Monterey Car Week – 2018

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

Memories of Equinox and a Great 2018

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.

jimdonick

Hilton Head Concours – November 2 – 4, 2018

hhi-concour-motoring-festival-logo-cropped_3.jpeg

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 jerekrieg@gmail.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 afpic@comcast.net 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.

Car Week, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PART II, By Jere Krieg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you to all at Keeneland for an unforgettable weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jere will be there with his freshly restored M Type!

Geelong 2016

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

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

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

The Allard Hero's of the Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

Geelong Speed Trials Overview

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

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

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

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

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

Congrats to the AOC!

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

Monterey Car Week, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

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!

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!

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!)

Elkhart Lake via Tom Porter

The Road America Allard gathering and Jaguar event went very well. My brother Willy and I arrived Wednesday night before the event with the freshly restored E-jag , two TIGA Sports 2000’s, and the Allard J2X.  By 9:00 pm we had them all unloaded into a track garage space and we were ready to start the weekend. Thursday was a test day – (which we didn’t pay for) so we focused on preparing the TIGA’s for Friday tech inspection (tires, fuel, battery charging, and nut-n-bolt). 
Thursday night the weather brought heavy rain and I was VERY thankful for a water tight garage. The track reported that over 2 inches of rain fell overnight. Due to the threat of the severe weather we had a couple of nice cars “sleep over” in our garage: a 1957 Lister Jag (driven by Walt Hansgen to victory in the 57’ June Sprints and a gorgeous white 1953 Allard J2X - one of 2 steel wheel cars - both owned by fellow Milwaukeean and author Colin Comer. Needless to say the “sleep overs” were amazing…the next night we had a beautiful 120 Jag along with Jere Krieg’s Allard join us for the night. Friday was overcast and a bit cooler. Willy and I had good fun driving the TIGAS without much issue, other than we don’t get enough seat time and stay up way too late drinking and taking pictures of cars sleeping over! 
For the Allard event Saturday, cars were displayed at the Road America Center. We had around 20 Allards show up, which I was told was a great turnout; by far the most I’ve ever seen in one place! All the cars were gorgeous and the folks that own them couldn’t have been more pleasant to spend time with.  Of special note was Bob Girvin’s 1957 Allard GT Coupe (1 of 2 cars built) and the last car off the Allard production line. Saturday the weather turned spectacular, sunny and warm combined with the trees changing colors in the Kettle Moraine Area; it was amazing. 
That night we all met at the Ostoff Resort in downtown Elkhart Lake for a car show called “Gather On The Green” where the 20 Allards and approximately 100 other beautiful cars showed up including a 120m jag, Lister Jag, 300SL,166 Ferrari among others (that I can’t remember) were displayed. Many of the cars in attendance drove a lap of the original road course, which was a blast.   At the end of the night, after the cars were judged; we came home with “Best of Show – Allard Group” a distinguished honor for sure! 
Sunday morning we put the Eddie Jones #9’s on the car (as it was in circa 1952) and I drove the Allard at Road America for the Allard parade lap.  I wore Bill Cooper’s 1955 drivers’ suit and my father, Bill Porter’s helmet and we really looked the part. Having all 4 of Dad’s cars there (and all of them running!) was a special moment. Sunday afternoon and night we got them all home and put away, still running and strait which is always an accomplishment. Special thanks to Andy Picarrello, Deb Kornelli, VSCDA, and the great folks at Road America for making this a fantastic ELVF event!

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – September 18-20, 2015

Thanx to Andy Picariello & Tom Porter

Deb and Mike Korneli, organizers of the September, 2015 Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival (ELVF) contacted Andy in the fall of 2014 on behalf of the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association (VSCDA). They asked Andy if he could get some Allards to attend their annual event at Road America. If so, Allard along with Jaguar, would be the featured marques at this event. Andy got the word out, and succeeded in getting 17 Allards there – including his own burgundy Hemi-powered J2 and his blue Cad-powered K2. 

Events started that Friday, with an Allard display at the Road America Center, followed by the Driver’s Dinner at the venue. Saturday was a busy day, starting with the Road Course Re-enactment. This was a tour of the original road course, where the Road America event started 65 years ago. Several Allards attended this, along with the race cars and the display Jaguars. Following this, all the cars assembled on the lawn of the Osthoff Hotel. Andy Picariello’s J2 was placed beside Augie Grasis’ J2X. Both cars had competed against each other in 1953 – Augie’s being driven by Carroll Shelby, Andy’s by Dale Duncan. This was followed by an Allard dinner at Siebken’s Pub, arraigned again by Jere Krieg. Sunday was the race day. Allards were afforded a parade lap before the feature races.

Andy had hoped that 4-5 Allards would be racing, but in the end was glad that two J2X’s would be able to thrill the crowds with their on-track bravado. Augie Grasis was at the wheel of his Carroll Shelby veteran. He started in second spot on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Race, quickly took the lead, and had a great time dicing with a ’33 Ford Indy car to his first place finish. The Elkhart Lake Road Coarse reenactment tour was soon to follow – a great show for the spectators, but the slow stop & go driving caused heating problems for Augie’s Allard. The result – a blown head gasket that relegated his J2X to a static display role for the rest of the weekend.

Vince Vento decided to enter his J2X just ten days before the event. Through diligent efforts on the part of his team and a certain measure of luck, he was able to get his car set up and delivered in time. Vince was experiencing some shifting problems with his Hydramatic during practice, so he prudently decided to forgo Saturday’s Sprint in favor of Sunday’s Allard/Jaguar Feature Race. Throughout that event both Vince and the race fans had a wonderful time experiencing and witnessing the Allard’s adrenalin imbalance as he wrestled his beast to a respectable finish.

Tom Porter had a great time piloting his Allard J2X on the Allard Parade lap while wearing a 1955 driver’s suit and his late father’s vintage helmet. Bill Porter, incidentally, had owned and raced all four of the Porter family’s cars (a Jag E-Type, the J2X and two TIGA’s) at Elkhart Lake, so Tom and his brother Willy felt this occasion was especially nostalgic.  Tom’s weekend was topped off when his J2X won “Best of Show – Allard Group” for Saturday night’s Gathering on the Green.

The J2X field was filled out by Colin Comer and Barb Pinkenstein who brought their Allards over from the local Milwaukee area, along with Richard Hansen’s and Jim Netterstrom’s J2X’s. 

The J2 contingency was represented by Andy Picariello’s and Dana Mecum’s cars, along with Tony Cove’s ‘work in progress’ J2 that he trailered over from his home in Ontario. Many an Allard owner is intrigued by the opportunity to inspect an Allard project car that effectively displays so much of an Allard’s unique ‘innards’. Seeing these projects also gives encouragement as we work on our own projects. Keep up the good work, Tony!

Bob Girvin’s unique Hemi powered Allard GT (one of two Allard GT’s, the last production Allard, and the only GT set up for racing), and was honored with the well deserved People’s Choice Award. 

The rest of the Allard field was rounded out by the three pristine K2’s of David Gaunt, Peter Zimmerman and Andy Picariello, Tom Kayuha’s K1, Terrill Underwood’s L-Type, Jere Krieg’s Palm Beach and Wilson Ryder’s J2X Mk II. Harold Haase made the trip from his home in CT – but alas, without his original and well preserved J2X – which is now on the way to its new home in Belgium.

Per Andy, it was a memorable event, thanks to the hospitality shown to us by all involved. Deb Korneli did an outstanding job to assure that we had a good time. Jere and Julie Krieg served us well as our social secretaries. The long journey for most of us was well worthwhile.