Monterey’s Ten Day ‘Car Week’ Gets Underway

Photo and text by Charlie Warnes

Photo and text by Charlie Warnes

Despite the much publicized Soberanes fire and token opposition from a handful of local activists, the ten-day long 2016 ‘Car Week’ got underway at Laguna Seca with the Pre-reunion (previously known as the ‘pre-Historics) this past Friday, August 12.

Just a bit of background – the Soberanes fire started in Big Sur, a few miles south of Monterey on July 22. It has burned nearly 75,000 acres and is now considered to be 60% contained. While fire fighting efforts are continuing to disrupt traffic on Highway 1, it is no longer considered to be a threat to Carmel Valley or the Monterey Peninsula. Concurrently, a local activist started on on-line petition to postpone ‘Car Week’ to better accommodate fire fighting efforts. Latest reports are that her effort has garnered a whopping 400 signatures. So – life goes on…

Three of the six Allards entered in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion participated in this past weekend’s Pre-reunion. The Pre-reunion presents an opportunity for the owners become familiar with the Laguna Seca track, and to get their cars sorted out in a more low-key setting. Allards included Steve Schuler running his 1950 J2 that was the 3rd place finisher at the 1950 LeMans, Jon LeCarne driving the red K2 that he bought from his friend Jim Degnan a few years ago, and John Mote who is sorting out the blue Buick-powered K2 that he purchased from Paul James earlier this year.

This past weekend gave Allard enthusiasts and fans a chance to also inspect the other Allards present – the beautifully finished Cobra-powered (yes, Cobra powered dating back to the mid-60’s) J2 presented by Bonham’s Auctions, and the biscuit-colored K3 that Martin Allard drove out to the track on Sunday.

The three other Allards entered for next weekend are Bernard Dervieux’s J2, Vince Vento’s J2X, and Alan Patterson’s Jag-powered GT coupe.

This past weekend also gave us a get re-acquainted with old Allard friends including Martin Allard, Chris Campell, Jim Degnan, Lindsey Parsons, Camilo and Tommy Steuer, and Bob Weiner.

A brief rundown of some of the key events this week includes:

  • Allard enthusiasts cocktail hour on Friday August 19 at the Seaside Embassy Suites Hotel Bar...drinks start flowing at 4:30pm!
  • Carmel’s ‘Concourse on the Avenue’. All day Tuesday in downtown Carmel.
  • Pebble Beach ‘Tour d’Elegance’, which stops for Thursday lunch on Ocean Avenue in Carmel (the ‘poor man’s’ chance to see most of the entrants of Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)
  • Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca (Friday – Sunday).
  • The Concours d’Lemons in Seaside on Saturday (a light hearted spoof of some of the events that are sometimes prone to take their fun a little too seriously).

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.

For Sale: Allard K3 3192

Click here or on any of the photos to view the gallery

The Allard Register records show that 46 of the 63 Allard K3’s produced still exist. Chassis 3192 is one of the most original preserved Allard K3’s.

This car was delivered to Noel Kirk Motors on Los Angeles on July 9, 1953 where it was fitted with the 331 Cadillac engine and three-speed transmission that it still retains – along with left hand remote shifter located in the door well. 3192 was ordered with green paint and green interior and it still carries that original color combination (most K3 interiors have been redone in black or tan). The car was repainted and the original seats were re-done in 1990 prior to the Monterey Reunion. Also included are the original tool kit, Smith’s side jack, and chrome Noel Kirk badge.

The car’s original owner, Dan Schacht of LA, put 23,000 miles on it before knee problems forced him to park it in 1962. The current owner, Dr. Martin Allard (no relation to the UK Allard family), purchased the car in 1979. Despite the 17-year hibernation, the only work required was some minor tweaking to free up the stuck Lincoln Zephyr gearbox.

Martin has driven the car on a regular basis, putting about 26,000 miles on it over the past 35 years. In 2012 Martin and his K3 completed every mile of the North American Tribute Mille Miglia. This unrestored K3 was featured on the 1980 Allard Owners Club Christmas card, and looks just as handsome today as it did 34 years ago.

Martin has decided it is now time to part with 3192. This 2-owner car is located in Carmel, CA and is being offered for $165,000. Interested parties should the consignor Mohr Imports...please click here to contact the seller.

Allards in Scale

As Allard enthusiasts, one of our pet peeves is that is that there are so few scale models of our beloved cars. Sure there are a few models from Kenna (K1 & K2) and Bizarre (J2), but nothing that's really unique. Recently we were contacted by a scale model enthusiast Niek van der Mark from the Netherlands about the paint colors of the Abbott Special (a special coupe based on the Palm Beach). After some digging (and help from David Hooper), we were able to confirm the lower body was light green with a cream roof.

We were pleased to check our email the other day when we found an email from Niek with photos of his latest creation. Also included were photos of a number of Niek's other Allard creations including a GT, JR, K1, K2, K3, P1, and L-type. If you're wondering where you might pick one of these up...they might be kind of hard to come by. The Abbott and GT were made by a small company TW, who made small batches (5-6) of cast metal (body in white) 1:43 classic sports cars back in the 80's. As you can see Niek has an impressive eye for detail.

Hopefully with the advent of 3D printing, we'll start to see more Allard scale models. 

Big Money...

Wow...Normally we don't report on auction prices, but we were shocked to see the results for the two Allards at RM's Amelia Island Auction this past Saturday. Both the K1 and K3 set what we believe are world record prices for each model. K1-249 sold for an impressive $176,000 and the K3 went for $220,000.

We must admit that we're a bit conflicted with the results. On one hand, we're excited to see Allard's finally getting their due, for a long time we've believed that Allard's have been undervalued due to their uniqe design, competition history, and rarity. On the other hand, it will likely mean fewer cars will be driven and enjoyed as Sydney intended. However, we firmly believe that for cars to gain in value, they need to be seen in public...at vintage races, ralleys, car shows, magazines, and the internet. 

Auction Preview - K3-3189

On March 8, RM will auction off K3-3189 at their Amelia Auction sale. 3189 was shipped on March 18, 1953 to Allards delership in NYC. The car was originally painted silver with a green interior. The chassis was set up for a Chrysler engine, 3.78 diff, and disk wheels. The car is beiing offered as lot 144 and it has estimated value of $160,000 to $200,000. Please click here to learn more about the car.

For Sale: Allard K3 3283

SOLD!

K3 3283 was one of the last Allard K3’s built and it was the last K3 exported to America on April 4, 1954. The car was sold by Allard’s new and short lived West Coast dealership, House of Allard. As with many K3’s, the car was well used in its early life. Unfortunately cars wear out and parts break, which is no big deal for a one of 1,000,000 Chevrolet…but for a one of 63 built Allard K3, finding replacement parts could be a challenge. Eventually 3283 ended up with a live rear axle, bucket seats, and a number of other minor modifications. The current owner, an enthusiast having owned several Allards, set out to return the car to its Allard roots, but with a few modifications like disc brakes and improved suspension to make it more drivable for extended periods. The car features a 390 Cadillac as installed by the original owner in 1959 and a 700 R4 Turbo Hydromatic 4-speed transmission installed by the current owner during restoration. The De Dion rear end was restored using  factory parts except for the inclusion of safety hubs adapted from the C-6 Corvette . 3283 is a dream to drive and will be ideally suited for a new owner that is looking to put some miles on a classic Allard. The car was repainted back to the original green, while the interior was converted to tan. Original or correct parts are included to retrofit modified components if desired. For example the car is now equipped with Wilwood Dynalite Pro Series front disc brakes , but the spares include the original Lockheed Dual Leading Shoe drum brakes near ready to install. The car is located in Las Cruces, NM and the owner is asking $120,000, negotiable.

Click here or any of the photos to several additional photos of K3 3283.

Merry Christmas from the Allard Register

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!

J2 Chassis

J2 Assembly

J2X Frame Weldment

K3 Chassis & Body

Special thanks to Barry Burrell for sharing the J2 & J2X drawings and to Dudley Hume for the K3 drawing!

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!

Allard K3 For Sale

We came across this K3 project car the other day on www.Hemmings.com. We contacted the seller to find out more about the car, but he’s chosen to withhold the vehicles history for serious buyers only. He did confirm that the K3 is one of the first 10 K3’s built. It includes a 331 Cadillac engine and 3-speed LaSalle gearbox. The car is local to the NY/NJ area and it has been off the road for 30+ years. Interested buyers should contact the seller by phone at 631-924-8863 or email gjlymber@hotmail.com. Asking price is $45,000.

ED: After having some experience restoring a basket case K3, the car appears to be very complete (much more complete than ours!). Sure it needs a lot of work, but it’s all there, including the gauges.

The Moss Files, Engine Installation

Here's a few more photos from the Moss files. The car in question is K3-3169, which was actually sold by Noel Kirk Motors to a Mr. William Valentine. What's it doing Al Moss' shop you might ask? Well, this was likely the first Allard sold by Noel Kirk and his shop didn't know how to install the engine (a Cadillac in this case), so they called up Al and asked if he would do it. Conveniently, Noel sent along a helper to assist with the project...and that was the last time Al did an engine installation for Noel. This second owner car is currently owned by Dr. Martin Allard (no relation).

Car Week, 2012

Allards have been conspicuous by their absence at Laguna Seca for the past two years. So it was great to again see two veteran Allards from the Monterey Historic days running in the 2012 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RMMR). Steve Schuler brought his beautiful and famous J2 1578 – the 3rd place finisher of the 1950 Le Mans. He was joined in the Group 5B (1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars) by Jim Degnan’s friend, Jon Le Carner at the wheel of Jim’s red 1952 K2 3035. Both cars attracted a good amount of attention from vintage racing fans throughout the weekend.
Read More

Allard Register #60

We are pleased to present you with issue #60 of the Allard Register. Please click here or the photo above to download the pdf version of our newsletter. Inside you will find a recap of the Sonoma Vintage Races, rebuilding a Cadillac 331, Bill Pollack imagines the Allard of the future, two K3's go on a play date, and the latest Allard news. We hope you enjoy!

Monterey Auction Preview - Mecum

This year, Mecum will offer a K2 and a K3 in their annual auction at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey on Saturday August 18.

Keen observers will note that the K3 looks familiar. The car, chassis #3182 was sold at Mecum's spring auction in Indianopolis. There must have been a problem with the sale since it is being offered up once again. To review, this K3 was ordered on 9-9-52 and shipped on 5-25-53 to Noel Kirk Motors in Los Angeles. The car had “bright red” paint with black leather interior and disc wheels. It was shipped with Cadillac engine modifications. The car is currently painted burgundy with brown interior and was converted to wire wheels. Powered is delivered via a Cadillac 331 and automatic transmission. It should be noted that the left hand shift linkage (between driver & door) has been retained with the automatic transmission conversion. The K3 is listed as lot S127 and is estimated to sell around 2:40pm. Click here or the photo above to visit Mecum's site.

K2 chassis #3127 was one of the last K2's built. It was delivered to Noel Kirk motors on October 7, 1952. It was originally painted beige with brown interior, but later repainted black and upolstered in red. The car is equipped with a dual carb Cadillac engine with what is assumed to be a stock Ford 3-speed transmission. The K2 is listed as lot S169 and is estimated to sell around 4:15pm. Click here or the photo above to visit Mecum's site.