British – so why not Allards? 

After sending out an email on our Yahoo account, I began contacting everyone I could this side of Texas and Oklahoma, and I received enough interest to continue.  As a result I heard from 15 members who thought of joining this event.  I would like to report Tom &Terri Shelton, Terrill & Gloria Underwood, Peter & Gretchen Koch, Peter & Nica Bowman, Roger Allard, Mike & Dawn Fisher, Ted & Luzia Bernstein, Ted Bernstein Jr, Mark Moskowitz, George & Susan Hofer, Jerry Bensinger and – of course Julie & Jere Krieg – were registered for the Concours.

With twelve Allards present we had the largest individual class in Keeneland Concours’ history. A lot more people now know what an Allard looks like. We had two M’s, two J2X’s, two K1’s, a J2, a K2, two K3’s and a special bodied M-type coupe (it looked like a P1 to me). The twelfth Allard was the new Mark III that Roger Allard brought for inspection. 

If eleven Allards had been ‘no shows’ I would have left with several pieces of silver. However that was not to be - Ted Bernstein won our class with his J2X Allard and Tom Shelton came in runner up with his J2. Great job.

During the weekend, I was approached by two other gentlemen who inquired about having Allards present at their Concours next year. I will present more details when I visit these locations to see what they have for our club.

Tom and Connie Jones were fantastic hosts. It began Thursday afternoon with a Bourdon tour. Friday evening’s focus was a benefit reception with the theme  “End of Prohibition”. Saturday’s Concours included lunch for all contestants, and culminated with a private reception held by our Chairman and his wife. This presented an opportunity for us to enjoy his fantastic car collection, along with all the things a reception needs to have – great company, great food and, of course, great beverages. I truly believe that it will be a real challenge for other Concours’ to top the hospitality and organization of this event went.

Thank you to all at Keeneland for an unforgettable weekend.

The Last Checkered Flag - Bill Pollack

It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the last of the great Allard racers. Bill Pollack took his last checkered flag in July 16 at the age of 92. Bill was born on July 7, 1925 in New York to Lew and Helen Pollack. The family moved out west when Bill was ten, as his father became a noted Hollywood songwriter.

Bill lived a life of adventure throughout his youth – riding his horse all over San Fernando Valley, joy riding in bulldozers, and getting into all sorts of mischief. He joined the Army Air Corps at the age of 18 where he learned to fly in an AT-10, and then graduated to B-24, B-26, and B-29 bombers. Bill never made it overseas and he was sent home after the atom bombs were dropped on Japan. He had hoped to turn his flying experience into a job with TWA, but that was not to be. Bill’s father fell ill and he went back to Los Angeles to be with him. During that time, Bill started courting the love of his life, Bobbi Jean Yoder and he started college at Loyola.

Bill found his next love in 1949 – in the form of a brand new red MG TC. However his family’s limited budget forced him to be satisfied with of a used TC. This car awakened the racer in Bill, and he was in the right place at the right time. The Southern California racing scene was in its infancy and the early drivers became fast friends who would later become legends – Roger Barlow, John Edgar, Johnny von Neumann, Jack Early, Al Moss, and Phil Hill. Much like the AT-10, the MG served as Bill’s trainer before he transitioned into some faster wheels.

Bill heard through Al Moss that a guy named Tom Carstens from Tacoma, Washington had bought an Allard and wanted to go racing as an owner. Bill called Tom and somehow convinced Tom that he would be the perfect driver for his J2. In reality Bill had never actually driven an Allard, but he had ridden in an Allard, for a test drive around the block with Allard distributor Noel Kirk. Bill was lucky to connect with Tom, as he and his team really knew how to prepare a thoroughbred sports racing car.

On May 27, 1951, the world was introduced to Tom Carstens’ gleaming black Allard J2 #14 – and driver Bill Pollack – at the Pebble Beach Road Races. Ironically, Bill was only introduced to #14 the day before during the test drive when he punched it and almost drove it off of HWY 1 into the Pacific Ocean. What power! Bill easily won the race and continued winning at Reno, Pebble Beach again, Golden Gate, and Madera.

Bill and #14 finally lost to Phil Hill at Pebble Beach in 1953. The car was experiencing trouble with the left front brake which limited Bill to third place. After the race, Bill and mechanic Charles Drucker took the car out to diagnose the problem when an axle snapped, sending #14 and its occupants into a pine tree. Bill and Charles survived, but #14 was a ‘goner’. Bill and #14 were so famous that Auto Sportsman Magazine eulogized the end of this racing partnership (August ’53, see below). From there Bill moved on to successfully race Jaguars, Ferraris, Alfas, Corvettes, and Maseratis – along with a variety of specials. Bill was good and he could have been great, but he had a family that he loved, and he enjoyed his life as an amateur racer.

While #14 was deemed a ‘goner’ – this part of the story does have a postscript. David Brodsky found #14’s remains sometime in the 1980’s, and gave the car an accurate and painstaking restoration. He thus proceeded to re-introduce it at the 1989 Monterey Historics with none other than Bill Pollack at the wheel. Bill also given the honor to serve as pilot for this iconic Allard at the 1990 Monterey Historics, when Allard was the featured marque.

As a child, Bill used to build elaborate racetracks for his toy cars in the dirt of the family ranch. Bill later got to live out one of his childhood fantasies when he was asked to design the new Willow Springs Raceway just north of LA in 1952. Bill’s family revealed that he later admitted he didn’t really know what he was doing. The course was basically limited to where they could get the bulldozer to on the various hills around the track. Willow Springs may not have the prestige of Laguna Seca or Watkins Glen, but it’s believed by many to be one of the best tracks in America – and its layout has never been altered. 

Bill worked a variety of jobs relating to advertising and marketing. He actually got his start in advertising with the legendary Pete Peterson who hired Bill to do advertising for the new magazine Auto Speed and Sport. One of Bill’s racing connections liked what he had done for the Cal Club and other media, so his old racing buddy Jack Nethercutt hired Bill as Vice President of Marketing at Merle Norman Cosmetics.

Bill’s advertising experience must have led to a passion for writing. Over the years, Bill has written numerous short stories and two books. The first book was the self-published novel, “Tanager” – about a whale and a man fighting to save the world. You would be forgiven if you have never heard of this masterpiece – when asked about the book, Bill’s daughters laughed for a good minute. The second book, Bill’s autobiography “Red Wheels and White Sidewalls: Confessions of an Allard Racer” is a must read. This book is an absolute joy to read and it gives a lot of insight into Bill’s amazing life, his humor, 50’s sports car racing, and of course #14.

Sometime in the 80’s Bill, along with Art Evans and Phil Hill, created a non-club called the “Fabulous Fifties”. This unofficial group brought together the racers, mechanics, owners, and enthusiasts from the 1950’s Southern California sports car racing scene and beyond. They would gather periodically at a variety of interesting automotive locations around the LA area and Monterey to bench race and tell tall tales. Allard Register historian Bob Lytle allowed my dad and I to attend some of these events as long as we didn’t make damn fools of ourselves. As a 20 year-old, mechanical engineering student with aspirations of becoming an automotive engineer and Allard racer – I was in heaven!

It’s interesting that Bill really only raced an Allard six times. However those six races had quite the impact on Bill and his life. Bill was a good husband to wife Bobbi, loving father to daughters Mellette and Leslie, friend to many, businessman, author, and story teller. But for most people, he will be known as the guy that raced the black Allard with red wheels and white sidewalls*.

God Speed Bill!

*Why did the car have white sidewall tires? Post WWII, most tires were made from hard, artificial rubber. Prior to WWII Tom Carsten’s bought a warehouse full of white sidewall tires for his travelling salesmen (Tom owned a successful Pork company in the Pacific Northwest). These tires were made from soft, natural rubber which made them very grippy – it was one of the team’s many secrets to their success.

Auto Sportsman, August 1953

Auto Sportsman, August 1953

Auto Sportsman, August 1953

Auto Sportsman, August 1953

The Last Checkered Flag - Alan Patterson

It's with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Alan Patterson, an Allard enthusiast of the highest degree. Alan was one of very few Allard owners that could say that they were an original owner. Allard acquired his first Allard, J2X-3072 from Motorsport, Inc. out of Pittsburgh, PA in 1952. He actively raced this car from new, running at Watkins Glen starting in 1954 and then over the years all over the world (see video from Alan racing at Monte Carlo below). Although Alan has owned and raced several other cars over the years; Allard's were always his true love. In addition to 3072, he has also owned another J2X, a J2X Le Mans, and most recently a Clipper and Sydney Allard's GT Coupe which he raced this past year at Monterey. On Friday of race weekend, I had the pleasure of driving around the Laguna Seca roads with Alan in the GT - I even got stuck in the car for 20 minutes after the door latch on my side failed - requiring me to contort my way over the roll cage and through the drivers door - much to the delight of Alan!

In addition to being an Allard enthusiast, Alan was a great guy. He was always happy and ready with a story. At the races, he was always putting around the pits in his green Mini Moke - he even loaned me the keys a few times to take my family around Laguna Seca.

One of Alan's greatest achievements was co-founding the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in 1983. Over the years, the PVGP has raised over $4 million since then...a fact that brought a lot of joy to his heart. Racing must be a genetic trait in the Patterson Clan. In 2016, the Patterson family boasted six family members racing in the PVGP!

Alan was 85 when he passed on June 30. Plans for Alan's Memorial Service are still being finalized. We hope to post a more formal remembrance as more details are known.

Cheers to you Alan and I hope you are having a blast racing the Guv'nor up there!

For Sale: Allard K1-165

We are pleased to present Allard K1-165 for sale. This car was one of the earliest Allards exported to the US. This K1 was one of three cars exported on August 8, 1947 – these were cars 3, 4, and 5 that entered the US.  Our records indicate it was originally painted red with a brown interior.

The seller, John Miauccoro has owned the car for 12 years now, having raced it competitively with the VSCCA for 10 of those years – the owner before had raced it for 7 years prior starting in 2005. It has been raced up front at lime Rock, Watkins Glen New Jersey, and New Hampshire.

Back in 2015, the seller received an email from a gentleman by the name of David Ward he originally found the car in the late 50s and ended up purchasing it in 1960. Dave states that the car has always been green and has always had the small mouth grill.  He first saw the car in Michigan.

The car was on display at the Watkins Glen Auto Museum in the mid-70s where David Ward was the manager of the museum. Mark Perlmen was the previous owner to John and over the past 20 years it has been maintained to pristine condition. All documentation of each owner since Dave Ward will be passed on to the purchaser. 

The engine is a 390 Cadillac and was built by John Harden/Chris Campbell of The Vintage Connection in Oklahoma City. The engine has JE pistons, Eagle forged connecting rods, Competition camshaft, nitrate crank, billet timing gears, ported and relieved heads, high torque starter, and is adapted to a T4 Richmond close ratio transmission. It has custom headers and 350 CFM Carburetors. The engine has been dyno tuned between 362 hp at 6200 RPM and 401 hp at 6200 rpm. Over $23,000 was spent with The Vintage Connection building the motor and transmission. The rear end is a Ford 9 inch with drum brakes. The front brakes are Lincoln drums vintage 1946/48. The suspension has been fine-tuned with special rated springs and revised geometry. The seller states that this is a magnificent handling Allard and that you will enjoy it on both the Road and track.

The car is being offered for $90,000 and it is located in Albany, New York. Interested parties can contact the seller via email.

Model Models

One of our creative readers recently shared one of his latest creations, a 1/43 model of JR-3404. Rodney writes, “I have built models of all types of cars for collectors over the years and confess that I have been looking to build a model of General Curtis Le May’s Cadillac engined JR since seeing it race a few times at the Goodwood Revival. I just love the appearance and sound of this beast of a car.
The only model of the JR that I am aware of was produced by Echoes in 1/43 scale. This has long since been discontinued and despite searching for several years I never managed to find one. That is until a customer mentioned that he had one and kindly gave it to me. The body has been extensively modified and very little of the original kit was used. I didn't have any reference photos of the dashboard so my interpretation is mere guess work. So, after much modification and the help of a great decal printer, I finally had a model of one of my favorite cars. I would be more than interested in purchasing another kit if any of your members have one tucked away (if you have a model that you’d like to discuss with Rodney, click here to contact him).

The model of J2-1578 raced by Sydney Allard & Tom Cole at the 1950 Le Mans car was produced by my very good friend Tim Dyke under the name of M.P.H. Models. Tim is a stickler for accuracy and goes to great lengths to research his projects. These were offered in a very limited edition “as builts” only. They are very, very collectible.”
We reached out to the owner of 1578 to see what he knew of this model. Steve replied, “I helped Tim with the details for the model while I lived in Indonesia.  I also visited him in the UK while there on business for a few months and he gave me a couple of these models.  I also gave him a piece of the original alloy boot cover to cut up and give with each model he sold.  His workshop is the size of my trailer, had a few pints with him at the local pub and road around the countryside with him for a day, neat guy.”
Rodney, thanks for sharing your handy work!

The J2 was built by me, not Tim. I did a couple of jobs for him in exchange for a kit of parts. I am a lucky man as kits were never offered for sale.
At 75 years of age, I generally do not take on new commissions but, if I can help any of your members I will be more than happy to discuss any requests.
In my youth here in the U.K. Allards were not exactly plentiful but secondhand examples were inexpensive and generally not much in demand. I bought my first Triumph TR at the age of 22 and have remained true to the marque ever since. They were practical, easy to maintain and always turned a profit when sold.
Nonetheless, the appeal of big Yank V8s was always a passion for me. I subscribed to Hot Rod Magazine for many years and attended the first two Dragfest in the U.K in the mid 60s. Obviously I saw Sydney Allard race on a few occasions but found the car a little uninteresting compared to those of Garlits, Tommy Ivo etc. The memories of those events will live forever.
— Update from Rodney

Keeneland Concours d’Elegance; July 13-16, 2017

Allard owners have been invited to one of the country’s finest automobile events this summer. The Concours committee has set up a special Allard only class on the show field. Additionally, non-show Allards will be displayed in an area next to the show field. If you feel your Allard is of show quality, you can visit the Keenland Concours web site to download the registration form (note: the registration deadline was March 25 , but you may still be able to register for the Concours).

Jere Krieg has set up a special weekend package for the event that is only available to Allard owners. Here's the itinerary for the weekend:

Friday July 14: Check into the Gratz Park Inn. Allard Reception from 1-4pm (at Gratz). Hanger Bash 7-11pm 

Saturday July 15: Concours-9:00-4:30 includes formal lunch and those who wish alternative events, suggestions will be available at Fridays reception. - * FIELD OPENS AT 6:30AM—PLEASE WEAR PERIOD CORRECT ATTIRE FOR CONCOURSE-JUDGING BEGINS AT 9:00AM

Event Chairman- Tom Jones has invited the Allard Club to a thank you reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages Saturday evening ( time and place given at Friday reception)

The package price of $625 per couple includes:
2 nights at the Gratz Park Inn**
Concours event with Lunch
2 tickets to the Hanger Bash
Saturday’s Reception
Special Allard Gift for the event
** Rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis due to limited space. 
Rooms available include: King (12), Queen (12), and Doubles (8).

Lexington, Kentucky is centrally located and is one of the great cities in America with lots of things to do from the famous Kentucky Horse Park to the historic Mary Todd Lincoln House. If you are interested in attending, please click here to email Jere Krieg. Please note there will be no refunds after May 15th, 2017

Jere will be there with his freshly restored M Type!

Geelong 2016

Allard J2's were again successful with a class win and a 3rd place finish in the 60th Anniversary Geelong Speed Trials in Australia.

The 2016 Geelong Australia Speed Trials (Revival) was held over Nov 25-27 weekend along the original Geelong Waterfront Speed Trials course as set out in 1956.  This year, two Allard's were on the podium for the quickest 1/4 mile times for the Sports, Specials and Racing Cars 1941-1960 over 1500cc. It is noteworthy that the two 1950 J2 Allard's of Graham Smith (1st place) and Ian McDonald (3rd place) are both circuit racing cars, and street driven, which competed against the specially constructed sprint (drag race) cars of the period.

Besides being a spectacular venue for a classic vintage event, the 1/4 mile Geelong Speed Trials course has always had a slight "right bend" mid-course to contend with at speed which has proven over the years to be very interesting for the drivers.  This year the racing was single car passes, as opposed to the two-car side-by-side races of previous years, in the interest of safety for the aging cars and spirited drivers.

The Allard Hero's of the Weekend

Graham Smith, Bellbrae AU,  2016 Geelong Speed Sprits Revival Vintage Class Winner  1950 Allard J2, 13.00 sec/160 kph (99.4 mph) 1/4 Mile. Ex-Hawkes/Stan Jones Chassis #1731, Australian GP Contestant. One of the Original Entrant Cars in the 1956 Geelong Speed Trials invited to return for the 60th Anniversary Celebration. (Early history of J2 #1731)

Ian McDonald, Melbourne AU, 2016 Geelong Speed Sprits Revival Vintage Class 3rd Place  1950 Allard J2, 13.35 sec/154 kph (95.7 mph) 1/4 Mile. Ex-Murray/Firth, Chassis #1698, Bathurst and Australian GP entrant. (Early history of #1698)

Ian and Graham lining up in the "bowl" for the 1/4 mile pass along the waterfront strip of the Speed Trials run since the first event in 1956.

Both Allard's (Smith and McDonald) had their fastest pass in Run 2 making both Allard's podium finishers for the 2016 Speed Trials.

Graham Smith waiting to move into the pits before the Event for the day. The invited period cars were displayed in a pre-grid along the beautiful Geelong Waterfront Road adjacent to the track at the starting line "bowl" where the thousands of spectators could see the cars before the sprints commenced on the 1/4 mile street strip with a "bend" in the middle.

Geelong Speed Trials Overview

The Geelong Speed Trials was one of the rare occasions in Australia where you could see an array of awe inspiring vehicles in action, hear and smell their roaring engines while experiencing the carnival atmosphere of classic sprinting, held in a spectacular temporary venue along the waterfront in Geelong's redeveloped district. 

If cars and motorcycles aren’t enough to get you excited, classic boats and vintage aircrafts will also be on display, so make sure you look to the seas and sky! Take a step back in time into our vintage lifestyle zone featuring live music, trade stalls, delicious food and entertainment. The lifestyle zone wouldn’t be complete without our Vintage Caravan Display and of course the National Vintage Fashion Awards, a crowd favorite! Motoring enthusiasts can top off their weekend in our trade expo zone, featuring great displays, sales and unique demonstrations.

Not only were there some of the most amazing vehicles, many of the world’s best drivers including Sir Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Dick Johnstone, Jim Richards, Glen Seton, Craig Lownes and Formula One greats Alan Jones and Mika Hakkinen also competed at the event.

The Geelong Speed Trials were based around the popular Brighton Speed Trials held in the UK. This event began back in 1905 and is regarded as the longest running motor event in the world. Like Geelong, Brighton is also a seaside town and offers spectacular vistas of the seaside; a perfect setting for such an event.

The Geelong Speed Trials were held along Richie Boulevard and took advantage of the heavily sloping amphitheater overlooking the track below. Each year the event attracted thousands to the palm shaded lush lawns in a family atmosphere to watch an incredible and quiet unique day of motorsport. In some of the later years crowd numbers in excess of 30,000 were reported and the event was regarded as the largest historical motor sporting event of its type in Australia.

Congrats to the AOC!

Congrats to the AOC for winning the Best Small Club Stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show this weekend. This is one of the biggest car shows in the UK and the AOC always works hard to put together a nice display. Well, this year their hard work was rewarded! Mel Herman sent us a few quick photos of the stand, along with the promise to send more once things have settled down. In the attached photos, you'll see a K1, J1, J2, M, and P-type. Good job guys!

Allard For Sale: J2-1851, #15

A very special racing Allard has just come on the market. J2-1851, aka #15 is probably best known as the sister car to the famous West Coast racing J2-1850, aka #14 of owner Tom Carstens. You may recall that #14, as driven by Bill Pollack dominated pretty much every race it entered until it was nearly destroyed in a post-race demonstration lap at Pebble Beach in 1953. #15 was owned by Carstens racing partner Dave Fogg and you could say that Carstens drove for Fogg, just as Pollack raced for Carstens! In fact, Carsten’s raced and won in 1851 (original configuration) at the Pebble Beach Novice Race in 1951.

You could say things changed a bit for 1851 after the demise of 1850. Fogg and Carstens had learned a lot about the challenges brought about by front & rear suspensions of the J2, so they set about improving things with 1851. First off was the front suspension, which was converted to upper & lower transverse leaf springs, which eliminated the unfortunate variable wheelbase design of the J2. In the rear, the diagonal trailing arms were replaced with dual parallel trailing arms. The transmission was replaced with a nearly indestructible mid-30’s Cadillac LaSalle 3-speed…and then with a more competitive Jaguar 4-speed. The wheels were changed to Hallibrand’s. Finally, the most visible change was routing the exhausts out of the right side body cowell. These modifications allowed #15 (at the hands of Carstens) to dominate club racetracks and hill climbs in the Pacific Northwest until 1958 when the car was sold. 1851 maintains all its unique features that made it so competitive, which isn’t surprising since it was restored by Tom Carstens and Dave Fogg!

In case you were wondering, 1851 was ordered on December 19, 1950 and shipped on January 30, 1951. It was delivered to British Motor Car Sales in Washington. It was originally painted black with a red interior. 1851 was equipped with Cadillac engine mods, wire wheels, windshield, and top.

The historic Allard is now being offered for $449,500 which is reasonable for a racing Allard with this pedigree. The original engine, complete documentation and comprehensive spares package are included. If you’d like to learn more about this car, contact Dobson Motorsports at 206-743-8525 or dominic@dobsonmotorsport.com. You can also visit their web site at http://dobsonmotorsport.com/car/1950-cadillac-allard-j2/. We hope the car finds a new owner with someone who exercises the car regularly on the racetrack…where it belongs!

Click here to watch an interview on YouTube with Tom Carstens about #14 & #15.

Click here to read about Dave Fogg's early years with #15; "First Remembrances of Allard"

Click here to read Dave Fogg's detailed review of the modifications to #15 (it's very interesting!); "Much Modified Allard"

See below for a few old letters about 1851 from the Allard Register archives.

May-June 1977 issue, letter by Tom Carstens

April-June 1987 issue, Letter by Dave Fogg

Monterey Car Week, 2016

Eight years have passed since vintage racing enthusiasts have been able to witness as many as six Allards gracing the field of the Monterey Historics/Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Five of the six Allards that made up this year’s field have been Laguna Seca veterans over the years – and the sixth was recently imported from England.

All 15 groups’ Practice & Qualifying sessions were on Friday, and the Group 1B (Sports Racing and GT Cars 1947-1955) race took place on Sunday. That morning’s practice session was delayed by heavy fog, which left the field stranded on the grid for almost an hour while the pace cars made reconnaissance laps before practice could commence.

This caused some minor disruption to the starting grid where Steve Schuler found himself bumped down from third to eleventh spot for the afternoon race. However once the green flag fell, Steve steadily worked his Cad-powered J2 up through the field to a third place finish. We still have vivid recollections of the first time we saw Steve’s J2 in 1990 – essentially a burned out and drilled out hulk sitting on a trailer in the Laguna Seca paddock. A true inspiration to folks who might feel their ‘basket case’ is too far gone to rebuild. On a side note, Steve and his J2 were featured prominently on a wall sized graphic inside the Rolex Drivers Lounge.

Eleventh place finisher in Group 1B was Jon LeCarner at the wheel of his Cad-powered K2 – the very same red K2 that Jim Degnan raced at Laguna Seca and other west coast venues for 20+ years. Jim, incidentally, was a part of Jon’s ‘pit crew’ during the previous week’s ‘Pre-reunion’. It was great to get together and swap stories about the ‘good old days’ with our old friend.

Vince Vento was at the wheel of his ex-Fred Warner Cad-powered J2X that he brought all the way from Florida. Vince acquired this historic Allard a few years ago, and has been having fun with it ever since; running the Colorado Grand, showing at Amelia Island and racing at Road America.

A familiar looking blue K2 caught our eye as we were walking through the paddock area on Friday. This provided an opportunity to meet John Mote, the car’s new owner, who explained that he bought his Buick-powered K2 out of its 19 years of hibernation. This was John’s ‘maiden voyage’ – both at Monterey, and in the field of vintage sports car racing. This K2’s previous owner, Paul James was a regular participant in the Monterey Historics back in the 1990’s. Allard’s west coast distributor, Alan Moss, originally purchased this K2 in New York in 1950, and drove it out to Los Angeles (making it one of the first Allard’s on the west coast).

Bernard Dervieux reports that he has sold his two-cylinder Deutsch-Bonnet, and is now focusing his Allard, which is at the opposite end of the vintage racing spectrum. It was good to see Bernard again exercising his silver Cad-powered J2 (also one of the first Allard’s on the west coast) after a seven-year hiatus.

Last year Alan Patterson shared news about his two recent acquisitions – one of the few quaint, three-wheeled Allard Clipper ‘mini cars’, and the ‘other’ 1958 Allard GT coupe. Many vintage racing fans in the US are familiar with Bob Girvin’s Chrysler-powered Allard GT, which incidentally, now resides in Europe. The ‘other’ GT coupe (right hand drive and powered with a Jaguar C-type engine) was built specifically for Sydney Allard who used it for his personal transport for several years. It went through subsequent owners until Alan Patterson imported it to Pennsylvania where he embarked on a major rebuild. This event at Laguna Seca was the car’s maiden voyage.

Roger Allard was also present in the vendor zone with a silver J2X MkII. Roger had a prime spot at the foot of the Dunlop bridge and reported very good interest in the car. We also had an opportunity to test drive the car on the back roads around Laguna Seca…a full report is coming soon.

Two Allard’s were represented in the auctions. First up was Bonhams, which was selling the Ford Cobra powered J2-2121. Unfortunately, the car failed to sell and is now being listed for $325,000 via Bonham’s. Next up was K2-3017 that was offered by RM-Sotheby’s. This immaculate and unique deDion equipped hemi-powered (factory modification) K2 was a steal at $137,000 (it was unfortunately the first car to cross the block).

All in all, the 2016 Monterey car week solidified its reputation as the premiere destination car gathering in the world. Nowhere else do this many historic, unique, and exotic cars gather in one place. If you’ve never been…you should go…and hopefully we’ll be giving you a great reason to come with your Allard in 2017.

Ouch!!!

In looking for video of Allards racing at the Le Mans Classic last month, we were shocked to find the above video of a crumpled J2 on the back of a flatbed. We cross-referenced the car number with the entry list and found it to be Bob Francis's car. We couldn't find any news if Bob was hurt in the accident so we decided to contact him.

Bob wrote back and said, “Fortunately, I’m fine. The accident happened at the Bus Stop corner. And, fortunately the car is going to recover nicely. As bad as it looks, CKL Developments have been able to bang out the aluminum body and are not going to have to replace it. So, the originality will be intact. I have attached a photo showing the incredible work that has been done by CKL. Everything else is repairable. The chequebook was hurt the worst so it will take a little longer to recover.”

Monterey’s Ten Day ‘Car Week’ Gets Underway

Photo and text by Charlie Warnes

Photo and text by Charlie Warnes

Despite the much publicized Soberanes fire and token opposition from a handful of local activists, the ten-day long 2016 ‘Car Week’ got underway at Laguna Seca with the Pre-reunion (previously known as the ‘pre-Historics) this past Friday, August 12.

Just a bit of background – the Soberanes fire started in Big Sur, a few miles south of Monterey on July 22. It has burned nearly 75,000 acres and is now considered to be 60% contained. While fire fighting efforts are continuing to disrupt traffic on Highway 1, it is no longer considered to be a threat to Carmel Valley or the Monterey Peninsula. Concurrently, a local activist started on on-line petition to postpone ‘Car Week’ to better accommodate fire fighting efforts. Latest reports are that her effort has garnered a whopping 400 signatures. So – life goes on…

Three of the six Allards entered in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion participated in this past weekend’s Pre-reunion. The Pre-reunion presents an opportunity for the owners become familiar with the Laguna Seca track, and to get their cars sorted out in a more low-key setting. Allards included Steve Schuler running his 1950 J2 that was the 3rd place finisher at the 1950 LeMans, Jon LeCarne driving the red K2 that he bought from his friend Jim Degnan a few years ago, and John Mote who is sorting out the blue Buick-powered K2 that he purchased from Paul James earlier this year.

This past weekend gave Allard enthusiasts and fans a chance to also inspect the other Allards present – the beautifully finished Cobra-powered (yes, Cobra powered dating back to the mid-60’s) J2 presented by Bonham’s Auctions, and the biscuit-colored K3 that Martin Allard drove out to the track on Sunday.

The three other Allards entered for next weekend are Bernard Dervieux’s J2, Vince Vento’s J2X, and Alan Patterson’s Jag-powered GT coupe.

This past weekend also gave us a get re-acquainted with old Allard friends including Martin Allard, Chris Campell, Jim Degnan, Lindsey Parsons, Camilo and Tommy Steuer, and Bob Weiner.

A brief rundown of some of the key events this week includes:

  • Allard enthusiasts cocktail hour on Friday August 19 at the Seaside Embassy Suites Hotel Bar...drinks start flowing at 4:30pm!
  • Carmel’s ‘Concourse on the Avenue’. All day Tuesday in downtown Carmel.
  • Pebble Beach ‘Tour d’Elegance’, which stops for Thursday lunch on Ocean Avenue in Carmel (the ‘poor man’s’ chance to see most of the entrants of Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)
  • Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca (Friday – Sunday).
  • The Concours d’Lemons in Seaside on Saturday (a light hearted spoof of some of the events that are sometimes prone to take their fun a little too seriously).