Monterey Car Week, 2016

Eight years have passed since vintage racing enthusiasts have been able to witness as many as six Allards gracing the field of the Monterey Historics/Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Five of the six Allards that made up this year’s field have been Laguna Seca veterans over the years – and the sixth was recently imported from England.

All 15 groups’ Practice & Qualifying sessions were on Friday, and the Group 1B (Sports Racing and GT Cars 1947-1955) race took place on Sunday. That morning’s practice session was delayed by heavy fog, which left the field stranded on the grid for almost an hour while the pace cars made reconnaissance laps before practice could commence.

This caused some minor disruption to the starting grid where Steve Schuler found himself bumped down from third to eleventh spot for the afternoon race. However once the green flag fell, Steve steadily worked his Cad-powered J2 up through the field to a third place finish. We still have vivid recollections of the first time we saw Steve’s J2 in 1990 – essentially a burned out and drilled out hulk sitting on a trailer in the Laguna Seca paddock. A true inspiration to folks who might feel their ‘basket case’ is too far gone to rebuild. On a side note, Steve and his J2 were featured prominently on a wall sized graphic inside the Rolex Drivers Lounge.

Eleventh place finisher in Group 1B was Jon LeCarner at the wheel of his Cad-powered K2 – the very same red K2 that Jim Degnan raced at Laguna Seca and other west coast venues for 20+ years. Jim, incidentally, was a part of Jon’s ‘pit crew’ during the previous week’s ‘Pre-reunion’. It was great to get together and swap stories about the ‘good old days’ with our old friend.

Vince Vento was at the wheel of his ex-Fred Warner Cad-powered J2X that he brought all the way from Florida. Vince acquired this historic Allard a few years ago, and has been having fun with it ever since; running the Colorado Grand, showing at Amelia Island and racing at Road America.

A familiar looking blue K2 caught our eye as we were walking through the paddock area on Friday. This provided an opportunity to meet John Mote, the car’s new owner, who explained that he bought his Buick-powered K2 out of its 19 years of hibernation. This was John’s ‘maiden voyage’ – both at Monterey, and in the field of vintage sports car racing. This K2’s previous owner, Paul James was a regular participant in the Monterey Historics back in the 1990’s. Allard’s west coast distributor, Alan Moss, originally purchased this K2 in New York in 1950, and drove it out to Los Angeles (making it one of the first Allard’s on the west coast).

Bernard Dervieux reports that he has sold his two-cylinder Deutsch-Bonnet, and is now focusing his Allard, which is at the opposite end of the vintage racing spectrum. It was good to see Bernard again exercising his silver Cad-powered J2 (also one of the first Allard’s on the west coast) after a seven-year hiatus.

Last year Alan Patterson shared news about his two recent acquisitions – one of the few quaint, three-wheeled Allard Clipper ‘mini cars’, and the ‘other’ 1958 Allard GT coupe. Many vintage racing fans in the US are familiar with Bob Girvin’s Chrysler-powered Allard GT, which incidentally, now resides in Europe. The ‘other’ GT coupe (right hand drive and powered with a Jaguar C-type engine) was built specifically for Sydney Allard who used it for his personal transport for several years. It went through subsequent owners until Alan Patterson imported it to Pennsylvania where he embarked on a major rebuild. This event at Laguna Seca was the car’s maiden voyage.

Roger Allard was also present in the vendor zone with a silver J2X MkII. Roger had a prime spot at the foot of the Dunlop bridge and reported very good interest in the car. We also had an opportunity to test drive the car on the back roads around Laguna Seca…a full report is coming soon.

Two Allard’s were represented in the auctions. First up was Bonhams, which was selling the Ford Cobra powered J2-2121. Unfortunately, the car failed to sell and is now being listed for $325,000 via Bonham’s. Next up was K2-3017 that was offered by RM-Sotheby’s. This immaculate and unique deDion equipped hemi-powered (factory modification) K2 was a steal at $137,000 (it was unfortunately the first car to cross the block).

All in all, the 2016 Monterey car week solidified its reputation as the premiere destination car gathering in the world. Nowhere else do this many historic, unique, and exotic cars gather in one place. If you’ve never been…you should go…and hopefully we’ll be giving you a great reason to come with your Allard in 2017.

For Sale: Allard K3-3191 @ Bonhams

-Chuck Warnes

I virtually stumbled across this ‘basket case’ in ’84. It was essentially a frame, front suspension and a very battered but complete body – with the original number plate for chassis 3191. A disassembled and incomplete 331 Hemi came along with the deal. A couple of the first Allard owners I met expressed the opinion that a K3 was not worth restoring.

            This feedback, coupled with the 1954 Road & Track road test on a K3 led me to go the direction of building it up as a ‘driver’, rather than a show car or racer. I chose to address a number of R&T criticisms by using a sturdier transmission (4 speed Muncie), adjustable bucket seating, and a 22 gallon fuel cell in lieu of the pair of 6 gallon fuel tanks. Over the next 22 years we were fortunate to come across an array of critical parts including the deDion tube with splined hubs, a full windshield and steering wheel/gear. We were able to obtain a newly machined set of front splined hubs from retired Allard engineer Dudley Hume.

            We still needed a differential. After considerable networking we found a source that re-machined a Ford ‘banjo’ housing to accommodate the innards of a Ford 8-inch (early Mustang) differential, with inboard Mustang drum brakes. The wiring harness was a mess, so a local hot rod shop re-wired our car with a basic Chevy negative ground wiring system. The suspended pedal cluster from a 70’s vintage Chevy Nova fit very well, and it incorporated a dual master cylinder.

            In the course of the project I found a complete and running 392 Hemi, which I decided to use instead of the 331. Jack Anderson and I made our ‘shake-down’ run up to Yosemite with our two K3’s in ’05, at which time the 392 chose to die right in front of Yosemite’s iconic Ahwahnee Hotel. This led to Jack’s offer to supervise my engine rebuild project over the next couple months. At that time we reduced the compression to allow it to run in regular gas.

            I roughly estimate that stripping the body netted 20+ pounds of body filler and at least  six paint layers/colors. We refabricated 15-20 square feet of body panels. Most of the hardware for the top was missing – and in light of mixed reports about the folding top and side windows on K3, we opted to build it up as a ‘barchetta’ with no top or side windows.

            The net result was a very pleasant and reliable car that is a real kick to drive. I estimate that we have driven the car about 5000-6000 miles (including the 2006 Allard Northwest Tour) since the rebuild. It was our intent to keep 3191 ‘forever’ – which we would have, had it not been for the J2X LeMans project.

            A deal was made in 2013 to trade the K3 for a very rough J2X Le Mans. The gentleman who we traded the car to was a long-time Allard enthusiast that was looking for a comfortable and reliable driver – and he wanted to find a good home for the Le Mans. Unfortunately the owner passed away this spring. His family decided to sell most of his collection, which led to 3191 appearing at this years’ Bonhams Auction.

            3191 was shipped on April 24, 1953 to British Motor Car Company in Oakland, CA. The car was originally painted silver-grey with a red interior and configured for a Chrysler Hemi. The car was originally sold to H. Longren of Oakland, but other than that, very little is known of the ownership history.

            The car is being offered at Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction on August 15 as Lot #4 with no reserve. The estimated value is $100,000 to $120,000. To learn more about the car, click here to visit the Bonhams web site.

Bonhams Auction Preview - Palm Beach 21D-5151 Red Ram

Bonhams Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia Auction, April 11, 2011
Hendon, RAF Museum, Lot 309

This unique Allard, Chassis 21D-5151 is the only Palm Beach originally fitted with the 4.0-litre Dodge 'Red Ram' V8 engine. It was sold new to Bernardo Wolfenson of Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 2, 1954, who apparently toured Europe with it prior to taking it to Argentine, before returning to the UK in the 1960s. The car comes with a copy of the original Allard order (ordered March 16, 1954) confirming its first owner and 'Home delivery' as it was despatched on the Dover-Boulogne ferry. This car was the prototype for what could have potentially been an exciting relationship between Allard and the Dodge motor company. Dodge was hoping to add a car to their lineup that could compete with the Chevrolet Corvette.

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Monterey Auction Preview

For 2009, no less than six Allards will cross the various auction blocks setup throughout Monterey this August. Of the six Allards, two are most notable in my opinion.

First is the Allard J2 at Mecum (their first Monterey auction). This is one of two Allards that was raced by Carroll Shelby and it should command big numbers, although it did not reach its reserve price at a previous Mecum auction.

The second car is the M Coupe at RM (shown above). This is a very unique car as only three M Coupes were made out of 500 produced. The car is very attractive and unique…hopefully it will bring more than the estimate.

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