We feel bad that we haven't been posting much lately...sorry about that. Truth is we've been working hard on our restoration project. 3149 is coming along pretty well, if we're lucky it'll be on the road this year. In addition to working on the car, we've also completed a heavy duty Allard hub conversion that utilizes Jaguar XK rear hub parts...more news to come.
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A few years ago I bought a K1 - KWJ 770 chassis number 458 back in March 2007 and promptly started to strip it down for rebuilding. All was going well and the chassis rebuild progressed with much speed until….. we decided to sell our house and build a new one .
Those of you who have ever embarked on such a task or have ever watched the agonies of those participating in such an endeavor will know that what you hope (and pray) will be a straightforward and enjoyable exercise never usually is.
Now my background is architecture and construction so you would think (well we did anyway) that we wouldn’t fall into the pitfalls of others – no such thing! What started and received planning permission as a single story house with a roof height restriction very quickly became something larger and more complex. A first floor was added by further excavation and lowering the ground floor, adding complications with retaining walls, adjusting surrounding garden and patio levels etc, etc, etc.
Having excavated further into the ground I then decided (or was encouraged by friends) to construct a wine cellar - it would have been cheaper to have bought a vineyard in France.
I won’t go on, but suffice to say the house is now finished, we love it, but at the time it put paid to the K’s continuing restoration…we had other things to occupy us.
Whilst all this was going on I made the decision to fit a Cadillac 331 engine into the car. I prised one from Dean Butler who had just bought it on Ebay in the ‘States, was an unknown and would likely need a complete rebuild so I approached Neil (Biggles) Bennet to rebuild it for me to hot road spec.
Neil had rebuilt the Frenchie I have in my M type and is a whizz at hotting up flatheads. He holds a class record at Prescott and races at Pendine Sands with “Boz” his famous Flathead powered Batten Special . When asked whether he would be interested in rebuilding my ohv Cad engine he immediately agreed.
He goes about things thoroughly with considerable thought, enthusiasm and an abundance of technical ability and the first thing he wanted to know was what I wanted to use the car for. “Hillclimbing” was my immediate response. Now I’ve never competed on track but having watched my Allard buddies (and Biggles) competing at Prescott and Shelsley I thought I must have a go, it looks fun.
Whilst we were involved with our house build, Biggles researched the Cad rebuild and we agreed on the final spec. I wanted a good, reasonably fast and hopefully reliable engine with enough torque to hopefully worry Dave Loveys up the hills.
In February I collected my “New” engine. New ? I think it is better than new:
- Engine stripped and chemically cleaned.
- Rebored and crank reground.
- Heads leveled.
- New forged 2618 alloy Venolia pistons heat treated to T6 for extra strength.
- CR increased to 10:1
- Stronger valve springs.
- Fast road camshaft.
- Lightened flywheel.
- Electronic distributor.
- Holley 650 carb.
- Mild head porting.
- Fitted with a purpose made “Rattler” Torsion Vibration Absorber.
- Whole rotating assembly dynamically balanced. (You can see a short video on YouTube of my engine on the balancing rig. https://youtu.be/_8zE79mI_b8)
I also decided to fit a Jaguar gearbox and was fortunate in being able to tease a bellhousing adaptor and adaptor plate from James Smith to this end. I took the gearbox to Biggles for rebuilding as well and the whole assembly is now in the rebuilt chassis and looks fantastic with it’s polished aluminium rocker covers.
The bodywork has gone off to be stripped and a new scoop put in the bonnet (Holley needs headroom) and I need to get a new wiring loom from Autosparks then the next stage can continue – don’t hold your breath for the next episode though I’m also refurbishing a boat .
That’s all Folks, for now!
From Lindsey Parsons...
The car recently arrived home. I have included a shot of J2X 3077 as it returned home from the rally mishap three years ago. It looks like a different car completely now. My long distaste held for chrome is definitely reflected in the new configuration. The painted wheels and internally contained spare tire give the car a much more classic look to my eye.
By Roger Murray-Evans
In early September '09, I got the word that that an Allard P2 Monte Carlo saloon located in Wales was looking for a home. Its owner from 1982 had long term health problems and was re-locating to Malta, and was seeking a new home urgently. Back in the late '70's, at an AOC monthly club night at the George 1V, Portugal Street, London, a couple of lads appeared and were chatting about a certain P2 with a Cadillac engine that they were/had buying/bought.
The cowl was painted first then the nose, tail and other parts. After cleaning the aluminum with an aircraft cleaner, the aluminum was primed with PPG epoxy primer followed by a sanding primer. I used an enamel for the finish coat so I could polish out any defects. At this point I discovered my spray gun was totally worn out and causing problems in the paint. I could not stop, and hoped that the defects could be polished out. Some could not. I installed the nose section first so I could install the lights – then the tail, fenders and doors.
THE SECOND RESTORATION
The Texas World Speedway at Bryan, Texas was chosen as the site for the 2004 ‘Gathering of the Clan’ reunion for Allard owners. In 1969 I had opened the then-named Texas International Speedway with my Allard, the only one there. So I felt it imperative that I attend this Gathering. The car was not in shape for show, so in December 2003 I started a clean up that grew into another frame-off restoration. The completion date had to be no later than October 31, 2004.
THE FIRST RESTORATION
It was quite evident early on that this car needed a total restoration. The years of hard racing had taken its toll. At only 9 years old it was completely worn out.
#3059 was shipped without engine or transmission to a dealer in Wisconsin in 1952. The original color was British Racing Green with cream colored leather upholstery. The dealer installed a full-race Chrysler Hemi and a 1937 Cad-LaSalle transmission. The car was raced in this configuration until the late 50’s when SCCA changed the rules to prohibit cycle fenders. Thus ‘The Bitch’ was retired. The engine was removed and placed in a dirt track car where it expired by exploding. When we bought the car, the owner had replaced the Chrysler with a junkyard Cadillac. After a careful inspection I found the engine had three cracked main bearing webs, so decided to scrap it and a search for a replacement.
My M type is chassis no. 716. I bought it November 2005.
35 years ago I had another M type, chassis no. 823 reg. no. JC 9688 which won many concours awards. I sold it to finance a business venture and often regretted it even though the business venture was successful. My old carhas beenregularly rallied by its present owners, John and Kate Manley-Tucker including the Alpine and the Paris-Peking.
By Bill Bauder
All true car enthusiasts have had a love affair with a car at some time in their life. When I say “love,” I don’t mean the kind of love you have for your mother or children – but the kind of love that’s foot-stomping passionate, obsessive, secretive and suicidal. The ‘I can’t live without’ kind of love. Well this story is about my love affair for one automobile, how it was obtained, why it was so named and how it was restored. Hope you enjoy it.