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).

J&G Brake Drum Relining

If your Alfin drums are warped, have damaged fins, or thin/separating linings, then you should contact J&G Brake Drum Relining in McHenry, IL. They specialize in aluminum drum relining and they do all welding & machining in house. They also offer 3 different compounds for brake pads depending on your application. Turnaround time in the winter is 4 to 6 weeks, while summer repairs take a bit longer. Rates are typically $550 per drum, but mention that you are a member of the Allard club for their discounted rate of $430/ea. For more information, visit their web site at www.jgrelining.com or call Don Booker at 815-276-2578.

Monterey Preview...

Monterey Car Week is just a few weeks away so we decided to put together a brief preview of what to expect as an Allard enthusiast. The big news is that there will hopefully be six Allards on track at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RRMR). This is the biggest group of Allards racing at Monterey in over 10 years. You should see (2) K2’s, (2) J2’s, a J2X, and a…GT. Not Bob Girvin’s GT (which now resides in Germany), but Sydney Allard’s Jag powered GT, which is now owned by Alan Patterson. Alan and Vince Vento (J2X) will be racing Saturday in Group 1A while Bernard Dervieux and Steve Schuler will be racing their J2’s alongside the K2’s of Jon LeCarner and John Mote in Group 1B on Sunday.

Photo courtesy Patrick Ernzen

Photo courtesy Patrick Ernzen

On the auction scene, two Allard's, a J2 and a K2 will be crossing the block. First up is J2-2121 at the Bonham's Quail auction on Friday afternoon. 2121 is a very nice J2 with an interesting history; it features a Shelby Cobra 289 Hi-Po V8 and a top shelf restoration. To learn more about J2-2121 (Lot 8), click here; the auction starts at 11:00. Next up, RM Sotheby's will be selling a very nice K2, chassis 3017 as lot #101. This is the only K2 known to be equipped by the factory for the Chrysler Hemi, side mount spare, wire wheels, and the De Dion rear suspension (one of only a handful so equipped). The car will be first across the block (auction starts at 4:00) so get there early. Click here to learn more about this car.

Roger Allard will also be the Peninsula during Car Week with one his very nice Mk II’s. If you’d like to connect with Roger and test out a J2X Mk II for yourself, you can contact him at info@allardj2x.com or 514-866-9309.

Finally, you may recall that in years past we’ve had an Allard breakfast in Carmel on Saturday morning. Breakfast is off the table this year since we’ll have Allards racing on both Saturday and Sunday. The new plan is to meet up at 4:30 – 6:00pm in the bar of the Embassy Suites in Seaside (1441 Canyon del Rey, Seaside, CA 93955). This means you’ll have plenty of time to bid on the K2, then pop over to the Embassy Bar to brag about your new purchase.

See you in a few weeks!

Born again...

-Andy Leach

The folks in Australia and New Zealand are an enterprising lot. What do when the roof of an Allard P1 gets chopped off? You turn it into K1 special…of course!!

Below is the story of Andy Leach and his P1-K1 special.

Chassis P1 1956 was exported on March 22, 1951 and sold to Tom Collett in Dunedin; it was the first P1 to arrive in New Zealand. The car was painted black with a maroon interior.

The car was presumed lost, but was actually parked up in a barn in Cargills Castle in Dunedin. The Collett's owned Cargills Castle and the farm surrounding it. The car would've been stored in one of the barns (up to the top right of the picture attached), for 50 years plus. The story of the decapitation comes from Tom’s great grandson (the last owner of the Castle) who tells the story that back in 1960, some teenagers approached a railway track crossing with the arms down and drove over at high speed. It broke the pillars on the left and right side holding the roof to the body. So the roof was removed. Must of given them a bloody good scare…I wonder what they told dad!?

So there it sat, in one of the castle barns, until Andrew McDonald of Sumner Christchurch learned about it 5 - 6 years ago and arranged to purchase it. Sadly, Andrew passed away two-thirds into the restoration. He'd also consumed a lot of monetary resources. Surprisingly, the car survived the Christchurch earthquakes! The Sumner district was hit very hard and a lot of homes had to be abandoned and demolished

Now we come to the point where I learned of the car.

I was trolling an online auction site 2 ½ year back and he spied an unusual car while looking at a 1962 TVR. Truth be known, I was looking for a project, something like an early MG, Jags XK 120, 140 or 150's series, etc., etc.

Beth McDonald (Widow) came back to me and shared that it was an Allard. She shared some pictures. 8 months of waffling and negotiating with the widow and Andy took ownership of the project. It’s a horrible feeling negotiating such things, because you want to do business with a social responsibility, but you still need to get it for the right price to finish it. We met in the middle.

Andrew McDonald had died of cancer at age 52. I made a promise to myself, that I would finish it with my boy Luke. And now the car is nearly done

It's helped to have a terrific old hot rodder and Flathead mechanic down here in Auckland, New Zealand too, Chris Piaggi of C & R automotive. I thought I could handle the old flatty, but once again, those old world trade skills and knowledge are priceless.

I feel it is a very good Interpretation of a K1, using all Allard running gear end to end. It’s come out terrifically. A real eye catcher.

Today as I drove mine legally on the road for its very first time in 55 years, and dropped it down and gunned it in second down the motorway at 90+ miles an hour, I thought about Andrew McDonald and applauded him to have the hindsight to save this terrific car. It's a real eye catcher and I get an awful lot of stares.

My Panel beater is fitting the side vents and doing a fine cut and shine as I type before sexy picture time. Watch NZ Classic car magazine, full feature and sexy pin up photos coming. Looking forward to a wonderful spring and summer of driving and clubbing. It's going to be tremendous fun…

Maybe this should be known as Andy's Allard, given it's had two careful owners called Andy?

The Dragster runs again...

Photo courtesy of Jon Spoard 

Photo courtesy of Jon Spoard 

Big news from the Allard Dragster team! On July 6, they celebrated the first powered test run of the Dragster since 1964 at Beaulieu. The next week, the team took the Dragster to Dragstalgia at Santa Pod where they did a few powered runs for the public. Granted, they were slow speed runs, but this car is too historic too make high-speed ¼ mile runs. The team would like to extend a big thank you to all those involved since this project started back in 2007. The next step is to raise the funds to bring the car over to the United States so it can be reunited with the cars Dante Duce, Dean Moon, Mickey Thompson, Don Garlits, TV Tommy Ivo, and the others that made the trip to the UK in 1964. More news to come…?

Here are a few video of the historic run:

Come See the Micro Cars! July 31 in Kent

If you live in England and have some free time this weekend, head on over to the Hammond Collection Open Day in Kent on Sunday July 31. The Hammond Collection is quite unique in that they specialize in micro cars, and they own one of the 2 or 3 Allard Clippers in existence. There will be the usual static display of visitor's cars, microcars and some other invited interesting classic vehicles, driving tests, refreshments, raffle and of course the museum will be open for most of the time. The collection is located at School House Farm, Staplehurst, Kent. TN12 0EB. For more information, you can contact jean@rumcars.org or 01580 891377. As you can see, Darrell Allard stopped by a few years ago with his P1 and got share some space with the Clipper.

All in the family...

Photo courtesy of Mike Matune

This past weekend, the Patterson clan was on track at their "home" race at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Specifically, they were racing in part 2 of the PVGP race week, or the "Schenley Park Race Weekend. Alan Patterson, in his red J2X-3072 is likely one of the few original Allard owners...and definitely the only original Allard owner that still races their car! Nephew Peter liked uncle Alan's J2X so much, he decided to buy an Allard of his own, in this case, the bare aluminum J2-1732. The Patterson Allards were on track Saturday in Group 1 for Pre-War & Select MG t-series cars.

Special thanks for Mike Matune for sharing the great photo!

Old Magazine Covers, Part 18

It's been a while since we've posted an old magazine cover...and this is a fun one. It comes from the October 1953 issue of Road & Track. The three cars are lined up at Moffett Field with what appears to be a Grumman Cougar fighter jet. Of the OSCA, Jag C-Type, J2X, and Cougar jet...which do you think could accelerate to 60 mph fastest?

Can you tell us who the owner of the J2X is? (We know the answer, but can you find it out?)  

Monaco Historique, 2016

This year, four Allards showed their stuff at the Monaco Historique in mid May. The cars ran well, with all of them finishing 18th or higher out of 36 cars. Til Bechtolsheimer placed a strong third with Patrick Watts coming in two places back at fifth; both were in J2's. Bob Francis finished 17th in his J2 and Massimo Bettati finished just behind in his J2X. Massimo was frustrated as he would have finished in ninth, but he accidentally cut a chicane and received a 25 second penalty. Shown below are Bob, Til, Massimo, and Patrick enjoying a nice day in Monaco.

(Special thanks to Terry Allard for retouching the photo above to correct the original photo coloring!)

The Sphinx has been found!

In 1954, Tommy Sopwith bought an Allard JR chassis (#3405) from Sydney Allard. Tommy had a custom body built and then added an 3.4L Armstrong-Siddley Sapphire straight six. The car was very competitive...regularly beating C-Jags. In  the late 50's, Sopwith sold the Sphinx without engine to Brian Croot. Croot installed a Jag straight six and raced the car through the late 60's. Sometime in the late 80's the Sphinx then went to France and disappeared; resurfacing occasionally, only to go back into hiding.

Well, the Sphinx has finally resurfaced! Manny Dragone has contracted with the Estate to auction the car at their Greenwich Auction on June 4. No estimate has been given, but we'd expect a car with this pedigree to go for no less than $350,000. If you attend the auction please take lots of photos!

Click here to visit Dragone's auction page

Click here to read more about the Sphinx on Motorsport magazine's web page

Number Plates...

As you are no doubt aware, the chassis number plates used by the Allard Motor Company were not the most durable items. For many years we've offered reproductions of the newer brass plates, but we've never had any of the smaller zinc plates. Fortunately one of our members shared their old plate with us so we could have some reproductions made. Instead of zinc plated brass or aluminum, we had these made out of stainless steel. The black portion is etched (recessed) just like the originals. The stainless plates measure 3" square; while the brass plates measure 4" wide x 3 1/2" tall. We've also scoured Ebay to source period correct letter and number punches. Click here to let us know if you need a replacement.

The Kenyan M...and a gift for a father.

We've said it before...the best thing about running this site is the people and stories that find us. The other day, we received an email from Nick Goodey who let us know that his father had owned an Allard back in Kenya in the mid 50's. His father David was in the RAF and the car was an M he bought from an Indian in Nairobi who said it was imported by a previous owner who intended to enter it in the Coronation Safari Rally (1953)*. The steering box was well worn and he “Obtained"a box off a LHD Ford V8 Pilot which, when fitted and the vertical drop arm re-positioned reversed the steering! David bought the car in 1957 in Nairobi and it was sold in early 1958 as he needed a saloon for longer trips on game photo shoots and adventures.

[We checked the archives and found that six Allards were exported to Kenya. It appears as though this car was chassis 819; shipped on December 17, 1948; it was painted black with blue interior. We also checked the entries for the 1953 Safari Rally and no Allards were listed as entrants.] 

Fast forward 60 years or so and son Nick wanted to get his dad David a gift to remember his old Allard. Being a bit of a craftsman, Nick created the wireframe sculpture below of his fathers old M. The sculpture is almost 18" long! We were so impressed with the wireframe so we asked Nick if he accepts commissions. Nick replied that he does, with the basic pricing around NZ$250, 200GBP, or US$285 and varies due to size and detail. If you are interested in discussing a commission with Nick, click here to email him.

Remembering Syd

On April 12, 2016 we remember Sydney Allard on the 50th anniversary of his passing. As we sought a fitting a way to remember the Guv’nor, we found the story below from our 1973 January/February issue. The story was unaccredited so we assume that Sydney’s friend and our original Publisher, Ray May was the author. We hope you enjoy this look back and hope that you learn something new about the man that created the cars we love.

The late Sydney Allard, Managing Director of the Allard Motor Company, manufacturers of Allard cars and general engineers, also of Adlards Motors Ltd., Ford Main Dealers, was a professional engineer (A.M.I.Mech.E.). He was born on June 19th, 1910, and learned to drive on an elder brother's 1924 two-speed Douglas motorcycle, and commenced driving cars in 1926. He was a member of many motor clubs, and his first competitive event was in 1928 when he competed in the Dartmoor Trial, which was organized by the Maidstone Motor Cycle Club. This was an all-night event starting at Hindhead, Surrey and finishing at Minehead in North Devon, and included many very tough sections on Dartmoor. Between 1928 and 1936 he competed at Brooklands Racing Circuit, Surrey, and Syston Park, Leicestershire with Morgans, and in cross-country trials with Morgans and Fords. He built the first Allard Special in 1936 out of a crashed Ford V8.

He competed in Hill-climbs in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, and raced in the U.K. and Europe, including the Tourist Trophy, Le Mans 24 Hours, Mille Miglia, and Targa Florio. His major· competition successes were – Winner of R.A.C. British Hill Climb Championship, 1949; 3rd place at Le Mans (1st in class, course record) 1950; Won Monte Carlo Rally, 1952. Pre-war he had many successes in cross-country trials, e.g. February, 1939 won Premier Awards in succession in the following: Kentish Border Car Club's Stafford Clark Trial; Maidstone & Mid-Kent Club's Bossom Trial; North-West London Motor Club's Coventry Cup Trial; Sutton Coldfield & North Birmingham Club's Colmore Cup Trial, and the Southsea Club's President's Trial. Between 1936 and 1939 he competed in 60 events, (all in Allard’s) and won 20 Premier Awards, 14 Class Cups, 33 Team Awards, 17 1st Class Awards, 11 2nd Class awards and two 3rd Class awards. Only failed to win an award on four occasions. Failed to finish only once – through inverting the car during event!

Sydney Allard's favorite events: Le Mans 24 Hours Race and Prescott Hill Climb. Most frightening event: probably Le Mans (mist in the early hours of Sunday morning). Most memorable event: Mille Miglia (road race in Italy), in a Cadillac Allard. The start was at night time, and heavy rain was falling. He overtook a Ferrari that had started several minutes earlier, but after 125 miles he hit a kilometer stone – a glancing blow and was forced to retire -the Ferrari finished 3rd! Most embarrassing moment: having to explain the reason for driving through a hedge when the remainder of the entry had kept on the road, resulting in what is now called 'Allard' s Gap' at Prescott Hill Climb. He liked most types of competitive events, though "Driving Test” events he found the least interesting. Proudest moment: winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1952.

Allard Motor Works News

We just received a press release from Roger Allard’s Allard Motor Works announcing that he was moving vehicle manufacturing from Montreal to Valencia, California (just outside of Los Angeles). This piqued our interest so we quickly sent Roger an email to see what was going on.

Basically the time had come to split with his fabrication contractor. After a search for a new fabrication partner, Roger found the right team in Valencia. The shop has lots of experience building specialty cars for Hollywood along with several high-end hot rods. Once fabrication is underway, a new Allard assembly shop will be opened next door. This new setup should also help reduce lead times.

Along with the transition to a new shop, a new and improved J2X will be coming, the MkIII. The new car should feature a heater, full windshield, an optional sports windshield, adjustable steering column, adjustable foot pedals, one inch more of ground clearance, a RHD option, power steering, an automatic transmission option, and shortly after…an removable hardtop (t-top) option. AMW is also exploring having aluminum bodies fabricated. The plan is to launch the J2X MkIII in June of this year. Given our proximity to Valencia, we are looking forward to bring you a road test of the new car.

There’s one other important feature the new car will come with…an engine. This year, the US Government passed a piece of legislation called the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015” which basically allows companies like AMW to finally deliver cars with the engine installed. Previously, buyers had to had source the engine and have it installed by a 3rd party. Available engines include the modern Chrysler Hemi, Cadillac and the GM RamJet V8s, ranging from 350 hp to 700 hp – and all emissions compliant.

We wish Roger and Allard Motor Works the best of luck in this new phase of his business! Please click here to read the full press release from Roger and Allard Motor Works.