If you find a story below interesting, please click the "Like" button...Thank You!
From the archives...a few old Christmas card sketches from Richard Saunders to get you in the Christmas spirit!
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 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!
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 being offered for $495,000 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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.
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.”
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).
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 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.
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 email@example.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!
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?
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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!
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?)
Hagerty Insurance recently posted this cool time lapse video of a Ford Flathead rebuild. Enjoy!
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!)
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!
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.