Few people realize the significant roll the Allard Motor Company had in General Motors. Sure many Allards shipped to the US were fitted with Cadillac engines, but they were also fitted with Chrysler, Lincoln, GMC, and of course Ford power. In 1952, Ed Cole was Chief Engineer at Chevrolet where he was tasked with developing the legendary small block V8. He was also friends with US General "Butch" Griswold, who was in command of the Third Air Force in the UK. Butch was a regular at the Allard plant and was good friends with Godfry Imhof. At that that time it was next to impossible to get anything imported into the UK, let alone a hot rodded American V8. That's where the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," comes into play. Imhof wanted to upgrade his J2 and read about Fred Warner's J2X (pictured above) that had been equipped with a hot Cadillac engine that was serving as a Chevrolet test mule. So Imhof talked to Butch, and Butch talked to Cole. In the end, we don't know if Imhof ever got his engine, but if you read the letters below; you'll get to learn more about the "Warner" engine.
Click here to read the "Warner" letters (Acrobat pdf)
Special thanks to Barry Burrell for sharing these letters. Barry's dad Frank, was General Foreman of the Cadillac Experimental Garage. Frank also handled Fred Wackers Allard and was invited by Curtis LeMay to support the Allard team at the 1953 Le Mans.