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.

Carroll Shelby’s Allard to the Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival

-Augie Grasis

Allard and Elkhart Lake. Carroll Shelby and Elkhart Lake.  Carroll Shelby and the Allard. All linked together in sort of a “six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon” way.  Allards have been inextricably linked with Elkhart Lake as they dominated the front of the field in the early ‘50s when the races were held on the roads and streets surrounding Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  Burt Levy immortalized the Allard in his story The Last Open Road, which culminates at Elkhart Lake and features fictional ex-RAF-fighter-pilot-turned-racer Tommy Edwards wrestling his Allard in famous tracks across the country.  Real life drivers such as Fred Wacker truly did race Allards on the open roads surrounding Elkhart Lake.

Carroll Shelby started his career in an Allard.  As a matter of fact, he drove MY Cadillac powered Allard J2X (#3146) in 10 races in 1953 and won 9 of them.  In January 1954, Shelby raced the car #11 the 1000KM in Buenos Aires Argentina.  His 10th place performance (with co-driver Dale Duncan) landed him a ride with Aston Martin and the rest, including a LeMans win, is history.  And Shelby is a legend at Elkhart Lake too where he won the Road America 500 in 1957 in a Maserati and later dominated with his Shelby Cobras.

Needless to say, when George, Mike and I learned that Allard would be the featured marque at Road America for the Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival we were excited beyond words.  We wanted to make a good showing among our Allard brethren.  We were excited to show the racing world the coolness of one of the most successful combinations of sports car and hot rod.  And mostly we were excited to run the Carroll Shelby J2X at Road America—a true horsepower track.  We raced there in July 2014 at the Hawk and it was awesome—heart-stopping acceleration, diabolical Allard swing axle handling punctuated by non-stopping brakes!  A true 50’s hot rod sports car experience.

We put our learnings to work in our preparation.  A taller rear end would get us to our 5500 red-line at the end of the straight. Racing brake linings would stop us better for turn 5.  No need to work on the motor—sounded strong to us!

Besides the mechanical work to prepare for the race, we began corresponding with Andy Picariello, the Allard Reunion organizer and were surprised and disappointed that, though there were 18+ Allards entered for the weekend, we were the only ones thus far who planned to race.   Then, at the 11th hour, enter Vince Vento with his J2X.  Vince is a new owner of a beautiful black Cadillac powered J2X, and one of only two with a hydromatic transmission.

Vince’s car had been used as a prototype by Zora Duntov in designing the 1955 Corvette.  
Vince and his girlfriend Estelle, are brave, optimistic people.  Vince decided just 10 days before the event that he was going to race.  While running his business and traveling for other events Vince arranged new tires, new brakes and shipping from Florida to Wisconsin for a car he had never raced, over his cell phone.  Though I have often heard in my business life that “hope is not a strategy,” Vince’s optimism and hope were clearly the core of his plan!

Our caravan, including Dan & Brenda’s motor home, rolled into Road America Thursday night. After setting up camp for Team Allard and going through tech we headed for Siebkens for a couple of pre-race beers and the world’s #1 race bar.  Surprisingly we arrived at the track Friday on time and ready for the first of our two practice sessions.  Vince and Estelle found us, but couldn’t find their car, which was supposed to be shipped to a tire dealer to get racing tires mounted.  After several phone calls to the driver and tire guy and many rental car miles, the tires were finally mounted and Vince and his black beauty arrived at the track for the afternoon practice session.  The shakedown sessions for both J2X were successful but not without some challenges.  The hydromatic transmission on Vince’s car was slipping out of gear and not shifting properly.  While the #11 Shelby Allard set the fastest time for the group, we experienced a late session spin which we later learned was from a differential oil leak spraying oil on the right rear tire.

Friday night Road America hosted a dinner at the track for the competitors Friday with all 18 Allards on display.  Despite the cool temperature, the threat of rain, and the free beer inside, many of the racers from other classes spent an inordinate amount of time drooling over the fabulous gathering of Allards.  Just as the party wrapped up it started to rain; and rain it did, all night until morning.

Qualifying for our group was scheduled to be first on the track on Saturday morning.  While it had quit raining an hour before our group went out, the track was slick as snot and the group 1 drivers tiptoed around the turns.  In the meantime, Vince decided that, given the transmission issues, he would forego any preliminary sessions and save the car for the Allard/Jaguar feature race on Sunday.  In the end, the #11 had qualified second behind a well driven MG for the afternoon’s Sprint Race.

Saturday’s Sprint race turned out to be a real barn burner.  Our #11 Allard took the lead from the start followed closely by the 1933 Ford Indy car of Rex Barrett.  The two cars were never more than a couple of car lengths apart the entire race, but the Allard ultimately prevailed by a mere .5 seconds at the checkered flag.

There was no time to celebrate as the Elkhart Lake Road Course reenactment was immediately following our race.  The parade of 15+ Allards, many Jaguars and an assortment of other racing sports cars toured the 1951-52 road course around picturesque Elkhart Lake to the waves and applause of fans and locals on lawn chairs in the countryside.  The track finally weaves its way on to Main Street where hundreds of race fans are gathered to see, hear and smell the fabulous cars of the past.

I am sure the reenactment was a fun experience for most drivers, (it started that way for my bride Pami and me) but soon became stressful and worrisome as the temperature gauge pegged out as we approached Main Street.  A blown head gasket proved to be the end of our race weekend as we finished our “tour” with Pami at the wheel being pushed down Main Street by the crew and myself.

Undaunted, we found our place in the Gather on the Green Concours at the Osthoff Resort facing Elkhart Lake, with a stunning display of 18 Allards of all types.  After our long push down Main Street we decided to leave the #11 in “as raced” condition, adorned with the oil, radiator overflow and grime of the track.  We were placed next to Andy Picarillo and his famous J2.  Our cars had met before—at a West Texas Air station SCCA race!  Andy brought a photo (below) from 1953 of our cars on the front row, his driven by Dale Duncan and the #11 by Carroll Shelby.  The weather was fabulous, the company was interesting, and the cocktails were flowing—life was good, despite our broken car! 

Dale Duncan in #54 and Carroll Shelby in #11

Dale Duncan in #54 and Carroll Shelby in #11

Dana Mecum’s J2.  Carroll Shelby drove a couple of races in this car in 1951.

Dana Mecum’s J2.  Carroll Shelby drove a couple of races in this car in 1951.

Andy Picariello and his two brides!

Andy Picariello and his two brides!

Sunday dawned a fabulous day and it was all hands on deck in the Allard pit, to help Vince make a good showing in the Allard-Jaguar Feature Race.  The grid truly looked like a blast from the 1950’s as Vince was lined up next to the ex-Briggs Cunningham Lister Jaguar from the Collier Collection.  Vince drove an inspired race as he lowered his time on every lap. Estelle and I watched from turn 5 and were sure we could see Vince grinning through his full face helmet every time he hammered the big Cadillac motor up the hill!  As the checkered flag fell on this beautiful black J2X, it was mission accomplished and a strategy well played! 

Vince Vento in his gorgeous J2X

Vince Vento in his gorgeous J2X

As we packed up for Kansas City and bid farewell to our old friends and our new friends, I noted a little smile on George and Mike’s faces.  Was it the satisfaction of a good race weekend?  A successful gathering of so many cool cars? 

Or maybe it was the anticipation of tearing into that Cadillac motor when we arrived home! Until next year

The #11 Crew—Brenda & Dan Rapp, Mike Caraway, George Hull and Pami Grasis

The #11 Crew—Brenda & Dan Rapp, Mike Caraway, George Hull and Pami Grasis

Amelia 2015

We're pleased to report that the Allard marque was well represented at this year's Amelia Island Concours weekend. The Rosenblad's brought out both of their Allards to Saturdays "Car's & Coffee" event at the Golf Club at Amelia. This is a cool event that's open to the public and fills a big void in the weekend as people wait for the big event Sunday. The Rosenblads have two unique Allard's...the first is the DeDion/wire wheel K2; one only six or so built. Next up is their Consul engined Palm Beach - of 84 Palm Beach's built, only nine were equipped with the Consul 4-cylinder engine and only four are believed to exist today. Their car looks, in our opinion what Sydney envisioned the "Bridgehampton" would have looked like if his entry to the 1954 Le Mans approved.

Next up was Jim Taylor's recently acquired J2X 3048 that was just recently refreshed. We are big fans of the red on white color scheme which hearkens back to the good ol' days in the 50's where owner's/racer's had no problem with a garish color scheme to help set them and their car apart. 

Special thanks to Mike Matune for sharing these photos!

What you doing the last weekend in May?

 

You could say it's been a few years since we've hosted an Allard gathering, but we are happy to announce that we're partnering with Steve Earle and the SVRA to have an Allard gathering at the 2015 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival! Unfortunately there are aren't too many details at this time, but they'll be firmed up in the next few weeks (things have been a bit crazy at General Racing with the recent SVRA merger). What we can confirm are the dates...the gathering will take place on May 29-31 (the weekend after Memorial Day). The gathering won't be just for racers, we'll have a special car show, Allard paddock, dinners, wine tastings, and even a poker run! If you are interested in coming, please click here to email us. We hope you can make it!

Review: "Racing Through The Forest"

The premier showing of RACING THROUGH THE FOREST took place at Pebble Beach’s Spanish Bay resort as a part of the Monterey Peninsula’s 2014 ‘Car Week’.

The focus of this 80-minute film documentary is the Pebble Beach Road races that were run just a few miles from this pristine golf resort. This film gives a succinct portrayal of this historic venue – beginning with the inaugural 1950 running, through the events in 1956 that set the stage for the purpose-built Laguna Seca Raceway some 20 miles to the east.

By means of a well-paced balance of narration, historic race footage and interviews with key players, it effectively presents the Pebble Beach Road Races as a microcosm of the post WWII sports car racing scene in the US.  The Pebble Beach racecourse comprised of a series of hay bale-lined two lane streets and some unpaved roads winding through the towering Monterey pines of Del Monte Forest. Most of the cars in the 1950 race were an array of British imports and California home-built specials, and the drivers were all amateurs – some with strong track records, but many with little or no training or experience.

While the Pebble Beach course itself saw little development in the seven years of its operation, the story clearly reflects how both cars and drivers became more sophisticated – and faster – with each passing year. It all came to a head in 1956 when Ernie McAfee and his Ferrari went out of control on the downhill home stretch, became airborne and flew sideways into one of the aforementioned Monterey pines.

The timing of this production was most fitting, as it includes a blend of familiar, and also never-before-seen race footage – along with current day interviews with several race veterans reflecting on their experiences from 60+ years ago. They included Bill Pollack, winner of the prestigious Del Monte Trophy in ‘51 and ’52; and Derek Hill, son of Bill’s close friend Phil Hill, who won the main event in ’50, ’53 and ’55.

Both Bill and Derek, along with other Pebble Beach Race veterans, were present at this premier showing. They all did a great job of sharing their insight and experiences after the screening. The show’s poster is focused on Tom Carsten’s iconic black Allard J2 that was Bill Pollack’s primary mount, a car that gets considerable footage throughout the movie.

This is a very well done professional production, a ‘must see’ film for all vintage racing enthusiasts. The producers are currently concentrating on film festivals and other private screenings, with a showing at the Blackhawk Museum on Sept. 19, and the Peterson Museum in LA in October. After that they are preparing for Sundance Film Festival in January. We’ll share more when information about distribution comes available.

-Chuck Warnes

Early autumn in the high peaks of the Adirondacks is about as perfect a time as one can imagine for a wee motoring adventure.  Thus we accepted the invitation to take the J2 Allard north for the 7th annual Keene Mountain Hillclimb reunion in Keene, New York.  Keene is just a long stone's throw from Lake Placid.  In the early days of the event, which ran from 1950 to 1966, Allards and Allard personalities figured large.  More on that later.

We motored up on Friday the 19th in beautiful sunny weather.  While only late September, the high peaks were already sporting the first blush of autumn's colors.  It was lovely.

Meeting at Marcy Field in Keene, a tiny grass airstrip snuggled within the mountains, we had the warmest of greetings from the organizers, Mike and Ann Hartson, who could not have been more welcoming. They created this reunion seven years ago and are credited with keeping it and the memory of the hillclimb alive.

The Keene Hillclimbs were a fixture in the early days of postwar sports car competitions in the northeast of the USA but, perhaps oddly enough, they didn't actually begin with the SCCA. In those days around New York there were several clubs that vied for prominence.  The SCCA was one of them and it ultimately succeeded.  Another was the Motor Sports Club of America (MSCA).  Also founded and centered in New York, it is said that the Motor Sports Club may have been for folks who either weren't welcome in the SCCA or at least didn't feel welcome.  There's a fair bit of controversy there to this day so we'll leave that discussion alone for now.  Suffice to say that Keene was first a fixture of the Motor Sports Club.

By the early fifties the Motor Sports Club was well established with its signature event, the "Great American Mountain Rally."  It started in Manhattan or in Poughkeepsie, NY, and ran up into the Adirondacks or into the Green Mountains of Vermont.   One of the usual stops was the Mountain House at Keene and a hillclimb took place there.   Later the hillclimb became a standalone event.

Nowadays the hillclimb reunion is a gathering of enthusiasts with appropriate cars from the entire span of the event.   Some of the original drivers come as well, though their number is dwindling. There are three or four runs up the hill, but it is no longer a speed event. For one thing, one might meet traffic coming down.  That experience could prove interesting, but not too pleasant for the soccer mom motoring down the hill.  That being the case, we took out the rollover bar and popped on the head rest fairing.  Instead of full face Bell helmet we took along a period cork-lined leather one.  Nomex was forsaken in favor of an old leather flying jacket and a pair of old fashioned driving gloves.  The Allard and yrs trly looked the part.

The hill at Keene is one and one half miles long with eight twisting turns and a "thank-you-m'am" bridge.  The grade ranges from almost nil to as steep as 18 percent and rises 800 feet from the starting line to finish.  The bridge has since been replaced with something more driver friendly.  Otherwise, the course is as it was fifty years ago.

In the 1954 event Erwin Goldschmidt won handily in his 4.5 liter Ferrari.  He may have driven an Allard in an earlier event but hadn't won.

In 1952 the only Allards competing were a K2 driven by one John Bye of Montclair, New Jersey and a J2 driven by Fred Nemith of Troy, New York.  Nemith finished fifth overall.  As one would expect, there were a number of J2's and J2X's figuring in the results over the years, but, at Keene, the most successful Allard driver of them all was the late Bob Bucher in his ex-Goldschmidt JR, known as "Big Jake."  Big Jake was caddie powered and was likely the most successful of all of the JRs when they were new.  (Yes, a case can and should be made for the one Sidney used in the UK for hillclimbs and some circuit races.)  When Bucher drove it the paint was still what I believe it had been for Goldschmidt, dark red with a white and blue band around the grill opening. Near the end of its career it had a fairly low full width rollover bar and may have been repainted a brighter red.    Bucher turned in FTDs in '56, '57 and '58, setting new course records every year.  He was quite a driver.

By '66 the event was finished due to the town finally getting tired of the noise and the folks who lived along the road complaining that they couldn't get in and out of their driveways while it was going on.

The organizers would seem to have unlimited enthusiasm so the 8th reunion taking place next autumn must be considered a forgone conclusion.   We rather expect to be there.   Even more Allards would be a pleasant addition.

                                                                           jimdonick

Goodwood Revival, 2014

This year's event saw only one Allard racing...Bob Francis in his ex-Mille Miglia J2. Bob started out on the 10th row in 25th position. By the end of the 90 minute Freddie March Memorial Race, Bob and his co-driver worked their way up to 12th place. Congrats!

Click the below to watch a brief recap of the race along a with a graceful spin by Bob.

Allards Two Fastest Sports Cars on Mount Equinox Hillclimb 2014

Finishing 2nd and 3rd behind a single-seat Lotus 18 Formula Junior, the Whimsey Racing Team of Allard K2 and J2 proved the fastest two-seat sports cars on the slopes of the fabled Mount Equinox in 2014.  Run on the 9th and 10th of the August, the annual jewel in the crown of the VSCCA calendar had 39 entries this year ranging from E-Type Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati to MGs of all shapes up through the MGA, a pair of SAAB Quantums (highly strange, even for an Allard guy), God-knows-how-many Lotuses (Lotii?) several prewar specials, and a Hillman Minx of all things. 

Allards have always done pretty well at Equinox from the earliest days.   For a number of years, the event was chaired by Bob Girvin who always managed a spectacular climb in his Chrysler-powered Allard GT.  Back in '51 or '52 the large engine class was won by an Allard K2 and lately yrs trly has done pretty well in the K2, and then in the J2.

For 2014 the road surface was as bad as anyone had ever seen it.  Remember, this is a road in the mountains of Vermont with logging trucks rolling up and down it through the ice and snows of the winter.  For those of a certain age, it's not unlike the Ho Chi Minh Trail after the B-52s were done. Over the years I've suffered stress cracks to the body as well as broken gearboxes, engine mounts and such.  The road is about 5.3 miles long with over 3000 ft of elevation change.  There are eleven or more hairpins and countless turns and curves of lesser radius.  It's a tough challenge.

Even with that all taken into account, this weekend was special.  Mike Donick at the wheel of the K2 managed to break the magic five minute mark with a 4:59.18, and beat my best time (set a few years ago) in that car by nearly a second.   He was second overall behind a magnificently driven Lotus 18. The K2 has proven a great vintage racer for over thirty years.  A couple of seasons ago I beat a pretty serious Aston DB3S in a road race at Lime Rock Park

Yrs trly took a while to get dialed in this year (he's not getting any younger), but by end of weekend was third behind Mike and a second and a half ahead of the next car, a Lotus VII.  The next car was a pretty impressive E-Type.

This is being written a couple of days after the event and the two of us are still smiling.

                                                           jim donick

The "Bitch" wins at the Concours d'Elegance of Texas

Attached are pictures from our latest Concours. We came away with Best In Class and Best Sport Car. It was a large turnout. We drove in the 50 mile tour on Friday, May 2nd and with exception of trying to overheat it was enjoyable to get the Bitch out and driving again after the winter time of trailer storage. We had a great time, but had to tow the car back home - we blew the radiator about 10 miles past Brenham, Texas and had to have two tow trucks, one to haul the car and another to haul the trailer. Came back Monday to pick up our tow car, which had just been repaired and was test driven only to find out it still had problems and parts must be ordered from Houston so----we spent the rest of the day and night in Brenham and on Tuesday drove back to the farm. Needless to say it was quite an expensive trip. Take care----Bill

The 2014 Cavallino Classic

An update from Vince Vento, new owner of the ex-Fred Warner J2X, #2192.
---
...We took the J2X to Mar A Lago for day two of the Cavillino Classic in Palm Beach that is put on by the Ferrari People but open to all cars. We competed in the Historic race car class against two Ferrari
Testrasoas, a 1929 Aston Martin race car and two Bugattis. We won second place with one of the Testrosa's taking first. Not bad for our first time out!

Congrats Vince and we look forward to your future plans for 2192!

Allards at the 2013 Classic Motor Show

-Mel Herman

250 Classic Car Clubs and 1,600 Classic Cars filling 11 Halls brought 65,000 enthusiasts to the 2013 Classic Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham this year. The Allard Owners Club displayed 5 fantastic cars on stand 740 in Hall 12 and Mick Walsh, the editor of Classic and Sportscar magazine, said that ours was his favourite stand of the whole show.

There were two elements we wanted to feature on our stand in this year’s AOC display. The first was the 60th anniversary of Sydney leading the pack on the opening lap of the 1953 Le Mans in his JR which we extended to feature all the J series models which ran at Le Mans in period.

The second was the first outing for the Palm Beach Mk ll which has been painstakingly and wonderfully restored by Lloyd and Alan Allard at their company Allard Sportscars Ltd. in Gloucester.

Read More

2013 Santa Fe Concorso

 

Sante Fe was a good show even if we did not score, but we did get a "Sponsors Award" and a yellow ribbon. I had a reaction to a Shingles Vaccine shot and had to go to a doctor in Santa Fe for a shot in the behind and missed the 50 mile tour; however I let my two son-in-laws drive the Bitch. They had a great time and made the whole trip without any problems. Needless to say they were greatly impressed with the Bitch and her acceleration.
The "History Channel" interviewed me and will  make a film about the Bitch, and Allard in general, that will air some time next year. I will report the time if I can find out the exact date. I finally got around to painting the sign, "The Bitch", on the drivers side of the car. Made quite a stir and a good impression. We were surprised at the number of women that photographed the sign.
Hope everything is going well for you and yours---Bill Bauder

Monterey Car Week, 2013

For me, the 2013 Monterey ‘Car Week’ commenced on Thursday morning, when I took up my post to watch the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance participants turn into Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel. There, they take a two hour lunch break, which gives a few thousand ‘folks like us’ a rare chance to get up close and personal with about 200 of the PB Concours entrants.

The Tour presents the chance to witness a broad spectrum of the world’s most elegant and exotic vehicles running on the road. I truly respect the courage of the participants who are willing to expose their prize autos to the rigors of an 88 mile road trip – a mere three days before show time. We were somewhat surprised to see our friend, Martin Allard, at the wheel of his green K3 approaching the corner and get directed into the lineup on Ocean Avenue!

Martin and his family are Carmel residents, and that morning he decided to take a little run down Hwy 1 to watch the Tour. His plan was to turn around at Bixby Bridge and return to Carmel in time to take his wife out for brunch. However, he suddenly found himself as a part of the lineup. Those directing traffic presumed that he was a part of the Tour, and summarily directed him to Ocean Avenue. While Martin and his Allard were not official entrants, it is our opinion that his extremely original K3 could qualify for PB’s Postwar Preservation class.

Two very nice Allards sold Mecum Auctions – an L Type that went for $44K, and an immaculate K2 for $95K. David Rossiter has done considerable work on his ’51 K2 in the ten years that he has owned it, and it gained a fair amount of well deserved attention at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The upcoming Ironstone Concours d’Elegance is featuring David’s red K2 on the poster promoting the September 28 event in the California Gold Rush town of Murphys.

On Saturday morning a few Allard folks got together for an impromptu breakfast. They included David Rossiter, Alan & Celia Tiley, Colin & Chuck Warnes, Lindsey Parsons, Mark Moskowitz, Bernard Dervieux, and Martin Allard. Over the weekend we also had a chance to visit with Al & Ursula Reynolds, Bob Weiner, Ron Hale and Alan Patterson.

Alan’s J2X, which he has owned and raced for the past 60 years is currently in Pennsylvania. He shared his excitement about his two most recent acquisitions – one of the two Allard GT’s, and one of the two remaining three-wheeled Allard Clippers. He reports that they have just arrived at the dock in New Jersey, and he is looking forward to commencing their restorations.

2013 saw one Allard entrant at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion races. This was Steve Schuler’s green J2 – the third place overall, first-in-class finisher of the 1950 24 Hours of LeMans. Steve turned the Allard driving duties over to Graham Smith. Graham owns and races a J2 in Australia, and did much of the restoration on Steve’s J2 a few years ago. Graham started race 5B in 29th place, and in 8 laps worked his way up to a 5th place finish. Graham’s great drive in Sunday’s race also netted him the prestigious Rolex Award For Excellence in race group 5B.

RMMR’s closing celebration on Sunday includes the Rolex Awards of Excellence presentations (see above) to in

dividual drivers in each race category, and also the event’s ‘Spirit of Monterey’ honor to the driver who excelled in the spirit of the weekend.  This year’s ‘Spirit of Monterey’ award went to John Harden, who drove his 1963 Genie in Group 4A.  John’s first race was in 1953 when he competed in one of the Pebble Beach Road Races. At age 81, Harden has taken his racing helmet off for good, officially retiring after Saturday’s race, where he finished a very respectable eighth out of 33 cars running in his class. 

I first met John at Laguna Seca in 1984, when he was racing his Hilborn injected J2X, and I was a newly hatched Allard owner in search of information and moral support. John, as a part of Vintage Connections in Oklahoma City, has restored and serviced many an Allard over the years, and continues to be a valuable technical resource to Allard owners worldwide. We offer our congratulations to John for this well deserved honor.

 

Photo: Rolex, Stephan Cooper

The Monte Shelton CLASSIC NORTHWEST RALLY XXV

Kevin Blount and Bob Lucurell are both veterans of the Classic Northwest Rally. This four-day event (July 25 – 28, 2013), sponsored by Monte Shelton Jaguar, commences in Portland with registration and opening celebrations on Thursday evening. On Friday morning the 100 car field embarks on two days of rallying in and about the Cascade Mountain Range of the Pacific Northwest.

Each year the time and distance rally visits a particular resort where the participants end Friday’s and Saturday’s rallying with social activities, special refreshments, tire-kicking and banquet dinners. They conclude the event on Sunday morning with the Awards Brunch. This was the maiden voyage for Kevin’s recently finished Allard J2X. Kevin’s report is as follows:

----------

This was my friend Paul Brewer’s and my 7th time running this rally, and our first time in the Allard.  Last year we won the vintage class (also known as the "seat of the pants" class) in my Mercedes and got 4th overall – beating many serious rallyists who were using calculators, stopwatches, etc. We were as surprised as anyone, and chalked it up to dumb luck rather than great skill. Time will tell.  

This year we didn't do nearly as well, finishing mid-pack for a number of different reasons, all of which of course illustrate the 'dumb luck' comment above.

I took the J2X to a local speedometer shop to have the speedo and odo calibrated to be spot on, but I realized about 1/2 way through the first day that they were off by about 8%. As a result we were consistently early, earning us many unwanted penalty points. Also, the rally master caught us with a "trap" that earned us a significant penalty. We should have known better too, since they caught us with the exact same trap about 3 years ago.

The Allard was more difficult to TSD rally than my other cars for a number of reasons.  First off, it's LOUD. We had a set of voice-activated headphones so we could communicate. Except that Paul's mic went out right at the start line, so we spent the next two days yelling at each other.           

Secondly, having the odometer in front of the navigator really threw us off. Many navigators love to have it there, but over the years Paul and I have developed the routine where watching the odometer is the driver’s job. So its location over in front of Paul really messed us up.

Lastly, I found it tougher to keep a constant speed with the speedometer out of my line of sight – especially so with 400 HP and a 3.25 rear end. As a result, a few extra rpm translates to quite a bit of speed. Even a one or two MPH error can add significant points. Anyway, so much for my litany of excuses...

The Allard ran brilliantly, and was great fun. It was a crowd favorite and I got lots of favorable comments from folks (as an aside, the week earlier I showed the car at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance placing 3rd in class. On the Concours tour the day before, I was at the back of the pack and a bicyclist who was watching the cars go by said "I don't know what it is, but that's by far the coolest car that's come by!").  What I've found is that everyone loves the Allard.  Hot Rodders love it.  Muscle car guys love it.  The European sporty car crowd loves it. Ok, maybe one or two snooty CCCA Packard or Rolls Royce folks turned up their noses, but that seems to be the exception.  

One checkpoint worker said he listened to us for about 5 minutes as we roared through the switchbacks up the hill, and that it was a symphony.  We also got a fair number of comments about how uncomfortable we looked.  Neither Paul nor I are small guys, and in some of the photos it appears that we are almost comically stuffed in, and overflowing out of the car. We were happy to play the martyr so we didn't dispute the comments. However the car is more comfortable than it looks. While we were tired at the end of a full day of driving, we weren't completely used up either.

In two weeks my girlfriend and I are taking the J2X to central Oregon for the Oregon Festival of Cars. We'll put up to 1000 miles on it over about 3 days of very quick driving chasing Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, Porsche GT3 RS's, Audi R8's etc.  I'm really looking forward to a weekend of spirited Allard driving on great roads – weather permitting of course. With the Allard having no weather protection what-so-ever, I'll probably take a car with a top and windshield wipers if it looks like stormy weather.

So, in conclusion, the J2X is fantastic and I plan on keeping it and using it for a long time. While it's not the ideal TSD rally car for me, and I won't be taking it on the Monte Shelton Rally every year, I love driving the car and everyone loved having it there -- so much so that the Allard won "people's choice", the vote of all the rally participants for their favorite car on the rally!

Special thanks to Joe Cantrell for sharing his great photos!

Keels & Wheels, 2013

The Keels and Wheels show was great and it's probably the most laid back show around so it is very enjoyable. After 6 years going to Keels & Wheels the "Bitch" finally won a "Best of Class" trophy in the Vintage Race Car Class. Bob Weiner took the Silver Trophy. Finally met Roger Allard who had a J2X MKII at the show. I really enjoyed meeting him and seeing the car for the first time. Everyone had a great time but I was getting sick the second day of the show which really sapped my strength and I had to have help standing to accept the trophy. Don't like getting old but it beats the alternate.

The "Yellow Jacket" boats were the featured class for the boat part of the show. I had to go to their site and tell the Owners about the boat as I had designed several item for the Yellow Jacket boats back in the 1950s and had also done exploded drawings for every type boat they manufactured.

-Bill Bauder

Glenmoor Gathering - 2012

Allard was the featured marque for this year’s Gathering, with 19 Allards on display, and seven running in Saturday’s Glenmoor Passport Country Tour. Allards present included five J2’s, three J2X’s, three K1’s, three K2’s, a JR, an L-Type, a special coupe bodied M-Type, a Palm Beach Mk I and a Palm Beach Mk II.

The Gathering was spread over three days at the Glenmoor Country Club at Canton, Ohio, and included a mouth watering assortment of over 200 cars. Friday saw the first of the Allards arrive, which were displayed on the lawn in front of the clubhouse with Bruce McCaw’s J2 – winner at Watkins Glen at the hand of Erwin Goldschmidt – taking pride of the place. Also on display were Andy Picariello’s J2 and K2, Tom Kayuha’s K1, the K2 and PB Mk I of Axel & Hanko Rosenblad, Mike Fisher’s K1, Bill Wilmer’s J2X, Bill Boone’s J2X, Paul Schoonmaker’s J2X, Terrell Underwood’s L-Type, Tom Shelton’s J2 and Emil Loeffler’s J2.

Friday’s events included an interesting seminar on the trials and tribulations of the Studebaker Car Company, plus the start of the silent auction. A heavy rain shower caused a rush to fit tonneau covers. However it soon cleared and for the rest of the two days the weather was perfect.

The Glenmoor Passport Country Tour commenced at 8 AM on Saturday morning. A total of 40 cars took part in this truly unforgettable 90-mile tour through the rolling hills of northeast Ohio, over two lane country roads shared with Amish horse-drawn buggies. The seven Allards participating were Tom Kayuha and Mike Fisher in their K1’s, Axel & Hanko Rosenblad and Peter Bowman in their K2’s, Tom Sheldon driving his J2, Paul Schoonmaker in his J2X and Terrell Underwood piloting his L-Type. The first stop was at Carl Maxwell’s Sinclair Service Station in Berlin, with lunch being taken at the recently restored Canal Tavern in the quaint historic village of Zoar. The Tour included a special slalom section where drivers had to dodge Amish Buggy "debris."

Sunday was Concours day. Being the featured marque, the Allards were not a part of the main Concours. However all 19 Allards were subject to their owner’s voting for the best ‘road car’ and ‘competition car’. Judging was to be completed by 10:30 am, and before the awards were made the Allard exhibitors attended lunch on the patio. During that morning, Palm Beach Mk II owner Robert Hartson gave a demonstration of how to ride a ‘penny farthing bike’ – very impressive when ridden in a relatively small area!

Allard winners were:

-The J2X of Annabelle & Bill Wilmer – Best Racing Allard

-The M-Type couple of Dawn & Mike Fisher – Best Street Allard

The Gathering produced a fine field of Allards – thanks to all the hard work of Andy Picariello and Tom Kayuha.

Many thanks,
David Hooper

UPDATE from David (Oct 21): I would like to apologise to Bill Magavern for omitting to include not only him, but his K type from my report. His K type has cycle wings along with a representation of the original Allard grille, which can best be described as a work of art.

------------

Click here to view David Hooper's Concours Gallery

Click here to view Peter Bowman's Tour Gallery

Click here to view Peter Bowman's Concours Gallery

Car Week, 2012

Allards have been conspicuous by their absence at Laguna Seca for the past two years. So it was great to again see two veteran Allards from the Monterey Historic days running in the 2012 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RMMR). Steve Schuler brought his beautiful and famous J2 1578 – the 3rd place finisher of the 1950 Le Mans. He was joined in the Group 5B (1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars) by Jim Degnan’s friend, Jon Le Carner at the wheel of Jim’s red 1952 K2 3035. Both cars attracted a good amount of attention from vintage racing fans throughout the weekend.
Read More

Public Service Announcement

This is an Allard J2:

This is an Allard J2 on drugs:

This is Jim and Sheila Tiller's J2-1784, affectionately known as "The Old Fella". This car is fast, seriously fast. It nearly hit 200 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats and it regularly dominates the Brighton Speed Trials. Jim's run at Brighton this past weekend started off great with a practice run of 10.44s (@133 mph), but his first official timed run was hurt by mechanical issues.

Photo: www.ukpix.com