Enjoy a 5 minute blast up Mt Equinox in a 1951 Allard K2 during the 2019 running of the hill climb. Thanks for the great video Mike Donick!
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Four Allards made up a part of the thirty-car race group 1B for 1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars. The Allards were up against a strong group of California Specials, Jaguars, Mercedes, MG’s, Triumphs, Porsches, and a few flyweight H-Mod specials.
Sunday’s morning race was action packed. As the green flag waived, John Bowe rocketed past the third and second place cars and was challenging Rob Manson’s GMC Tatum Special for the lead by the first corner! After a few laps of trying to get past the Tatum, Bowe dropped back a few places with fading brakes. John Mote in his Buick K2 held his own starting and finishing 11th. Jon LeCarner had a good race in his K2 moving from 21st to 16th. Bernard Dervieux put on a show in J2-1513 (one of the first J2’s built) demonstrating the finer points of Sydney’s divided axle front suspension finishing 26th.
Sunday’s afternoon race was another thriller. While two of the race’s nine laps were run under a full-course yellow, drivers and fans were treated to a tight contest among the five leaders – the Allard J2X against four California specials; the Parkinson Jaguar Special, a Chevy-powered Austin Healey, a Kurtis Dodge, and the Streets Manning Special.
John Bowe of Melbourne Australia was first to take the checkered flag at the wheel of Joe Calleja’s Allard J2X-3146. This is the very same ex-Carroll Shelby Allard that has been a familiar sight at Laguna Seca for the past 20+ years at the hands of Peter Booth and Augie Grassis. Joe has been working diligently to bring this Allard into FIA specs, with plans to race it in Europe and Australia in 2020. Driver John Bowe has some previous racing history in Australia having won the infamous Bathurst 1000 twice; needless to say, Shelby’s old J2X was in good hands. The J2X had a close race with the Parkinson Jaguar, but in the end the John Bowe made it to the checkered flag first - another Allard victory!
John LeCarner finished in 15th spot with his Cad-powered K2, and Bernard Dervieux’s J2 crossed the finish line in 23rd place. John Mote ran strong until lap 5, when his oil pressure gauge suggested that he prudently ‘call it a day’. All three cars will be undergoing refurbishment over the next year and we hope to see them back on track in 2020.
The Allards were pitted among a wide array of cars of similar vintage. Foremost in this group were a number of California-engineered built by names like Hagemann, Tatum, Baldwin, and Kurtis – cars that were not only fast, but quite able to hold their own on road courses against the sophisticated cars from post-war Europe. One could argue that many of the California Specials owe their existence to the production hot rods built by Allard.
The cars of Group 1B have adopted the moniker, Del Monte Trophy Race Group – cars that either raced in the Pebble Beach Road Races in the early ‘50’s, or would have been eligible to have raced there.
The entrance to this paddock area is fittingly decorated with rows of snow fencing and hay bales which were deemed to serve as protection for spectators back in the day, along with several historic black and white race photos from the early ‘50’s. This provided an ideal setting for a gathering after Friday afternoon’s practice, with all 38 cars from Group 1B on display. A more casual affair was held Sunday afternoon where the Del Monte Trophy was awarded to Tim Barnes (over 2L) and his 1951 Jaguar XK120 and to Kaiden Marouf (under 2L) and his 1951 supercharged MG TD.
Monterey’s ‘Car Week’ formally starts with Thursday’s Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, when more than a hundred rare and elegant competitors in Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance embark on a 70-mile tour on public roads around the Monterey area. This provides a unique opportunity for the general public to witness these show cars mix with Highway 1 traffic down to Big Sur, before returning to gather for along Carmel’s Ocean Avenue for lunch.
We again welcomed the opportunity to join Martin Allard in his biscuit-colored Allard K3 as we enjoyed the show cars along Highway 1. A part of this included a special surprise to see Ted Springstead at the wheel of his green Allard K3. Ted was one of the thirty Concours entrants to participate in the ten-day, 1500-mile Pebble Beach Motoring Classic run from Kirkland Washington to Pebble Beach. Aside from a minor fender-bender along the way, it was a great and memorable trip.
Three Allards were ‘on the block’ at two of the six (yes – 6!) auctions underway during Monterey’s Car Week. The Carroll Shelby J2 from his 1952 racing season was for sale at Mecum’s, and two Allards were consigned to Goodings. One was the red, Chrysler-powered J2X LeMans veteran of the Pebble Beach and Golden Gate races in the early ‘50’s, and the other was a very nice black K2. Neither the J2 nor the J2X LM made their reserve, while K2 was sold for a very reasonable $84,000.
We’re looking forward to 2020 which will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Road Races. We hope to see you there!
By Colin Warnes
The Monterey Car Week is almost upon us. Last time I checked, there was something like 54 auctions planned for the weekend. I also just read an article online about the 20 most expensive cars expected to sell at Monterey this year, none were estimated at less than $3,000,000. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that none of them were Allards. That being said, there are three Allard’s slated to cross the blocks this year; here’s a brief look at each.
Mecum: Allard J2 #2179, Lot F121
This J2 was exported on October 17, 1951 to Custom Automotive in Dallas, Texas and was sold to Charles Brown of Louisiana. It was ordered with Cadillac engine modifications and was painted black with a red interior. 2179 was the last J2 to leave the Allard factory.
Mr. Brown wanted his car to go racing so he asked an up and coming young driver by the name of Carroll Shelby to drive for him. From what I could find, Shelby is known to have raced it at least twice …running at the Pottsboro hill climb and the SCCA National at Turner AFB. By late 1952, the J2 was struggling to remain competitive, so Shelby moved on to drive Roy Cherryholms J2X-3146 (which will be racing that same weekend). [Ed: As an Allard enthusiast, you are required to know that Carroll Shelby’s legendary Cobra was inspired by his time racing Allards]
From the Mecum catalog…
“Charles Brown sold the car to Wilfred Gray from Indianapolis. During the mid-‘50s, he raced the car in SCCA events at such venues as Elkhart Lake and the remarkable Mount Equinox. What makes Mount Equinox so spectacular is its 3,000-foot elevation change in a span of just 5 miles; it is perhaps the steepest hill climb in North America. The next owner, Dan Saunders, raced the Allard at Wilmot Hills in southern Wisconsin, Wilmot Hills doubling as a ski hill in the winter and serving as a race track while the snow was gone.
In 1972, Chris Leydon acquired J2179. It was about this time that the older race cars, long viewed as uncompetitive, started to be considered part of automotive history. This warranted recommissioning. In the case of J2179, this included period colors of a red exterior and black interior, a full windscreen and wire wheels.
The winning Sir Stirling Moss and J2179 were featured together in a program titled, “The Great Classic Cars.” From there, the car continued to be enjoyed and treasured over the years. The next big event was the 1997 Monterey Historic races, the significance of that event being that Carroll Shelby was the honoree on which the weekend’s festivities were centered. The idea of Shelby being reunited with the car that launched his career is remarkable for any enthusiast of historic racers. In 2005, J2179 was part of the “Gotta Have It” television program. Its most recent event was the 2015 Allard Reunion at Elkhart Lake.
J2179 has been restored to its original color scheme of black with red leather upholstery and is equipped with its believed-original Cadillac V-8 along with the proper transmission. The Cadillac engine is fitted with triple Stromberg 48 carburetors on a vintage Weiand intake manifold, a Crane Competition camshaft and the custom exhaust originally built and installed by a young fabricator who would go on take his own place among the giants of racing, Mickey Thompson. The period-correct wheels and tires are in place along with the numerous other details expected of a racer of this importance.”
J2-2179 is slated to be sold Friday afternoon and should be the ideal addition to any Shelby enthusiasts collection. The car is estimated to sell for $800,000 to $1,200,000. To learn more, visit Mecum’s web site: https://www.mecum.com/lots/CA0819-380994/1952-allard-j2-roadster/
Gooding & Company: Allard J2X Le Mans #3066; Lot 171
This J2X-LM was exported on December 2, 1952 to Captain Leslie who was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. The car was soon resold to Bob Peterson of Piedmont, California. The car was raced extensively by Carl & Fred Block in California from 1953 through 1955.
3066 was ordered with Chrysler Hemi engine modifications, metallic blue paint, and a red interior. The J2X Le Mans was created in a rush in order to comply with the new 1952 Le Mans regulations that required fully enclosed fenders. In all, our records indicate fourteen J2X Le Mans were built.
From the Gooding catalog, “Around 1953, Bob Peterson of Piedmont, California, purchased the Allard and with drivers Carl and Fred Block, campaigned it extensively in SCCA races across their home state, competing at fabled venues and against the premier sports car racers of the day, including Phil Hill, Johnny von Neumann, and Pete Lovely. At the 1954 race at Golden Gate Park, Carl Block hit a row of hay bales, damaging the Allard’s front bodywork. It has been suggested that renowned car customizer Jack Hagemann, whose shop was near Carl Block’s car dealership, likely sculpted the restyled aluminum front end it wears today, and painted the car red.
In 1958, Bob Peterson sold the car to John Tilton for $2,500, and it has since remained in the Tilton family’s care for more than 60 years. In the mid-1970s, the Tilton children retrieved the J2X Le Mans from long-term storage and persuaded their father to restore it, an operation completed by Vic Russum of Racing Dynamics West in Los Angeles, with paint and bodywork by the acclaimed Eddie Paul.
After its restoration, the car appeared at the 1977 and 1978 Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca and was invited to the 1977 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. The Allard J2X Le Mans was recently recommissioned by the Tilton family and stands ready to continue its proud legacy as a formidable competitor from the golden age of sports car racing.”
I’ve spent a lot of time inspecting 3066 while restoring our J2X Le Mans. Overall, the car is largely original, which is unique among Allards, especially those that raced. It features what could be the original Hemi engine, including a Ford 3-speed which we assume must have Zephyr gears. Some may balk at the modified body, but it’s a unique and integral part of the car’s history.
It looks like 3066 is slated to be sold on Saturday afternoon. The car is estimated to sell for $450,000 to $600,000 and has a reserve. To learn more, visit the Gooding & Company web site: https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1953-allard-j2x-le-mans/
Gooding & Company: Allard K2 #3127, Lot 132
This car was exported to Noel Kirk Motors in LA on October 7, 1952. It was fitted with Cadillac engine mounts and painted Beige with Brown interior. From the catalog, “Presenting in black paint with a red interior, this K2 was owned by William Avery of Pennsylvania, who hardly drove the car but commissioned a light restoration in 2012. He assigned Lamborghini of Orlando to repaint the bodywork and refurbish the interior, renew the electricals, and install a roll bar. In 2012, the Allard was purchased by the consignor, a private East Coast collector, who has used the car sparingly. Never raced and always meticulously maintained, this Allard comes with the promise of a great motoring experience.”
3127 will be sold Saturday without reserve; the price is estimated at $100,000 to $130,000. To learn more, visit the Gooding & Company web site: https://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1952-allard-k2-roadster/
Photos by Hyman
Michael and I took the two Allards to Equinox for the 2018 running and we did the marque proud. We finished 2nd and 4th out of about 30 with Mike in 2nd with the K2 and yrs trly 4th in the J2.
After thirty-five plus years Mount Equinox has left myriad memories. The first run to the top in the Allard left me forever tied to the mountain and its miles of twisties and ever changing sights.
Breaking the six minute mark was a memorable milestone. I danced a jig at the top when I got the news from the time keepers. Five minutes, after nearly thirty years of trying, was even more satisfying.
Sharing the event with my son the last years now has been a joy that very few fathers get to experience. It’s even better than breaking the fabled five minute barrier. Having him beat me has been the icing on the cake. Thankfully - at least until now - he hasn’t improved upon my best time. That will, no doubt, come.
There are memories of individual races and individual years. Of the many runs up the mountain the memory that always comes to mind is a run DOWN the mountain. It was sometime in the nineties I think. Kim Eastman in his Kurtis was fighting to break five minutes and yrs trly in the Allard K2 was getting down into the low five minute area. We were among the fastest that weekend, Kim was second behind Bob Girvin in the magnificent Allard GT. My Allard K2 was a place or two behind him. Late in the afternoon on Sunday we were taking a last run ahead of incoming rain. At the summit we could see the rain coming in from the west. There were no more cars to come up. Wisdom had prevailed at the bottom. Given the word to come down we figured we would have to hurry to beat the rain. The ensuing race to the bottom was amongst the most exciting drives on Equinox that I’ve ever experienced. The sound of those two unmuffled V-8s echoing from the trees and reverberating off of the rocks was nothing short of glorious.
This year’s runs and relaxation at the top will stick in the memory for other reasons. The top part of the mountain was pretty well shrouded in mist and rain on most of Sunday so the hairpins were getting a bit slippery. Visibility was less of an issue for the last mile as some of us have done this for so long we know what’s coming.
We should note that, while the Allards were second and fourth, another father and son team took first and third in a couple of hot SAABs.
The Allard Team expects to return next year with a focus on getting first and second. Time will tell. Meanwhile, we have a winter of sitting by the fire ahead of us to relive the joy.
In recent years the August conglomeration of automotive events (car shows, races, auctions and tours) on California’s Monterey Peninsula has taken on the generic title of Car Week. A ‘bucket list’ happening for car lovers, but with a derisive tone by some of the locals who are prone to complain – all the way to the bank.
Numerous enthusiasts of vintage racing were gratified to see six Allards running in the 2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This year’s Group 5A of 1947 – 1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars raced on Saturday for the first time in several years (the group usually races in Sunday).
Augie Grassis raced the J2X that was Carroll Shelby’s principal mount back in ’53 and ’54. The car’s previous owner, Peter Booth, regularly raced it at Laguna Seca throughout the 1990’s. The two red K2’s of Jon LeCarner and Doug Klink brought back fond memories of the long-term friendly rivalry at Laguna Seca and other west coast venues between Jim Degnan and the late George Myers. John Mote returned this year with his bright blue Buick-powered K2. This car’s previous owner, Paul James, was a frequent Laguna Seca participant back in the 1990’s.
The Allard pack was filled out by Vince Vento who again demonstrated his mastery of outwitting his J2X’s HydraMatic around the hills and turns of Laguna Seca, and Ted Herb who was racing his recently acquired and beautifully refurbished “BRG” K2.
A well-established Friday tradition plays out when a group of select racers, under the enthusiastic escort of the California Highway Patrol, depart from Laguna Seca to make the 14 mile trek up over Laureles Grade, and westward along pristine Carmel Valley Road to intrude upon the sedate, exclusive and lavish Quail Motorsports Gathering.
The Race 5A participants were this year’s select group, and Vince Vento graciously allowed Colin to ride ‘shotgun’. A few tense moments arose when Vince was informed of a flat tire as they were lining up to depart. However, Chris Campbell of Vintage Connection – with the combination of experience, the right tools and knock-off hubs – came to the rescue. Vince’s return to Laguna Seca also got momentarily delayed (by Colin…a story for another time), and might have missed the group were it not for another enthused CHP officer who made full use of his motorcycle’s lights and siren to escort Vince through and around the leisurely homebound traffic of Carmel Valley Road.
Thursday’s highlight is the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance when 100+ contestants in Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance make a two-hour tour around the Monterey Peninsula, down Highway 1 to Big Sur, and then return to line up on Carmel’s Ocean Avenue. This provides a special opportunity for thousands of car lovers to get a close hand look of the Pebble Beach contestants – free of charge.
Seven of the RMMR Group 5A cars at Laguna Seca were California Specials. These unique home-built racers held their own on west coast road courses – including the Pebble Beach Road Races – against a variety of European imports in the early fifties. California Specials were further honored this year by comprising a special class at the Pebble Beach Concours.
Bruce McCaw’s faithfully restored 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer was this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show award winner. Bruce has gathered an enviable collection of historic vehicles that includes several significant Allards including the Steyr, Sydney’s ’53 Le Mans JR, Walt Grey’s J2X Le Mans, and Irwin Goldschmidt’s Watkins Glen winning J2.
The infamous customized black & yellow Von Dutch Allard K2 crossed the ramp at Gooding & Company for $242,000.
Finally, Bill Marriott graciously shipped the iconic #14 J2 out from the east coast in honor of the late Bill Pollack. While in California, it was on display at both the McCall Jet Center Party and The Quail. The car was the focus of attention one week later as it took center stage on the front lawn of Bill Pollack’s Sherman Oaks home as friends & family celebrated his full life.
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.
Monterey Car Week is just a few weeks away so we decided to put together a brief preview of what to expect as an Allard enthusiast. The big news is that there will hopefully be six Allards on track at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RRMR). This is the biggest group of Allards racing at Monterey in over 10 years. You should see (2) K2’s, (2) J2’s, a J2X, and a…GT. Not Bob Girvin’s GT (which now resides in Germany), but Sydney Allard’s Jag powered GT, which is now owned by Alan Patterson. Alan and Vince Vento (J2X) will be racing Saturday in Group 1A while Bernard Dervieux and Steve Schuler will be racing their J2’s alongside the K2’s of Jon LeCarner and John Mote in Group 1B on Sunday.
On the auction scene, two Allard's, a J2 and a K2 will be crossing the block. First up is J2-2121 at the Bonham's Quail auction on Friday afternoon. 2121 is a very nice J2 with an interesting history; it features a Shelby Cobra 289 Hi-Po V8 and a top shelf restoration. To learn more about J2-2121 (Lot 8), click here; the auction starts at 11:00. Next up, RM Sotheby's will be selling a very nice K2, chassis 3017 as lot #101. This is the only K2 known to be equipped by the factory for the Chrysler Hemi, side mount spare, wire wheels, and the De Dion rear suspension (one of only a handful so equipped). The car will be first across the block (auction starts at 4:00) so get there early. Click here to learn more about this car.
Roger Allard will also be the Peninsula during Car Week with one his very nice Mk II’s. If you’d like to connect with Roger and test out a J2X Mk II for yourself, you can contact him at email@example.com or 514-866-9309.
Finally, you may recall that in years past we’ve had an Allard breakfast in Carmel on Saturday morning. Breakfast is off the table this year since we’ll have Allards racing on both Saturday and Sunday. The new plan is to meet up at 4:30 – 6:00pm in the bar of the Embassy Suites in Seaside (1441 Canyon del Rey, Seaside, CA 93955). This means you’ll have plenty of time to bid on the K2, then pop over to the Embassy Bar to brag about your new purchase.
See you in a few weeks!
Thanx to Andy Picariello & Tom Porter
Deb and Mike Korneli, organizers of the September, 2015 Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival (ELVF) contacted Andy in the fall of 2014 on behalf of the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association (VSCDA). They asked Andy if he could get some Allards to attend their annual event at Road America. If so, Allard along with Jaguar, would be the featured marques at this event. Andy got the word out, and succeeded in getting 17 Allards there – including his own burgundy Hemi-powered J2 and his blue Cad-powered K2.
Events started that Friday, with an Allard display at the Road America Center, followed by the Driver’s Dinner at the venue. Saturday was a busy day, starting with the Road Course Re-enactment. This was a tour of the original road course, where the Road America event started 65 years ago. Several Allards attended this, along with the race cars and the display Jaguars. Following this, all the cars assembled on the lawn of the Osthoff Hotel. Andy Picariello’s J2 was placed beside Augie Grasis’ J2X. Both cars had competed against each other in 1953 – Augie’s being driven by Carroll Shelby, Andy’s by Dale Duncan. This was followed by an Allard dinner at Siebken’s Pub, arraigned again by Jere Krieg. Sunday was the race day. Allards were afforded a parade lap before the feature races.
Andy had hoped that 4-5 Allards would be racing, but in the end was glad that two J2X’s would be able to thrill the crowds with their on-track bravado. Augie Grasis was at the wheel of his Carroll Shelby veteran. He started in second spot on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Race, quickly took the lead, and had a great time dicing with a ’33 Ford Indy car to his first place finish. The Elkhart Lake Road Coarse reenactment tour was soon to follow – a great show for the spectators, but the slow stop & go driving caused heating problems for Augie’s Allard. The result – a blown head gasket that relegated his J2X to a static display role for the rest of the weekend.
Vince Vento decided to enter his J2X just ten days before the event. Through diligent efforts on the part of his team and a certain measure of luck, he was able to get his car set up and delivered in time. Vince was experiencing some shifting problems with his Hydramatic during practice, so he prudently decided to forgo Saturday’s Sprint in favor of Sunday’s Allard/Jaguar Feature Race. Throughout that event both Vince and the race fans had a wonderful time experiencing and witnessing the Allard’s adrenalin imbalance as he wrestled his beast to a respectable finish.
Tom Porter had a great time piloting his Allard J2X on the Allard Parade lap while wearing a 1955 driver’s suit and his late father’s vintage helmet. Bill Porter, incidentally, had owned and raced all four of the Porter family’s cars (a Jag E-Type, the J2X and two TIGA’s) at Elkhart Lake, so Tom and his brother Willy felt this occasion was especially nostalgic. Tom’s weekend was topped off when his J2X won “Best of Show – Allard Group” for Saturday night’s Gathering on the Green.
The J2X field was filled out by Colin Comer and Barb Pinkenstein who brought their Allards over from the local Milwaukee area, along with Richard Hansen’s and Jim Netterstrom’s J2X’s.
The J2 contingency was represented by Andy Picariello’s and Dana Mecum’s cars, along with Tony Cove’s ‘work in progress’ J2 that he trailered over from his home in Ontario. Many an Allard owner is intrigued by the opportunity to inspect an Allard project car that effectively displays so much of an Allard’s unique ‘innards’. Seeing these projects also gives encouragement as we work on our own projects. Keep up the good work, Tony!
Bob Girvin’s unique Hemi powered Allard GT (one of two Allard GT’s, the last production Allard, and the only GT set up for racing), and was honored with the well deserved People’s Choice Award.
The rest of the Allard field was rounded out by the three pristine K2’s of David Gaunt, Peter Zimmerman and Andy Picariello, Tom Kayuha’s K1, Terrill Underwood’s L-Type, Jere Krieg’s Palm Beach and Wilson Ryder’s J2X Mk II. Harold Haase made the trip from his home in CT – but alas, without his original and well preserved J2X – which is now on the way to its new home in Belgium.
Per Andy, it was a memorable event, thanks to the hospitality shown to us by all involved. Deb Korneli did an outstanding job to assure that we had a good time. Jere and Julie Krieg served us well as our social secretaries. The long journey for most of us was well worthwhile.
The "King of Kustomizers," George Barris passed away today, he was 89. So why should Allard owners care? Well, Mr. Barris layed his skilled hands on at least one Allard that we know of...a K2 chassis 3021. The car was originally sold through Noel Kirk and it was painted blue with a red interior. That soon changed when actor Jeff Cooper bought the car in the mid 60's. Jeff commissioned George Barris to modify the body and Von Dutch to paint the car.
It's hard to see in the photo, but Barris added stylized spats to the rear wheels and it appears as though the door hinges were changed from rear to front mounted. Did you catch the other modification? Look at the headlights; Barris covered over the headlights and mounted them on a custom bumper...very cool!
Unfortunately this is the best photo we have of the car, which was from Amelia Island several years ago. If you have any other photos...please share them with us!
Bruno Rigoli racing his K2 at the Circuit des Remparts in Angoulême.
We're pleased to report that the Allard marque was well represented at this year's Amelia Island Concours weekend. The Rosenblad's brought out both of their Allards to Saturdays "Car's & Coffee" event at the Golf Club at Amelia. This is a cool event that's open to the public and fills a big void in the weekend as people wait for the big event Sunday. The Rosenblads have two unique Allard's...the first is the DeDion/wire wheel K2; one only six or so built. Next up is their Consul engined Palm Beach - of 84 Palm Beach's built, only nine were equipped with the Consul 4-cylinder engine and only four are believed to exist today. Their car looks, in our opinion what Sydney envisioned the "Bridgehampton" would have looked like if his entry to the 1954 Le Mans approved.
Next up was Jim Taylor's recently acquired J2X 3048 that was just recently refreshed. We are big fans of the red on white color scheme which hearkens back to the good ol' days in the 50's where owner's/racer's had no problem with a garish color scheme to help set them and their car apart.
Special thanks to Mike Matune for sharing these photos!
Finishing 2nd and 3rd behind a single-seat Lotus 18 Formula Junior, the Whimsey Racing Team of Allard K2 and J2 proved the fastest two-seat sports cars on the slopes of the fabled Mount Equinox in 2014. Run on the 9th and 10th of the August, the annual jewel in the crown of the VSCCA calendar had 39 entries this year ranging from E-Type Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati to MGs of all shapes up through the MGA, a pair of SAAB Quantums (highly strange, even for an Allard guy), God-knows-how-many Lotuses (Lotii?) several prewar specials, and a Hillman Minx of all things.
Allards have always done pretty well at Equinox from the earliest days. For a number of years, the event was chaired by Bob Girvin who always managed a spectacular climb in his Chrysler-powered Allard GT. Back in '51 or '52 the large engine class was won by an Allard K2 and lately yrs trly has done pretty well in the K2, and then in the J2.
For 2014 the road surface was as bad as anyone had ever seen it. Remember, this is a road in the mountains of Vermont with logging trucks rolling up and down it through the ice and snows of the winter. For those of a certain age, it's not unlike the Ho Chi Minh Trail after the B-52s were done. Over the years I've suffered stress cracks to the body as well as broken gearboxes, engine mounts and such. The road is about 5.3 miles long with over 3000 ft of elevation change. There are eleven or more hairpins and countless turns and curves of lesser radius. It's a tough challenge.
Even with that all taken into account, this weekend was special. Mike Donick at the wheel of the K2 managed to break the magic five minute mark with a 4:59.18, and beat my best time (set a few years ago) in that car by nearly a second. He was second overall behind a magnificently driven Lotus 18. The K2 has proven a great vintage racer for over thirty years. A couple of seasons ago I beat a pretty serious Aston DB3S in a road race at Lime Rock Park
Yrs trly took a while to get dialed in this year (he's not getting any younger), but by end of weekend was third behind Mike and a second and a half ahead of the next car, a Lotus VII. The next car was a pretty impressive E-Type.
This is being written a couple of days after the event and the two of us are still smiling.
One of the nice things about putting this site together are the interesting emails we receive from our readers and members. The other day we received the note below from one of our members describing the unique history of his K2. We thought you might enjoy it...
A few years I purchased an Allard K2, chassis #1969; purchased from the family of the previous owner, Bernard Berman, who passed away many years ago. Mr. Berman extracted this car from a barn in 1992. The car was sold new locally in August 1951 and Mr. Berman purchased it from the family of the original owner. It had just over 5,000 miles at that time but the barn storage had taken a toll on the cosmetics. Mr. B had the car fully restored cosmetically being careful to save the original parts and correctness of the car. No major rust repair or engine rebuild was required. The color was changed from the original sky blue with red wheels and red interior to red with black interior. Today the car has a shade over 6200 miles on it. I had to do a major engine and fuel system service when I got the car because it had been sitting for a long time and I did a fairly thorough detailing of the car. I am planning on adding seat belts to it, but otherwise I'm loathed to touch anything for fear of losing what remains of the originality.
There's an interesting story as to how the car was originally sold here. There was a major department store in Allentown, PA owned by an eccentric and by the 1950's very wealthy business man named Max Hess. Hess loved cars. He would buy new and exotic cars and drive them for a day or two and give them away to employees. He was also known to buy the latest sports, passenger, or exotic car and not even drive them, but put them right in the name of a friend or employee. That’s what happened with this car. His manager of store facilities was a man named Luckenbach. Luckenbach is the original owner of this car, although we know Hess paid for it – confirmed by the original owners card. Over the years Luckenbach received several cars from Hess including a 1954 Corvette, 1961 Jaguar XKE coupe and roadster. All of these cars were purchased by Mr. Berman, but and now have been scattered to the wind.
If you'd like to tell us about your Allard, click here to send us an email.
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
Mike (Son-K2) and Jim (Dad-J2), just posted some videos from their run up Mt. Equinox in Manchester, VT last weekend. For those of you unaware, Mt Equinox is one of the longest hill climb races around at 5.2 miles in length with over 3,100 feet of climbing. More news to come on how they performed, stay tuned...
On Friday August 16, Mecum will auction this K2, chassis #1804 as lot #F150. This car was originally shipped to Los Angeles (Moss Motors?) on December 1, 1950. The car was originally painted blue, but is now looking good in BRG. This car is unique in that it was one of a few K2's to come equipped with a DeDion rear end. The car now sports Hallibrand wheels, Brooklands wind screens, and a Cadillac 331 with dual Carter carbs. 1804 was featured in the June 2010 issue of Auto Trader's "Classic Cars & Parts." To learn more about the car and see additional photos, please click here to visit Mecum's web site.
K2 owner David Rossiter wrote us the other day...
"Just wanted to give you an update on the Allard (K2-2022) after taking first in class and best in show at the 2012 Annual All British Motor Vehicle show she Went to the Ironstone Concurs d'Ellegance in Murphys (fantastic show) and took first in class European Sports & Grand Touring (my Porsche also won its class see attached photo). The next show we did for 2012 was the British fall Classic, in Morgan Hill again first in class.
So far for 2013 we were asked to return to the 2013 Annual All British Motor Vehicle show where we were not allowed to compete in our class because as we were past winner but they have a Winner Circle Class where you compete against every class winner from last year and the Allard won that. We next did the Hillsborough Concurs d'Ellegance and they stuck us in there race car class (wrong class for us and a frighteningly strong field to include a car from the Mozart Collection) but we took a second. Next up we got the great news that the Allard will be appearing at the Annual, The Quail a Motorsports Gathering Event during Monterey car week. And the last cool thing is that the Ironstone Concurs d'Ellegance requested to use the Allard on there 2013 poster, draft attached. All in all a pretty exciting year for the old Allard!!"
Congrats to you David and we look forward to hearing how the Quail and Ironstone shows go for you and 2022.
...click here to drop us a note to tell us what you're up to this summer.
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.
9-30-14 UPDATE: Otto has listed the car with RM and it will be offered at RM's Hershey, PA auction on October 10. The car is listed as Lot #263 with an estimate of $80-100k. Click here to learn more about the car.
Click here or the photo above to view the extensive photo gallery
Otto Meijer has decided it’s time to part with his beloved K2. Otto acquired the car from Canada in 1985, which was in need of more than a little TLC. He restored the car over the next few years, to the condition you see it in today. The car is equipped with a Ford 302 V8 engine (1968) and a Ford 3-speed transmission (many Allards inherited “modern” engines when their original power plant expired). The wheels were converted (properly) from discs to 72-spoke wire wheels and are wrapped in 16 x 6.00 rubber. The hood was replaced without the special bubble and the car was repainted black.
When Otto acquired the car, there were signs of a previous fire in the bulkhead area, which claimed the number plate. Otto, along with the Allard Register have searched extensively to find the original chassis number, but unfortunately the original chassis number remains unknown. The Register has assigned it a temporary chassis number of K2-6015. It’s believed the original paint color was red, but that can’t be confirmed. One tip that may help, the windshield side curtain has a yellow Hawaii registration sticker from 1962.
To learn more about this K2, please click here to read a piece we published about the car and its unique history.