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By Colin Warnes
The Monterey Car Week is almost upon us. Last time I checked, there was something like 54 auctions planned for the weekend. I also just read an article online about the 20 most expensive cars expected to sell at Monterey this year, none were estimated at less than $3,000,000. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that none of them were Allards. That being said, there are three Allard’s slated to cross the blocks this year; here’s a brief look at each.
Mecum: Allard J2 #2179, Lot F121
This J2 was exported on October 17, 1951 to Custom Automotive in Dallas, Texas and was sold to Charles Brown of Louisiana. It was ordered with Cadillac engine modifications and was painted black with a red interior. 2179 was the last J2 to leave the Allard factory.
Mr. Brown wanted his car to go racing so he asked an up and coming young driver by the name of Carroll Shelby to drive for him. From what I could find, Shelby is known to have raced it at least twice …running at the Pottsboro hill climb and the SCCA National at Turner AFB. By late 1952, the J2 was struggling to remain competitive, so Shelby moved on to drive Roy Cherryholms J2X-3146 (which will be racing that same weekend). [Ed: As an Allard enthusiast, you are required to know that Carroll Shelby’s legendary Cobra was inspired by his time racing Allards]
From the Mecum catalog…
“Charles Brown sold the car to Wilfred Gray from Indianapolis. During the mid-‘50s, he raced the car in SCCA events at such venues as Elkhart Lake and the remarkable Mount Equinox. What makes Mount Equinox so spectacular is its 3,000-foot elevation change in a span of just 5 miles; it is perhaps the steepest hill climb in North America. The next owner, Dan Saunders, raced the Allard at Wilmot Hills in southern Wisconsin, Wilmot Hills doubling as a ski hill in the winter and serving as a race track while the snow was gone.
In 1972, Chris Leydon acquired J2179. It was about this time that the older race cars, long viewed as uncompetitive, started to be considered part of automotive history. This warranted recommissioning. In the case of J2179, this included period colors of a red exterior and black interior, a full windscreen and wire wheels.
The winning Sir Stirling Moss and J2179 were featured together in a program titled, “The Great Classic Cars.” From there, the car continued to be enjoyed and treasured over the years. The next big event was the 1997 Monterey Historic races, the significance of that event being that Carroll Shelby was the honoree on which the weekend’s festivities were centered. The idea of Shelby being reunited with the car that launched his career is remarkable for any enthusiast of historic racers. In 2005, J2179 was part of the “Gotta Have It” television program. Its most recent event was the 2015 Allard Reunion at Elkhart Lake.
J2179 has been restored to its original color scheme of black with red leather upholstery and is equipped with its believed-original Cadillac V-8 along with the proper transmission. The Cadillac engine is fitted with triple Stromberg 48 carburetors on a vintage Weiand intake manifold, a Crane Competition camshaft and the custom exhaust originally built and installed by a young fabricator who would go on take his own place among the giants of racing, Mickey Thompson. The period-correct wheels and tires are in place along with the numerous other details expected of a racer of this importance.”
J2-2179 is slated to be sold Friday afternoon and should be the ideal addition to any Shelby enthusiasts collection. The car is estimated to sell for $800,000 to $1,200,000. To learn more, visit Mecum’s web site: https://www.mecum.com/lots/CA0819-380994/1952-allard-j2-roadster/
Gooding & Company: Allard J2X Le Mans #3066; Lot 171
This J2X-LM was exported on December 2, 1952 to Captain Leslie who was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. The car was soon resold to Bob Peterson of Piedmont, California. The car was raced extensively by Carl & Fred Block in California from 1953 through 1955.
3066 was ordered with Chrysler Hemi engine modifications, metallic blue paint, and a red interior. The J2X Le Mans was created in a rush in order to comply with the new 1952 Le Mans regulations that required fully enclosed fenders. In all, our records indicate fourteen J2X Le Mans were built.
From the Gooding catalog, “Around 1953, Bob Peterson of Piedmont, California, purchased the Allard and with drivers Carl and Fred Block, campaigned it extensively in SCCA races across their home state, competing at fabled venues and against the premier sports car racers of the day, including Phil Hill, Johnny von Neumann, and Pete Lovely. At the 1954 race at Golden Gate Park, Carl Block hit a row of hay bales, damaging the Allard’s front bodywork. It has been suggested that renowned car customizer Jack Hagemann, whose shop was near Carl Block’s car dealership, likely sculpted the restyled aluminum front end it wears today, and painted the car red.
In 1958, Bob Peterson sold the car to John Tilton for $2,500, and it has since remained in the Tilton family’s care for more than 60 years. In the mid-1970s, the Tilton children retrieved the J2X Le Mans from long-term storage and persuaded their father to restore it, an operation completed by Vic Russum of Racing Dynamics West in Los Angeles, with paint and bodywork by the acclaimed Eddie Paul.
After its restoration, the car appeared at the 1977 and 1978 Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca and was invited to the 1977 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. The Allard J2X Le Mans was recently recommissioned by the Tilton family and stands ready to continue its proud legacy as a formidable competitor from the golden age of sports car racing.”
I’ve spent a lot of time inspecting 3066 while restoring our J2X Le Mans. Overall, the car is largely original, which is unique among Allards, especially those that raced. It features what could be the original Hemi engine, including a Ford 3-speed which we assume must have Zephyr gears. Some may balk at the modified body, but it’s a unique and integral part of the car’s history.
It looks like 3066 is slated to be sold on Saturday afternoon. The car is estimated to sell for $450,000 to $600,000 and has a reserve. To learn more, visit the Gooding & Company web site: https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1953-allard-j2x-le-mans/
Gooding & Company: Allard K2 #3127, Lot 132
This car was exported to Noel Kirk Motors in LA on October 7, 1952. It was fitted with Cadillac engine mounts and painted Beige with Brown interior. From the catalog, “Presenting in black paint with a red interior, this K2 was owned by William Avery of Pennsylvania, who hardly drove the car but commissioned a light restoration in 2012. He assigned Lamborghini of Orlando to repaint the bodywork and refurbish the interior, renew the electricals, and install a roll bar. In 2012, the Allard was purchased by the consignor, a private East Coast collector, who has used the car sparingly. Never raced and always meticulously maintained, this Allard comes with the promise of a great motoring experience.”
3127 will be sold Saturday without reserve; the price is estimated at $100,000 to $130,000. To learn more, visit the Gooding & Company web site: https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1952-allard-k2-roadster/
The back cover of the April 1951 issue of The Desert Magazine. Do you remember when you had to change the oil in your car every 1,000 miles? I don’t…
Tony Adriaensens is at it again...With the original Weekend Heroes sold out many years ago and the continuous demand he decided to make a revised and upgraded edition titled 'Weekend Heroes 2.' He started this new book on the 1950s California sports car racing scene almost 8 years ago and the result is a stunning 3-volume set of over 1500 pages, covering about 90% of the races and events between April 1950 (Sandberg hill-climb) and December 1957, the last race at Paramount Ranch. Both southern and northern California races are covered.
He intends to go printing in November 2019 with a pre-sale at €399 (around $450) instead of the retail price of €449 (around $500) exclusive shipping. Don't miss this one! Stay tuned for more info.
Orders are taken via PayPal using firstname.lastname@example.org - don't forget to enter name and address. DHL shipping for this 22lb beast is $56 to the USA and €25 to Europe.
We've had the pleasure of reading the original "Weekend Heroes" and it is amazing. The photography, history, quality, and heft...the price may seem expensive, but trust me, it's worth every penny. We’ve also helped identify various Allard photos for the second installment…all of which have never been seen before. If you are a fan of 50’s sports car racing…this book cannot be missed. CW
Chassis 7102 was the first of two GT’s built. The swept tail coupe was built for the 1957 Earl’s Court Motor Show and then would serve as Sydney’s transport afterwards. The car gathered much attention at the show, including Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. The car shared the Palm Beach MkII chassis, but was later converted to a DeDion rear suspension to improve the handling after Paul Frere had an exciting demonstration drive at Goodwood with Tom Lush. The car features a Jaguar drivetrain with a XK140 motor, 4-speed transmission, and Salisbury differential. The Allard family retained the car after his death, where it passed through a few owners in the UK, including a stint in the now closed Stondon Motor Museum. In 2012 the car was exported to the USA by the late owner.
7102 comes mostly original except for the installation of a roll bar, racing seat and internal fire suppression system; all of which can be removed. The car sustained damage to the front right suspension under carriage when a wheel came off at speed at 2016 Monterey Motorsport Reunion.
By Lisa Stec & Anna Brownell
My husband Jim and I consider ourselves to be ‘normal people’ who associate past years with family events such as births, marriages, deaths and historical events. For example, my husband and I got married shortly after moving to Madison WI to start our new jobs. We put an addition to our house shortly after our son was born, and I gave birth to our daughter six hours after the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.
My parents and uncle Paul, on the other hand, have measured time by the cars they owned, raced, traded with each other, or wrecked. For example, my mom bought groceries home in an Allard J2X Le Mans when she lived in Ohio where my sister was born. My parents bought the ‘68 Mustang after my brother was born so we could have a family car. My dad subsequently sold the J2X LM to my confirmed bachelor uncle Paul for ‘pocket change’.
Uncle Paul truly enjoyed his unencumbered family status which allowed him to buy and KEEP a wide array of vehicles that piqued his interest. They included a Corvette that was his daily driver for several years, a miniscule Berkeley roadster that his friends helped him carry down to the ‘drive-in’ movie theater he had set up in his basement, and the Zephyr Land Yacht tractor. He was truly intrigued by the Allard Company and the cars they manufactured and raced. He owned three Allards during my lifetime – Fred Wacker’s second J2 ‘8-Ball’, the J2X LeMans that he bought from my parents, and my personal favorite – a green 1950 P1 saloon.
The P1’s original owner was Sir Paul Pechell, who sold it to John Desmond Cropper in 1959. Colin Frank Bridle owned it from 1962 until 1966, before selling it to Erwin Zimmerman who shipped it from South Hampton to his home in New York. Uncle Paul purchased it from Mr. Zimmerman a year later and drove it about 900 miles back to his home in Milwaukee. He drove the car quite a bit those first few years, and even raced it a few times. In the spring of 1969 he drove the P1 down to Florida for the 12 Hours of Sebring, and took it for other lengthy trips in 1970.
However, the most important trips were Uncle Paul taking my sister, brother and me to the local frozen custard shop on a regular basis. My sister and I would sit in the back seat where our feet would not touch the floor. We peeked out the back windows and proudly waved to the neighbors, with Uncle Paul hanging his right elbow out the window, always grinning as we went for dessert.
Time marched on as my brother, sister and I went to school, got jobs and started buying our own cars. The P1’s brakes stopped working, so Uncle Paul parked it in his garage. No one started the car for a number of years, and it eventually languished on for 30+ years. Paul took some teasing about owning three non-functioning Allards, but he remained ambivalent about that. As the proud owner of three Allards – he admitted to being more of an aficionado than a mechanic.
Over the years Uncle Paul accumulated many car enthusiast friends. One local collector in particular, Ron Schneider, convinced and helped him get the J2 ‘8-Ball’ running. He enjoyed driving it for a while, and even had it on display at an Elkhart Lake event. However, his failing health made working the pedals difficult. Then he traded his J2X LeMans to Chuck and Colin Warnes for a beautiful, hemi-powered K3 that had enough power to make an experienced driver squeal with delight. At this point he had two of his three Allard running. But as he got older, he was more interested in riding in the comfort of a coupe than a roadster.
My husband and I offered to help him with the P1, as it was my sentimental favorite and I wanted to repeat those trips to get frozen custard with him. My daughter and I took out the gas tank and Rob relined it, and my husband and son freed up the wheels so it would move around. The P1 was then moved to Ron’s shop, but unfortunately Uncle Paul passed away before we could continue to work with him on the project.
There were many cars and possessions that needed to find a good home after Paul passed away in 2015. My brother was to be the steward of the J2 ‘8-Ball’, and the K3 was sold at the Bonham auction in Monterey. Meanwhile, the P1 ice cream shuttle was still sitting with brakes that didn’t work and the gas tank in the trunk.
My husband and I discussed taking on the project. It was potentially within our budget and experience, and we were on the cusp of being ‘empty nesters’ with need of something to do. So, we took on the project with the invaluable experience of my father, and assistance from my mom, brother, our kids and friends. How hard could it be?
Uncle Paul had said it just needed the brakes looked at and the leaky gas tank repaired. Well, not exactly. The engine had green mush in it, some of the wooden floor boards were rotted and the engine had a cracked block and the shift linkage was a vague mystery.
So – we replaced the engine with a re-built Ford flathead, and replaced the column shift with a Ford three-speed floor-shift transmission. Brake work included a new master cylinder and wheel cylinders, along with a new parking brake. Once the gas tank was re-installed, the tie rod ends were replaced, the wheel bearings were packed, and a new exhaust system was installed. Just short of two years later the P1 drove out of our garage under its own power!
Test runs were soon made to get dessert around Madison. But the trip I was really looking forward to was to take the P1 back to Milwaukee, and take my parents to Leon’s, the best frozen custard shop in town, and meet up with Ron Schneider for a trip down memory lane.
For me, this car represents a happy childhood memory that I was able to relive with my husband and family, as well as special friends. So now I have started making my family history in terms of the cars we own.
Words by Jed Rapoport / Photos by David Carte
November 2-4, 2018 marked a gathering of Allard Owners in the USA. The occasion was the Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Concours on the island of Hilton Head, South Carolina. The event was doing a feature display of Allards all weekend and A.O.C. member Jere Krieg coordinated with Club members to facilitate participation as a group.
The weekend officially kicked-off with a dinner, arranged by Jere, Friday evening at a local restaurant for all A.O.C. members and their guests who wished to attend. Approximately 30 members, spouses and guests attended what turned out to be a wonderful chance to eat, drink and talk cars.
Saturday was the club day of the Motoring festival. Over 20 different automobile clubs would have cars on display. Clubs were expected to arrive during set time slots to keep traffic moving efficiently. More than a half dozen of the Allards departed the trailer parking lot together and made for a rare sight as they paraded in the early morning chill the couple miles to the show field.
In total, an impressive array of 13 Allards, representing most of the US sold models and then some from model M to Palm Beach, where lined-up under beautiful blue skies representing the A.O.C. Jim Netterstrom’s 1954 J2X was awarded as the best Allard on display. Several other Allards received special awards including the K2 of Pete Zimmerman of Virginia who drove his car five hours each way to participate in the weekend. His demonstration of commitment to driving his Allard is worthy of accolades. Other cars given honors were the 1948 Model L of Terrell Underwood, the ’48 Model M1 of Frank Rubino and the ’51 K2 of Peter Bowman.
The planets aligned on Saturday for the rare convergence of having four K2’s present at one event, which were dutifully posed for a photograph.
Sunday was Concours day and Allard was a separate class at this year’s event. 12 cars participated with 7 of them being judged. The K3 of Brad & Kathy Marsland of Ontario, Canada won the class. Other award winners included the ’48 M1 of Frank Rubino and the ’52 J2X of John & Susan Barrett.
Unfortunately, the lovely blue skies and warm temperatures that greeted all participants Sunday morning transitioned to chilly rain by later in the afternoon. Just before the precipitation began, as if on cue, the bulk of the Allards, most with no tops, rolled out together in a rush to reach the safety of their trailers before the sky’s opened up in earnest. Several of us got a bit damp on the drive back but managed to load cars before the downpours really started.
Allard owners are very widely dispersed making gatherings difficult to organize. Cars and owners traveled from at least six states and Canada to attend Hilton Head. All in all, the consensus was it was a delightful weekend of Allard camaraderie with many new acquaintances made. There is some preliminary discussion of a gathering next fall in Rhode Island. Stay tuned for that and more.
THE CARS, DRIVERS & AWARDS
Terrell Underwood, L, Club Crescent Award
Jere Krieg, M1
Frank Rubino, M1, Concours Palmetto Award and Club Crescent Award
Jim Stec, P1
Peter Bowman, K2, Club Crescent Award
John Barrett, J2X, Concours Palmetto Award
Brad Marsland, K3, Concours Best in Class
Jed Rapoport, K2
Mark Moskowitz, K3
Pete Zimmerman, K2, Club Crescent Award
Jim Keck, K2
Jim Netterstrom, J2X, Club Top Allard
Louis Fantacone, Palm Beach
Four Allards participated in this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca raceway. The Allards again paddocked as part of the Del Monte Trophy Racing Group (www.dmtrg.com), a gathering of late 40’s and early 50’s sports racers.
We were glad to see Bernard Dervieux return to Laguna Seca with his silver Cad-powered J2, along with John Mote’s ‘Smurf Blue’ Buick-powered K2. Jon LeCarner and Doug Klink are continuing to carry on the Jim Degnan/George Myers tradition with their red K2’s pitted next to each other.
This year the paddock area was graced by a fifth Allard that has recently come out of storage – the Tilton family ’53 J2X LeMans. #3066 is a veteran of the Pebble Beach and several other West Coast races of 1954 and 1955, and has been owned by the family since 1958. The car suffered body damage during a disagreement with some hay bales during the 1954 Golden Gate Races, and was fitted with a restyled front cowl to get it back on the track in 1955. There is strong speculation that Jack Hagemann, an esteemed northern California aluminum racecar builder of the day, performed this modification.
The four racing Allards ran among an eclectic group of their contemporaries in Group 2A on Saturday. Doug Klink and John Mote started in 11th and 13th spots in the 37car grid, and Jon LeCarner and Bernard Dervieux were in 17th and 26th. Mote moved up to finish 10th in the course of the ten lap race, and Dervieux took the checker flag in 20th place. Klink’s K2 was sidelined early in the race when a small, but significant, throttle linkage component broke at a most inopportune time. LeCarner had a second car running in Group 3A, so he had to bring his Allard in early to get his Devin SS to Pre-grid for the next event.
‘Car Week’ now includes six auctions. One Allard crossed the block this year – a red, Olds-powered J2X at the RM Sotheby auction. It was an older restoration, highly modified for rallying and racing. The car sold for $250,000.
We again enjoyed visiting with our old friend Lindsey Parsons. You may recall that Lindsey gained some well-deserved Allard fame by making several cross country trips with his J2X from his home in New Jersey to the West Coast over the past 20 years. He recently sold his immaculately restored J2X, but continues to keep his enthusiasm for Allards. We are looking forward to getting together again next year!
Words by Chuck Warnes, Photos by Colin Warnes
Photos by Hyman
Michael and I took the two Allards to Equinox for the 2018 running and we did the marque proud. We finished 2nd and 4th out of about 30 with Mike in 2nd with the K2 and yrs trly 4th in the J2.
After thirty-five plus years Mount Equinox has left myriad memories. The first run to the top in the Allard left me forever tied to the mountain and its miles of twisties and ever changing sights.
Breaking the six minute mark was a memorable milestone. I danced a jig at the top when I got the news from the time keepers. Five minutes, after nearly thirty years of trying, was even more satisfying.
Sharing the event with my son the last years now has been a joy that very few fathers get to experience. It’s even better than breaking the fabled five minute barrier. Having him beat me has been the icing on the cake. Thankfully - at least until now - he hasn’t improved upon my best time. That will, no doubt, come.
There are memories of individual races and individual years. Of the many runs up the mountain the memory that always comes to mind is a run DOWN the mountain. It was sometime in the nineties I think. Kim Eastman in his Kurtis was fighting to break five minutes and yrs trly in the Allard K2 was getting down into the low five minute area. We were among the fastest that weekend, Kim was second behind Bob Girvin in the magnificent Allard GT. My Allard K2 was a place or two behind him. Late in the afternoon on Sunday we were taking a last run ahead of incoming rain. At the summit we could see the rain coming in from the west. There were no more cars to come up. Wisdom had prevailed at the bottom. Given the word to come down we figured we would have to hurry to beat the rain. The ensuing race to the bottom was amongst the most exciting drives on Equinox that I’ve ever experienced. The sound of those two unmuffled V-8s echoing from the trees and reverberating off of the rocks was nothing short of glorious.
This year’s runs and relaxation at the top will stick in the memory for other reasons. The top part of the mountain was pretty well shrouded in mist and rain on most of Sunday so the hairpins were getting a bit slippery. Visibility was less of an issue for the last mile as some of us have done this for so long we know what’s coming.
We should note that, while the Allards were second and fourth, another father and son team took first and third in a couple of hot SAABs.
The Allard Team expects to return next year with a focus on getting first and second. Time will tell. Meanwhile, we have a winter of sitting by the fire ahead of us to relive the joy.
Fred Wacker, Jr. served in the Navy during WWII. After his discharge he returned to Chicago to commence his career in the family business – Ammco Tools, a supplier of tooling equipment for auto manufacturers. One of the fringe benefits included a company car - in this case a gray Pontiac 4-door sedan, which he despised. He soon decided to risk his father’s wrath by trading it for an MG TC.
One of his first trips in the TC was to attend the Indy 500, where he met up with some guys from the east coast, and was introduced to the fledgling Sports Car Club of America. This led to Fred’s role in establishing the Chicago chapter of the SCCA, and his entering the stripped down and mildly modified TC at Watkins Glen in the fall of ’49. The MG sported “8” as the racing number – the same number of his father’s racing yacht.
Fred’s maiden voyage in the field of sports car racing got him a 3rd in class finish, and gave him a chance to make a lot of contacts. He was racing a Healey Silverstone at Bridgehampton in 1950 when Tommy Cole introduced him to the Allards. Fred decided to go that route, ordered #1577 and commenced work with Frank Burrell to install Cad power in front of a highly modified Hydramatic. Fred likewise gave this car the number “8” which, with the artistic touch of Karl Brocken, morphed into the iconic “8-Ball” roundel.
Fred drove his Allard to a 3rd place finish at Watkins Glen in 1950, and then on to Florida for the inaugural Sebring 6 hour race. He and Frank Burrell finished two laps ahead of the field, but officially finished in 8th spot behind the ‘index of performance’ winner – a .724 liter, 27 horsepower Crosley Hotshot.
Fred, along with several other SCCA racers, then accepted the invitation from Argentine strongman Juan Peron for an all-expense-paid trip to Buenos Aires to run their cars in the Sports Car Olympics in March 1951. Fred finished 2nd, just behind John Fitch, before accepting an offer to sell his Allard. However international political issues arose with the sale of #1577, so it was shipped back to the US. Emil Loeffler had the car restored about ten years ago – and displayed it at the Allard gathering in New Jersey in 2009, and at Watkins Glen in 2010.
Fred Wacker had already bought his second Allard J2 #2086 in 1951 before the Argentine sale complications arose, but did not have any problem re-selling 1577 once it got back to the US. He likewise fitted his new Allard with Cad power and a Burrell-modified Hydramatic – along with several other performance and handling enhancements. #2086 is the Allard J2 involved in the tragic Watkins Glen accident in September 1952 that essentially brought an end to racing on public roads in the US.
Fred continued to race #2086 through 1954. The car since passed through several hands before Paul Brownell of Milwaukee WI purchased it in 1986. Paul stored it in the garage behind his home for several years before deciding to go the ‘preservation’ route. About 6 years ago he gave it a rather comprehensive mechanical restoration, and had taken it to a number of local car shows – including Elkhart Lake. Paul Brownell has since passed away, and this car remains in the Brownell family.
To complicate matters – there are at least two other “8-Ball” Allards:
Late Allard Register publisher, and renowned Allard ambassador Dr. Tom Turner, raced his immaculate Ford flathead-powered Allard J2 #1575 under the “8-Ball” moniker (with Paul Brownell’s permission) for several years until his passing in 1994. Tom’s widow, Yvonne, subsequently went to racing school and continued to vintage race this J2 for the next couple years before selling it the Rick Cole Auction in Monterey. The car now resides in Europe.
Bob Lucurell owned and raced #3161, his red Hemi-powered J2X for the past several years. That car also displays the “8-Ball” moniker (with Fred Wacker’s blessings). Lucurell sold this car at Bonham’s Auction within the past year.
As part of a team building/morale boosting exercise, my employer decided to host a Pinewood Derby. You may be familiar with the Pinewood Derby as created by some car crazy Cub Scouts in 1953 where kids and their parents carve a car shape out of a 7" long x 1 3/4" wide x 1 1/4" thick block of pine wood. The cars are raced down a 40' long multi-lane sloped track where the cars ride in dedicated tracks. Typically these events are reserved for kids, which is great, but it's a lot more fun building and racing one of these cars as an adult.
For my car, I was determined to build an Allard J2. I started by drawing the block and wheels on my 3D CAD program, then I took side and top view images of the J2 blueprint and overlaid them over the block and wheels. Surprisingly, the scale of the J2 blueprints matched the block and wheels pretty well!
From there I cut the body out of the actual block and the fenders out of a 1/2" thick piece of bass wood. I then glued the fenders to the body...hoping the front fenders were not too delicate. A Dremel tool with a barrel style sand bit was used to shaped the car - fortunately nothing broke! Unfortunately I was pinched for time so I wasn't able to finish and paint the car as well as I had hoped. However, I think the car came out pretty good.
I modeled the the design after J2-1513, the first J2 exported to the USA and originally purchased by Roy Richter - owner of Bell Auto Parts. Roy was victorious in his one and only race - his racing career cut short after his wife learned of his new hobby.
Are there any wood workers out there that car to take up the Allard Pinewood Derby challenge? If so, send us a photo of your handiwork. Click here to download a Acrobat PDF of my J2 block overlay...when printing, make sure you select print in full scale.
As for the race, I came in second place out of 20 cars, losing out to a 'wedge' car built by one of our engineers. All had a great time and we are expecting twice as many entrants for next year. Perhaps I'll build a replica of our J2X Le Mans?
Jere Krieg is in the process of setting up a 2018 Allard event for the Hilton Head Concours (http://www.hhiconcours.com/hilton-head-island.html). Jere had a very successful event last year in conjunction with the Keeneland Concours in Kentucky, and he has decided that the Hilton Head event will be a suitable follow-up event for this year. He is in the process of setting up hotel and dining accommodations in Hilton Head, South Carolina for the Allard entrants.
The tentative schedule is as follows:
Friday, November 2: A driving tour, starting with a breakfast and finishing with a lunch. In the evening, there will be a “Hanger Bash” at the Hilton Head airport. Both the lunch and dinner are charity events, put on by the Concours.
Saturday, November 3: A car club display of various classic automobiles, including a separate grouping for the Allards. That evening, there will be an Allard dinner, which Jere will set up.
Sunday, November 4: The Hilton Head Concours. There will be a separate Allard class - possibly two (racing and street Allards) - provided there are sufficient entrants for both. The Concours concludes at 4 PM.
Entry forms should be available shortly. Please let Jere know if you are interested in attending. He can be reached at 865-755-3099, or email@example.com . It is very important to let Jere know, as soon as possible, of your interest, so he can make suitable arrangements.
Andy Picariello reports it also may be possible to arrange for a dedicated transport of our Allards from New England region, provided that we can get a full trailer-load. Please contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Andy knows some of the key people running this Concours from his experience with the Amelia Island Concours in 2011. He is confident that this event will be very worthwhile for us to participate, and is familiar with the area and the many attractions that it provides. November at Hilton Head provides very comfortable temperatures, and is outside of the normal tourist season.
The following story comes to us from Alan London, who's father worked at the Essex Aero Ltd., builders of a very unique Allard Special. After that is a brief story about the Essex Coupe from an old AOC newsletter and finally a note from a previous owner.
One Jag or Two?
That’s a question I’ve recently posed, in person and by email, to folks on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps surprisingly, especially to us Jag-nuts, the responses have leaned predominantly toward the side of: ‘TWO’!
True, the two cars do indeed share the sleek, classical lines indicative of the early nineteen-fifties, but there, the similarities end. Behind the question lies a story, in the main untold – so without further ado, let’s travel back through several decades, to the mid nineteen-thirties.
Essex Aero Ltd, was founded by Reginald (Jack) Cross, with the assistance of my father Lionel (Jack) London.
In 1937 their firm, which in the early years specialized in the manufacture/repair/modification of aircraft components, relocated from Marylands Aerodrome, Romford, Essex (hence the company’s name) to the Gravesend Airport in Kent, when the Percival Aircraft company vacated the premises.
In their new location, Essex Aero was responsible for servicing local, private aircraft, plus those operated by the airport-based Flying Training School. In addition, it began experimenting with Magnesium Alloy and utilized the metal in some of their products. The opening in 1938 of the Royal Air Force Elementary Reserve Flying Training School provided the company with additional maintenance assignments.
With World War Two looming, the airport was sequestered in 1939 by the Air Ministry, and designated a satellite station of RAF Biggin Hill, which had been assigned the task of defending London and the South East. Gravesend’s proximity to the English Channel made the airfield an ideal candidate for Biggin Hill support.
During the Battle of Britain period, the airport was home to squadrons of Blenheims, Spitfires, and Hurricanes, which were serviced by Essex Aero, and repaired as necessary, on mission return.
Throughout the years of conflict, my father’s company, in tandem with its war-service, continued to hone its knowledge of Magnesium Alloy. So much so that on conclusion of the war, when the Allied countries created a ‘team’ to compile not only the ‘lessons learned’, but to also examine German technological advancements. Essex Aero were asked to represent the Magnesium Alloy community at the team’s subsequent conferences/conventions. The company had swiftly established a reputation as a world-wide leader in M.A. technology, with its representatives frequently being invited to deliver lectures on the subject.
Although still contracted to the Air Ministry, the post-war years saw Essex Aero rapidly expand its workforce and its range of business, moving into the commercial world. It began producing a variety of M.A. items such as lightweight hospital beds, fold-up chairs, and soft drink, beer, and milk crates.
Their star truly shone, as was evidenced by the giant Essex Aero four-point star, fabricated solely from Magnesium Alloy. Captured in the beams of three powerful spotlights, the star was suspended over London’s Northumberland Street, and became a focal point of the 1951 Festival of Britain celebrations.
In 1952 Essex Aero designed and manufactured an all Magnesium Alloy-bodied Allard sports coupe. The body panels, each hand-formed, were welded together into a single-piece configuration. A standard Allard J2X chassis was lengthened to accommodate the sleek body; a shell so light, that, at a weight of around 140-pounds, it could be held aloft (at the point of center-of-gravity) in its entirety by a single man, and also, from each end, by two ladies – as is shown below in the photographs that were extracted from the Essex Aero archives.
Attached by a mere six silent-block rubber mounting points, the body could be swiftly removed as one-piece, thereby exposing and providing access to the principal mechanical components for any necessary maintenance or repairs.
‘Dad’s Allard’ was powered by a 3,917 cc. Mercury V8 engine with a compression ratio of 8.1. Top speed was a reported 135 mph. The car featured a four-speed electric, pre-selector Cotal (French) gearbox, and thus no clutch was necessary. In line with company traditions, this beautiful, stylish machine was unflatteringly named: ‘MAGBODY’!
My father’s friend and senior partner, Managing Director Jack Cross, whom both mum and dad would affectionately refer to as ‘the old man’, was the driver behind the project. Both he and my father shared a passionate belief that magnesium alloy would, given time, prove to be a far superior material than the fast-approaching soon-to-be rival, gaggle of plastics! Jack Cross was also the driver (and proud owner) behind the wheel of this truly unique vehicle which, incidentally, Sydney Allard, the founder of Allard Motor Cars, had taken an interest in, keenly following its progress from conception to completion. Jack could be frequently spotted buzzing around Kent’s narrow country lanes in his... new ‘baby’!
Sadly, in early 1956, Martin’s Bank (later Barclays’s) placed Essex Aero into Receivership. All assets were swiftly disposed of, including the one-of-kind Allard, which was literally stolen for a mere 350 British pounds!!! Our family, with much-depleted belongings in tow, relocated, and alas, subsequent communications between Jack and Jack were reduced to mere telephone conversations.
And so the car just kind of fell off the London’s landscape. But despite all, my father, who lived to just shy of one-hundred, never let up on his life-long love affair with that Allard, and also never ceased, most-like because of his son’s Jag-affections, to prod and insist that ‘the car that the two Jacks built’, in both of their minds, was designed and produced well afore Jag’s XK 140!
Just recently, my wife Maureen, herself an owner-member of our Jag Club, whilst rummaging through some of my parent’s belongings, came across the original photos of the Allard. It was her idea that we, in memory of dad, and because the car represented such a proud episode in his life, leaf back through time’s pages, and endeavor to trace the route she had traveled from the 1956 sale to the present day, trusting to fate of course, that MAGBODY actually did indeed still exist!
Fortune smiled – but feebly; for many any a gap still exists in her history, and no pot of gold was to be found at her rainbow’s end! We did discover that around twenty years ago, the car received a new Allard P-Type body, and the revolutionary Mag-Alloy body-shell... the prime objective behind our search, once removed, had been discarded – but, we questioned, to what end? [Ed: The Magbody was placed onto a P chassis...see Thurston note below]
By chance, our continuing probe brought us into contact with Colin Warnes of the Allard Register. With his help, we were able to locate the MAGBODY’ shell. It is currently housed at Heritage Classics, a Middlesbrough (Teesside) car restoration company that, coincidentally, specializes in Jaguar renovations.
I mentioned earlier that fortune had smiled, but…!
I was able to make contact with John Collins, the founder and owner of Heritage Classics, and a super gentleman to boot. Understanding and appreciating the motives of our project, he immediately supplied me with a series of photographs, a few of which are shown, plus an update: As I’m sure you will understand, his information generated within Maureen, Colin, and myself, a rash of very mixed feelings.
Sadness and a sense of dismay: that such an example of artistic expression and a long-obsolete skill, has been reduced to, by all appearances, a barely clinging-together collection of metallic leaf flakes. The buffet of one mighty wind gust, one fears, would scatter all in a thousand different directions!
A muted joy: that what once was, still is – though barely!
As John explained, the owner prior to the current, operated a trailer-manufacturing company in Aberdeen. Requiring additional space for his business operations, MAGBODY was moved into a field, where it remained for fifteen years.
As John warned me, and is oh so plainly evident, the Mag Alloy material has deteriorated far beyond any possible repair. He has therefore been tasked by the current owner to replicate all of the panels in aluminum. As you can see, the task has already commenced, but at the time of my writing is in temporary abeyance. John has promised to keep me updated as the project again moves along.
In our correspondence, I provided John with background material on Essex Aero and my father’s deep involvement in MAGBODY’s origins, (as discussed in this piece), and he intends forwarding it on to the current owner. Eventually, and with hope, between the three of us, it may be possible to color in some of those afore-mentioned historical gaps.
For Maureen and I, there remain pages still to turn before the book on MAGBODY can be closed, but I hope that for fellow Jag-fans, the story so far is an interesting one.
For us ardent enthusiasts, an emphatic “ONE” is the obvious answer to the question I initially posed. But, just for a moment, blank off the signature Allard grill and…maybe, just maybe, albeit tongue in cheek, my old dad had a point…you be the judge!
A NOTE ON THE ESSEX AERO from the October 1965 AOC Newsletter
This 2 plus 2 coupe was built on an extended Allard J2X chassis by Essex Aero Ltd, of Gravesend Airport in Kent, for R.J. Cross, managing director of the company, in l952. During the war years the firm made fuel tanks and other parts for de Havilland Mosquitos.
Like the standard J2X the Aero's chassis, 2224, had a divided front axle with forward radius rods, deDion rear axle, coil springs, hydraulic dampers, 12-inch Lockheed brakes with Alfin drums and air scoops, and 16-inch wire wheels.
Claimed to be the first car body built entirely of magnesium alloy (DTD 118A) the 16-gauge panels, 12-gauge pillars and supports achieved a remarkable saving in weight. The bare shell, without front seats and floor, but with doors, grille and luggage locker floor weighed only 140 lbs. Taken at the point of balance, a foot or so back from the screen pillars, the body could be held aloft by one man. The 20-gallon petrol tank weighed 15 ½ lbs., compared with 39 ½ lbs. in steel, and the front bumper was a mere 8 1bs. Torsion boxes ran beneath the door openings and argon arc welding was used throughout.
Location on the chassis was by six high tensile steel bolts in Silentbloc rubber units which, in conjunction with plug-in electrical connections, allowed the body to be lifted off for any extended servicing to the running gear. A large bonnet gave access to the engine and radiator. The instrument panel, controls and front seats remained with the chassis when the body was lifted and so it was possible to test drive in stripped form. Even with full trim, spare wheel, radio and Clayton heater, the Aero was 6 lbs. lighter than the standard J2X with Chrysler engine.
The black and grey Aero was first driven by a 3.9-litre Mercury V8 fitted with Ardun ohv heads. The gearbox was a four-speed electric Cotal. Mr. A E Freezer who had the car painted red, experienced some trouble with the Cotal, and later came a Chevrolet V8 and GMC automatic transmission.
A Note From A Previous Owner, Gerry Auger…
Hello and Happy New Year Colin, hope the following is of interest. I purchased the car in the early 1970s from Mr. Laurie Ferrari, he owned a few cars at various time and was known to other AOC members. The body color was a mustard yellow and the car was running with a small block Chevy and automatic. I believe it originally had a Ford Pilot engine with a Cotal preselect gearbox. I remember a photo of the car at Brands Hatch in the`60s when it was painted bright red. I ran the car for a while then fitted a 365in3 Chrysler Firepower hemi linked to a 4-speed manual from an Alvis speed 25. The hemi tended to overheat in traffic even with a refurbed radiator and twin electric fans. In spite of that I did compete at Goodwood sprint meetings, a club race at Silverstone and the Valence Hill climb (twice) all without success. The hemi was powerful but VERY heavy and I soon learnt NOT to lift off in a corner as the car would swop ends!
I eventually removed the (very light) magnesium body stripped it and resprayed it in a Ford color, "diamond white", the chassis was stripped and painted silver and the interior was reupholstered with a cream-colored leather which had red piping. I refurbished the wooden dash and had the instruments overhauled as were the brakes which had Alfin drums with steel liners.
I then fitted a 331in3 Caddy, but a change of personal and financial circumstances meant that I was unable to continue running the car and after storing it for a few years I sold it to friend and club member John Peskett who removed the body and shortened the chassis to that of a standard J2X.
A note from current Chassis Owner, Jerry Thurston:
Factory records show a Cadillac unit being fitted after the Ardun head Ford (that was I think a 390 engine)
The Chassis did not receive a P type body when the Magbody was removed. Rather, the Magbody was put onto a P-type chassis, the idea being that rather than the body being discarded it would be preserved, sadly 14 years in a Scottish field put pay to it as you can see from the pictures! It's a pity that the shell had gone too far to be repaired and had to replicated be in Aluminium Alloy, obviously it was the sensible option though. However on a positive note it's wonderful that while the original body has 'gone' at least the design will survive
When the Magbody came off and the J2X chassis was revealed it was found that most of the standard under structure was still there, for instance the standard rear body hoop had merely been notched and laid back. This meant that it was easy to bring the chassis back to standard configuration base. Essentially by sorting the body hoops and reversing the lengthening process (merely cutting it on the additional welds and removing the extra box sections that had been added to lengthen it). The chassis was then given a 'standard' J2X body to bring it back to the configuration it would have been in had the chassis not been assigned to special purposes and continued through the build in the Allard Works .
PKJ 412 although now a 'standard' J2X, the car pays homage its history by carrying a Essex Aero Ltd. logo on her side.
We feel bad that we haven't been posting much lately...sorry about that. Truth is we've been working hard on our restoration project. 3149 is coming along pretty well, if we're lucky it'll be on the road this year. In addition to working on the car, we've also completed a heavy duty Allard hub conversion that utilizes Jaguar XK rear hub parts...more news to come.
Chassis 2123 was special ordered by Delvan Lee on 7th. June, 1951 through for Wood Motors, Detroit, MI. Wood Motors only imported one Allard, which was done as a special favor to Mr. Delvan Lee. Del had raced Allards previously at Sebring and Giants Despair so he knew what he wanted. He ordered the car specifically to be similar to Sydney’s 1950 Le Mans mount, including silver wire wheels, left hand spare mount, Lucas lamps with stone guards, and a special metallic blue paint job with bright red interior.
Delvan raced the car on the ice at Lake Orion and then Bridgehampton and Thomson speedway in 1952. In 1953 & 1954 the car was raced at Watkins Glen. In 1953, the car won the Giants Despair Hill Climb.
In 1954 Fred Lavell acquired the Allard and took it to the Bonneville, Utah speed events. He drove the car to a speed of 127 mph. After the 1954 event, the J2 body was removed and a Sorrell streamliner fiberglass body with a stock DeSoto V8 and TorqueFlight transmission were installed. It ran this setup in 1955 and 1956, attaining a top speed of 150.75 mph on gas. 2123 was featured in its Bonneville Sorrell configuration in the December 1957 issue of Motor Life magazine.
The car led an uneventful life after Bonneville until the current owner acquired the car over 25 years ago. The aluminum Allard body was not installed and a Chevrolet small block mated to a Moss 4-speed provided the drive. 2123 was restored by Tivvy Shenton who installed a 390 in3 Caddy engine, three Stromberg 97 carbs, a Muncie transmission, and Harden safety hubs. The car retains the Halibrand quick-change rear that was installed before the Bonneville runs. After restoration, 2123 was vintage raced at Pocono and Watkins Glen.
The seller is the 5th owner of 2123 and notes that the history of the car is fully documented. Included is a 3-ring binder history supplied by Barry Burrell, son of Frank who was the Cadillac engineer who went to Le Mans with Sydney Allard in 1953. The car is also pictured in Joel Finn’s book titled, “Bridgehampton” on page 99.
The J2 is located in Naples, Florida and is being offered for $275,000 OBO. Interested parties should email us at email@example.com.
Chassis 3161 was exported on May 2, 1952 to Shawnee Motors in Tokepa, KS. It was specially ordered with Chrysler engine modifications, a Pat Warren quick-change differential, Alfin drums oil temperature gauge, 6 wire wheels, and dual side mounts for the spare wheels (most J2X’s only had a single spare mount). The car was painted red with a blue interior, which has been tastefully changed to black. The car was then delivered to its original owner Warren Turner.
In 1954, the car was sidelined by an electrical fire. In 1975, Allard enthusiast and future Allard Register Historian Bob Lytle found the car. The J2X was purchased by Allard racer and collector Duncan Emmons, who restored the car and installed a Cadillac engine. In 1992, it was purchased by Seattle-based collector and racer Ken McBride, who campaigned it in vintage events. In 2002, the seller purchased the car from Mr. McBride, and later sent it to Donovan Motorcar Service in Lenox, Massachusetts, where a period-correct Chrysler Hemi was built and installed. The consignor has successfully campaigned the J2X at some of the most celebrated vintage racing events in the US.
Having been cared for by a succession of Allard aficionados, the condition of this J2X has been lovingly preserved and improved over the decades. It is presented with fascinating period correspondence, receipts, and logbooks. With a powerful Chrysler Hemi and lightweight aluminum bodywork, the J2X is a rare and powerful sports car that will be warmly welcomed at vintage races and touring events throughout the US and abroad.
This car is listed as Lot #30 at the upcoming Gooding Scottsdale auction. The estimate ranges from $350,000 to $450,000 which we believe is reasonable for this car. Click here to learn more.
A portion of this text was taken from the Goodings writeup.
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.
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.
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.