K2 #1741 was shipped from the London docks on October 13, 1950 and was shipped to the USA without engine. Upon arrival, it was fitted with the preferred Cadillac 331 engine, with a single – bbl Carter carburetor, and 3-speed Ford transmission. Most of the early history of the car is unknown, other than it spent most of its early life on the East Coast and the Midwest, ranging in location from North Carolina to Indiana. In the early 1980’s it was even sold at one of the Barrett-Jackson auctions. After bouncing around between owners, it eventually ended up with Larry Young in Oklahoma, from whom I purchased the car in 2008, from a listing on the Allard Owners Yahoo group.
I had been looking for an Allard for a while, and each one that piqued my interest seemed to be snapped up before I could seriously investigate it, so when I saw Larry’s posting, I immediately contacted him and we concluded the deal within 24 hours. Now buying any car sight unseen is a risk, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. A week or two later an enclosed transport showed up back in Virginia, and ‘my’ K2 was unloaded, where I finally got a chance to see it in person – and I immediately fell in love!
1741 was no trailer queen, and that is what immediately drew me to the car. It very well may be the most original K2 in the US, as all others I have seen or looked at have either been restored, or have been basket cases that need restoration just to use. Not so with 1741. Other than a mid-life re-spray in its original silver-grey at some point, the car was (and is) almost entirely original, including the original red interior. It proudly shows off its bumps and bruises, scratches, minor dents, and cracking paint in places, all attesting to its originality and use throughout the years. It was original down to even some parts that shouldn’t have been (like the rubber ball bushings on the front and rear suspension), but served as a poster-child for what the car was like from the factory.
When I bought the car, I knew it was equipped with a De dion rear end from the factory, and only since owning it have I learned how truly rare this option is on a K2. It is one of only a very few so equipped, and the only one I personally am aware of – this due to the fact that the frame, which has a different configuration that a live rear axle car, had to be created on a separate jig from the normal cars, and thus was infrequently specified. The car still retains its original Cadillac engine, interior, body panels and woodwork, etc. Some maintenance items I have started replacing simply because they are needed (like the rubber balls previously mentioned, which greatly improved the handling of the car and cured some of its ‘wanderlust’). As long as the car is in my possession it will remain as original as possible, as it has never been raced, wrecked, restored or modified, and I just love it that way. The car is driven often (OK, not so often this winter with the amount of snow we’ve had), and will be joining other Allards at Watkins Glen this coming September. It has recently been featured in the book ‘Anglo American Cars 1930-1970’ by Norm Mort.