From the Chevrolet Files...

The report above is a vehicle test report from Zora Arkus Duntov regarding the Cadillac-Allard #952. Test car!? Allard!? Chevrolet!? It's no secret that the major car companies bought their competitors cars to test and dissect, but we think it's pretty cool that Chevrolet had an Allard as a test car. A few points of reference...this report was dated August 19, 1953 and the first Corvettes started rolling off the production line on June 30th of the same year. The first Corvette could hardly be called a true sports car, it was basically an underpowered sedan chassis wrapped in a sleek body. With the lack of comparable production sports cars from the competition, it makes sense that the bow tie would would want learn what made an Allard tick so they could make the Corvette better.

So what car did Chevrolet acquire? We know they had access to Fred Warner's J2X, but that was an outright race car. After checking the database, we found that Chevrolet purchased K3 3171 from Vauxhall Motors USA (Vauxhaul Motors was acquired by GM in 1925). It makes sense that they would use the K3 as a test mule...convertable body, V8 engine, sporting suspension. Although we don't learn much about the car from the report, we do learn that with a fairly stock automatic transmission, the car could hit 0-60 in 8 seconds flat...not bad! It also sounds like they have some plans to tune the car to see what else it could do.

Our records also indicate that Fred Warner ended up with the car and that it was raced. In case your curious, the car was light gray with a red interior and black top - and yes, the car still exists.

-Click here or the image above to download the pdf. Special thanks to Barry Burrell for sharing this document!

The Duntov Memo

We are very pleased to present to you this exclusive document...The 1953 Le Mans Duntov Memo. To our knowledge it has never been seen in public. Back in January, we shared a map of the Le Mans course with Zora Akus Duntov's notes on the speed zones around the track and that it was a part of a larger report that helped set the performance transformation of the Corvette. You may also recall that Zora was almost fired by GM for racing at Le Mans for the Allard team...saved only by the grace of Ed Cole.

The report is fascinating in that he provides an analysis of the competition, along with a scathing review of the Allard JR's handling...while remaining steadfast that the Allard team had the best engines in the field (which happened to be Cadillac V8's...was Zora kissing up to the GM brass?).

Click here or the image below to view the complete memo. Special thanks to Allard owner Steve Schuler and his mole within GM for sharing this important memo.

July 23 Demo Day @ Simeone Museum

On Saturday July 23, The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia will feature their Allard J2 #1975 in one of their monthly Demo Days. The theme of the Demo Day is "American Mega Motor Racers" and will feature the Allard, and the museum's '53 Cunningham C4R, '63 Corvette Grand Sport, and '66 Ford GT40 MkII. If you live in the Northeast, you should make plans to check out the demonstration and the rest of Dr. Simeone's amazing collection. The Museum features a large parking lot, which allows them to put on a good show. You can click here to learn more about the event and museum.

Click hereto read about our visit to the Simeone Foundation Museum last year and view our photo gallery.