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Very cool color racing footage from the 1954 Andrews AFB races. You'll see a number of Allards including Fred Wacker and his 8 Ball.
-Click here or on any of the photos to see more of the Porter J2X.
By Tom Porter
When we consider the famous Allard J2X’s, I would suspect that few would associate them with a small auto dealership in St Louis Park MN. But yet, in the spring of 1952, five of the 83 J2X’s produced were delivered to Walker Imported Motors. Three of them were (3057, 3058 and 3060) were all a part of the same shipment arriving on May 24, and were sent to Fond du Lac WI.
There they were turned over to Carl Kiekhaefer to be fitted with specially modified Chrysler 331 hemi engines. Kiekhaefer owned Mercury Marine, manufacturer of Mercury outboard boat motors. He participated in the 1952 and 1953 Carrera Panamericana where he entered hemi-equipped Chrysler Saratogas in ’52, and ran four Chrysler New Yorker Specials in the '53 race. He then moved on to NASCAR where he was the moving force behind the Chrysler 300 NASCAR success story of 1955.
J2X 3058’s Chrysler hemi engine was equipped with a Weiand manifold and twin Carter four-barrel carbs. The car was first sold to Eddie Jones of St. Paul MN. Eddie entered the car in Wisconsin’s Elkhart Lake Road Race in the fall of 1952, carrying the number 9. The car didn't finish the race as the gearbox broke during Saturday’s practice. Evidently the ‘48 Ford Pilot 3 speed box wasn't robust enough to handle the hemi’s torque. The car doesn't appear to have raced again.
My father, Bill Porter, was still in high school when he and my uncle Jim drove the family’s Jaguar XK120 from Milwaukee up to Elkhart Lake. The Jag was entered in the Memorial event, with Air Force pilot Donnie Warren at the wheel. The event went fairly well, but the Jag was out of brakes and filled with hay bale residue when Warren returned it to Bill and Jim. While they were watching the event, they happened to notice an Allard J2X parked next to the Pine Point Resort. They thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen, and they ended up taking lots of pictures of the car. The hook was set with my old man – someday he was going to own an Allard.
Fast forward to the Milwaukee Hot Rod Show at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in November 1969. My dad and his close friend, Mark Daniels (who at the time owned Maston Gregory’s C-Type Jag), went to the show and came across a cream and blue Allard J2X for sale. The owner, Richard Blaha gave the young men his contact information, and upon leaving the Hot Rod Show, Mark passed the information on to my mother. She subsequently bought the J2X as a surprise for my dad.
Shortly thereafter – while Bill Porter was at work – Mrs. Porter succumbed to the temptation to take the Allard for a ‘little spin’ around the block. She fired it up in the garage, shifted it into reverse, and gave it a little gas as she released the clutch. It immediately squirted out of the garage and proceeded 100 yards across an adjacent meadow before she was able to bring it to a halt. It took her a couple minutes to regain her composure and shift it into first. Releasing the clutch resulted in ‘déjà vu all over again’ before she reigned it to a halt just before crashing into the garage. At that point, she coerced her children to push the car back into its stall and swear to never breath a word of the event to their dad.
Dad, together with us kids, commenced doing some mechanical work on the car, and repainted the Allard in our garage. As we were going through the car, we found handwritten information that mentioned Eddie Jones as the original owner. That made it easy to trace back and find the car’s history, and correlate that information with my dad’s 1952 pictures from Elkhart Lake. We were thus able to verify that this was the #9 Allard, and those photos were very helpful with our restoration.
We have a great black and white picture of my mother and father on the cover of June Sprints Program from the early ‘70’s. I felt pretty cool as a kid being able to ride along with my dad as he and Mark Daniels stormed around Milwaukee’s northern suburbs in our Allard and Mark’s Jag C-Type.
My dad eventually parked the Allard when the keys in the stub axels started to fail. He planned to do a complete restoration, and stripped the car down to the frame, where it sat in the garage until 2002. The biggest reason he didn't restore the Allard sooner was that he had too many other cars and not enough space to properly undertake the project. And of course his law practice and family of six took priority.
During the ensuing years my dad raced the ex-Auto Delta 2 liter Trans Am championship-winning Alfa GTA of Horst Kwech in the C Sedan class from 1974 to 1978. He then bought a TIGA Sports 2000 2 liter car which we still have. He raced this car until 1983 when he bought another TIGA SC83 which I currently vintage race.
Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, and the family decided it was time to restore the Allard so that he could have a chance to drive it again. He got to drive the car around the Elkhart Lake road circuit on several occasions in 2005, and it won a reserve award from Road & Track magazine with the car during the racecar concours at the 2005 Kohler International Challenge.
The least I could do for my dad was to give him back this car after all the amazing experiences he had growing up around the cars, circuits and people of road racing. To my knowledge it is one of the most well preserved Allards around. It is completely original, except for the 42 gallon fuel cell inside the original tank. The car has the original hemi engine, Ford transmission and enclosed driveline - along with the original generator and tach drive. We drive the car weekly, and drive it up to Road America at Elkhart Lake 3-4 times per year for various vintage events,.
I now understand and appreciate the Allard Allure and the Grendel Fable!
Special thanks to Joe Oliver for sharing his photos of the Porter J2X. To see more of his work, please visit his web site at www.M-V-Photo.com.
We ere excited to see that Sydney's old J2X Le Mans, chassis 3055 has returned to Le Mans, some 62 years after it originally raced there. We're glad to see this car back on the road as it has been for sale for a number of years. Glad to see the new owner getting her out & about.
Sorry for the short notice, but we just found out that J2X 2138 will be sold this coming weekend at Coys at Ascot auction (April 26). J2X 2138 is unique in that it was the first J2X. On top of that, the car has received FIA HTP certification, which makes it eligible for just about any vintage event in the world. To learn more about the car, please visit the Coys web site by clicking here. The car is listed as Lot 125 and no estimate is noted. From what we know, the car is an exceptional find and should bring the new owner a lot of joy as well as being a great investment.
Congrats Vince and we look forward to your future plans for 2192!
From Lindsey Parsons...
Since you've all been good boys and girls this year, we're giving you an early Christmas present...four actually. Click each of the drawings below to download a pdf of the corresponding file. We hope you enjoy!
K3 Chassis & Body
Special thanks to Barry Burrell for sharing the J2 & J2X drawings and to Dudley Hume for the K3 drawing!
Kevin Blount and Bob Lucurell are both veterans of the Classic Northwest Rally. This four-day event (July 25 – 28, 2013), sponsored by Monte Shelton Jaguar, commences in Portland with registration and opening celebrations on Thursday evening. On Friday morning the 100 car field embarks on two days of rallying in and about the Cascade Mountain Range of the Pacific Northwest.
Each year the time and distance rally visits a particular resort where the participants end Friday’s and Saturday’s rallying with social activities, special refreshments, tire-kicking and banquet dinners. They conclude the event on Sunday morning with the Awards Brunch. This was the maiden voyage for Kevin’s recently finished Allard J2X. Kevin’s report is as follows:
This was my friend Paul Brewer’s and my 7th time running this rally, and our first time in the Allard. Last year we won the vintage class (also known as the "seat of the pants" class) in my Mercedes and got 4th overall – beating many serious rallyists who were using calculators, stopwatches, etc. We were as surprised as anyone, and chalked it up to dumb luck rather than great skill. Time will tell.
This year we didn't do nearly as well, finishing mid-pack for a number of different reasons, all of which of course illustrate the 'dumb luck' comment above.
I took the J2X to a local speedometer shop to have the speedo and odo calibrated to be spot on, but I realized about 1/2 way through the first day that they were off by about 8%. As a result we were consistently early, earning us many unwanted penalty points. Also, the rally master caught us with a "trap" that earned us a significant penalty. We should have known better too, since they caught us with the exact same trap about 3 years ago.
The Allard was more difficult to TSD rally than my other cars for a number of reasons. First off, it's LOUD. We had a set of voice-activated headphones so we could communicate. Except that Paul's mic went out right at the start line, so we spent the next two days yelling at each other.
Secondly, having the odometer in front of the navigator really threw us off. Many navigators love to have it there, but over the years Paul and I have developed the routine where watching the odometer is the driver’s job. So its location over in front of Paul really messed us up.
Lastly, I found it tougher to keep a constant speed with the speedometer out of my line of sight – especially so with 400 HP and a 3.25 rear end. As a result, a few extra rpm translates to quite a bit of speed. Even a one or two MPH error can add significant points. Anyway, so much for my litany of excuses...
The Allard ran brilliantly, and was great fun. It was a crowd favorite and I got lots of favorable comments from folks (as an aside, the week earlier I showed the car at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance placing 3rd in class. On the Concours tour the day before, I was at the back of the pack and a bicyclist who was watching the cars go by said "I don't know what it is, but that's by far the coolest car that's come by!"). What I've found is that everyone loves the Allard. Hot Rodders love it. Muscle car guys love it. The European sporty car crowd loves it. Ok, maybe one or two snooty CCCA Packard or Rolls Royce folks turned up their noses, but that seems to be the exception.
One checkpoint worker said he listened to us for about 5 minutes as we roared through the switchbacks up the hill, and that it was a symphony. We also got a fair number of comments about how uncomfortable we looked. Neither Paul nor I are small guys, and in some of the photos it appears that we are almost comically stuffed in, and overflowing out of the car. We were happy to play the martyr so we didn't dispute the comments. However the car is more comfortable than it looks. While we were tired at the end of a full day of driving, we weren't completely used up either.
In two weeks my girlfriend and I are taking the J2X to central Oregon for the Oregon Festival of Cars. We'll put up to 1000 miles on it over about 3 days of very quick driving chasing Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, Porsche GT3 RS's, Audi R8's etc. I'm really looking forward to a weekend of spirited Allard driving on great roads – weather permitting of course. With the Allard having no weather protection what-so-ever, I'll probably take a car with a top and windshield wipers if it looks like stormy weather.
So, in conclusion, the J2X is fantastic and I plan on keeping it and using it for a long time. While it's not the ideal TSD rally car for me, and I won't be taking it on the Monte Shelton Rally every year, I love driving the car and everyone loved having it there -- so much so that the Allard won "people's choice", the vote of all the rally participants for their favorite car on the rally!
Special thanks to Joe Cantrell for sharing his great photos!
Bernard Dervieux sent us the screen shot above from the 1953 movie, "Paris Model" starring Eva Gabor, Marilyn Maxwell, Paulette Goddard, and Tom Conway (Maharajah of Kim-Kepore) who we assume is driving the car. If you look closely, the car is a light colored J2X with two fuel fillers and disc wheels....we're guessing it's chassis 3144 that was also featured in "Written in the Wind." The car appears within the first twenty minutes of the movie for 2 to 3 minutes. Thanks Bernard!
The Keels and Wheels show was great and it's probably the most laid back show around so it is very enjoyable. After 6 years going to Keels & Wheels the "Bitch" finally won a "Best of Class" trophy in the Vintage Race Car Class. Bob Weiner took the Silver Trophy. Finally met Roger Allard who had a J2X MKII at the show. I really enjoyed meeting him and seeing the car for the first time. Everyone had a great time but I was getting sick the second day of the show which really sapped my strength and I had to have help standing to accept the trophy. Don't like getting old but it beats the alternate.
The "Yellow Jacket" boats were the featured class for the boat part of the show. I had to go to their site and tell the Owners about the boat as I had designed several item for the Yellow Jacket boats back in the 1950s and had also done exploded drawings for every type boat they manufactured.
This is another one of our favorite Allard covers. It features Editor John Bond (doing his best Fidel Castro impression) at the wheel of a J2X in the dirt. Additionally, this issue features a 2-page spread on the Allard company. As usual, you can find these issues on Ebay for $5-10.
Correction: The driver was actually Richard Losee. A correction that R&T published 15 years later!
We received a nice thank you note the other day from an Allard enthusiast with the image above on the front. We thought it was pretty cool so we decided the share it with you. The card was printed in 1994 by the Helmet Goggle and Company in PA....no word on the artist though. The caption on the back reads, "1950 Allard J2, This British sports car, powered by either Ford, Chrylser, Cadillac V-8 engines, gained much success throughout Europe and the United States." It looks a bit more like a J2X to us though.
Barrett-Jackson will be auctioning off J2X-3076 on Saturday January 19. This particular car was exported to Shawnee Motor Co, in Kansas City on September 30, 1952. The car was red with red interior but restored with tan interior. The car was originally configured for DeSoto-Chrysler power, but the engine was later changed to a 365cid Cadillac V8. Fuel is delivered by an ultra rare Horne four carburetor intake manifold with four twin choke Stromberg carbs. 3076 was recently restored/refreshed by Mike Fennel just before he passed away. This J2X is being offered as lot 5016.1 with no reserve...what do you think it will go for?
Allard was the featured marque for this year’s Gathering, with 19 Allards on display, and seven running in Saturday’s Glenmoor Passport Country Tour. Allards present included five J2’s, three J2X’s, three K1’s, three K2’s, a JR, an L-Type, a special coupe bodied M-Type, a Palm Beach Mk I and a Palm Beach Mk II.
The Gathering was spread over three days at the Glenmoor Country Club at Canton, Ohio, and included a mouth watering assortment of over 200 cars. Friday saw the first of the Allards arrive, which were displayed on the lawn in front of the clubhouse with Bruce McCaw’s J2 – winner at Watkins Glen at the hand of Erwin Goldschmidt – taking pride of the place. Also on display were Andy Picariello’s J2 and K2, Tom Kayuha’s K1, the K2 and PB Mk I of Axel & Hanko Rosenblad, Mike Fisher’s K1, Bill Wilmer’s J2X, Bill Boone’s J2X, Paul Schoonmaker’s J2X, Terrell Underwood’s L-Type, Tom Shelton’s J2 and Emil Loeffler’s J2.
Friday’s events included an interesting seminar on the trials and tribulations of the Studebaker Car Company, plus the start of the silent auction. A heavy rain shower caused a rush to fit tonneau covers. However it soon cleared and for the rest of the two days the weather was perfect.
The Glenmoor Passport Country Tour commenced at 8 AM on Saturday morning. A total of 40 cars took part in this truly unforgettable 90-mile tour through the rolling hills of northeast Ohio, over two lane country roads shared with Amish horse-drawn buggies. The seven Allards participating were Tom Kayuha and Mike Fisher in their K1’s, Axel & Hanko Rosenblad and Peter Bowman in their K2’s, Tom Sheldon driving his J2, Paul Schoonmaker in his J2X and Terrell Underwood piloting his L-Type. The first stop was at Carl Maxwell’s Sinclair Service Station in Berlin, with lunch being taken at the recently restored Canal Tavern in the quaint historic village of Zoar. The Tour included a special slalom section where drivers had to dodge Amish Buggy "debris."
Sunday was Concours day. Being the featured marque, the Allards were not a part of the main Concours. However all 19 Allards were subject to their owner’s voting for the best ‘road car’ and ‘competition car’. Judging was to be completed by 10:30 am, and before the awards were made the Allard exhibitors attended lunch on the patio. During that morning, Palm Beach Mk II owner Robert Hartson gave a demonstration of how to ride a ‘penny farthing bike’ – very impressive when ridden in a relatively small area!
Allard winners were:
-The J2X of Annabelle & Bill Wilmer – Best Racing Allard
-The M-Type couple of Dawn & Mike Fisher – Best Street Allard
The Gathering produced a fine field of Allards – thanks to all the hard work of Andy Picariello and Tom Kayuha.
UPDATE from David (Oct 21): I would like to apologise to Bill Magavern for omitting to include not only him, but his K type from my report. His K type has cycle wings along with a representation of the original Allard grille, which can best be described as a work of art.
Click here to view David Hooper's Concours Gallery
Click here to view Peter Bowman's Tour Gallery
Click here to view Peter Bowman's Concours Gallery
Seeing that video the other day of that poor guy attempting to drive Bob Lylte's J2X inspired me to dig through my Monterey archives. I put together the footage you see here of Bob getting ready to practice at Monterey in 2006...and of Bob's car just before it was auctioned at RM. Seeing this footage was bittersweet and brought back a lot of fond memories. In the next week I'll post a gallery that shows off the guts of J2X 3162...I doubt you've ever seen a J2X like it. Cheers!
Just found this video on YouTube of the late Bob Lytle's J2X being prepped for auction at RM a few years ago. Bob's J2X was equipped with a Buick Nailhead and a Muncie 4-speed...As you can see in the video, the driver couldn't quite get the hang of the 4-speed!
[Jim Degnan has owned and raced his Cad-powered Allard K2 for the past 25+ years. He recently forwarded this article from the June 1985 Allard Owners Club newsletter. Roger includes a postscript at the end of this intriguing article.]
By Roger Murray-Evans
It’s never an easy task rebuilding old engines, especially when they’ve been obsolete for 30 years with the added complication of being of American origin. However in my humble opinion, an Allard should have a Cadillac engine, and as Jackie’s K-Type developed incontinence this winter, in its extremely loose flathead, and I had a similarly afflicted Caddy 331 lying around it seemed madness not to join the twain together, especially as the total rebuild of either engine would cost pretty much the same. That’s my excuse anyway!