The following is a imaginative look at what an Allard might be like today. This concept is brought to us by none other than famed Allard racer Bill Pollack (seen above winning the 1950 Pebble Beach Road Race). You can imagine the impact that racing these beasts has had on Mr. Pollack...where he still imagines them tearing up the tracks and turning the automotive world inside out. Thank you Bill!
I have often wondered what prompted Sydney Allard, to build a sports car. In the late 30s and 40s he was involved in a sport known as “Trials”. It was very popular in Great Britain. The trials consisted of 2 men, in a small car trying to negotiate deep mud. Often, the participants would find themselves heavily mired in an endless sea of the sticky stuff. Mostly, the cars were Austin 7’s or the like, with tiny engines, low power and little to say for themselves. The enthusiasts, would strip the fenders, lights, windshields etc. to lighten the cars as much as possible. I am sure, that Allard quickly noticed that those cars with the somewhat larger engines probably did better.
So, if he were alive today, I think he would probably have some sort of research operation running in Mojave, California. My reason for this is just 2 words… Bert Rutan. Rutan designed some aircraft that went beyond belief and astounded the entire world. He devised some new type of material called composites that were light and very strong. This is precisely the kind of material that would’ve inspired our friend, Mr. Allard.
I can see a car that would be made up of composites and complete Monocoque construction. The Allard car would also be totally powered by electric motors. One of the things that has intrigued me from the very beginning of the electric car, the battery container should be part of the cars construction. I would like to believe that Allard and Rutan together would design a frame out of some incredible material. The entire car could be the battery. Also, the fact that in most cases with electric cars, the generator was a big heavy gas motor. I would like to see a very small high-speed turbine that would generate enormous amounts of electric energy and be very very light..
Allard would also be interested in some really different type of suspension and I do believe that the magnetic suspension of H wheel would probably be the kind of device that would be the most efficient in the future. This car would be a four-wheel-drive electric vehicle and the wheels themselves could be the motors.
Something else that is intrigued me is four-wheel steering. I know that companies have experimented with it and it is used by earthmovers and other large industrial vehicles but what about a racecar? The electric Allard in motion would have a computer system on board that would calculate exactly how much rear wheel and front wheel steering would have to be used to get around any given corner. This type of control would mean that the driver would simply aim for the apex and the throttle would be us also controlled by the computer and would calculate the absolute max speed with the four-wheel steering to get through the apex of the corner and pleat the curve without leaving the road. Yes, I have probably reduced the activity of the driver to a bare minimum.
The final item on the menu would be the driver's helmet. I am sure that Mr. Allard would use the same kind of a system that fighter pilots have today. What this means is that, where they look is where they shoot. The driver's helmet, would allow the driver to visually see what was going on in the turn and avoid bumps and oil slicks and things that might prevent a maximum speed through the turn. Information would be automatically transferred to the computer which would make adjustments to the amount of power set in motion, the proper angles for the four-wheel steering , the amount of slippage and so forth. The net result would be that the driver would be capable with these various computer assists, to achieve the maximum speed through a given turn.
Something that only Juan Fangio was ever able to do.
Alas, Mr. Allard is no longer with us, but the memories he has sewn, will be with us for a very long time.