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