Born again...

-Andy Leach

The folks in Australia and New Zealand are an enterprising lot. What do when the roof of an Allard P1 gets chopped off? You turn it into K1 special…of course!!

Below is the story of Andy Leach and his P1-K1 special.

Chassis P1 1956 was exported on March 22, 1951 and sold to Tom Collett in Dunedin; it was the first P1 to arrive in New Zealand. The car was painted black with a maroon interior.

The car was presumed lost, but was actually parked up in a barn in Cargills Castle in Dunedin. The Collett's owned Cargills Castle and the farm surrounding it. The car would've been stored in one of the barns (up to the top right of the picture attached), for 50 years plus. The story of the decapitation comes from Tom’s great grandson (the last owner of the Castle) who tells the story that back in 1960, some teenagers approached a railway track crossing with the arms down and drove over at high speed. It broke the pillars on the left and right side holding the roof to the body. So the roof was removed. Must of given them a bloody good scare…I wonder what they told dad!?

So there it sat, in one of the castle barns, until Andrew McDonald of Sumner Christchurch learned about it 5 - 6 years ago and arranged to purchase it. Sadly, Andrew passed away two-thirds into the restoration. He'd also consumed a lot of monetary resources. Surprisingly, the car survived the Christchurch earthquakes! The Sumner district was hit very hard and a lot of homes had to be abandoned and demolished

Now we come to the point where I learned of the car.

I was trolling an online auction site 2 ½ year back and he spied an unusual car while looking at a 1962 TVR. Truth be known, I was looking for a project, something like an early MG, Jags XK 120, 140 or 150's series, etc., etc.

Beth McDonald (Widow) came back to me and shared that it was an Allard. She shared some pictures. 8 months of waffling and negotiating with the widow and Andy took ownership of the project. It’s a horrible feeling negotiating such things, because you want to do business with a social responsibility, but you still need to get it for the right price to finish it. We met in the middle.

Andrew McDonald had died of cancer at age 52. I made a promise to myself, that I would finish it with my boy Luke. And now the car is nearly done

It's helped to have a terrific old hot rodder and Flathead mechanic down here in Auckland, New Zealand too, Chris Piaggi of C & R automotive. I thought I could handle the old flatty, but once again, those old world trade skills and knowledge are priceless.

I feel it is a very good Interpretation of a K1, using all Allard running gear end to end. It’s come out terrifically. A real eye catcher.

Today as I drove mine legally on the road for its very first time in 55 years, and dropped it down and gunned it in second down the motorway at 90+ miles an hour, I thought about Andrew McDonald and applauded him to have the hindsight to save this terrific car. It's a real eye catcher and I get an awful lot of stares.

My Panel beater is fitting the side vents and doing a fine cut and shine as I type before sexy picture time. Watch NZ Classic car magazine, full feature and sexy pin up photos coming. Looking forward to a wonderful spring and summer of driving and clubbing. It's going to be tremendous fun…

Maybe this should be known as Andy's Allard, given it's had two careful owners called Andy?

Old Magazine Covers, Part 12

Today's cover is from the August, 1938 issue of Motor Sport...and it's probably the oldest magazine featuring an Allard on the cover. The cover caption reads, “The 3-hour sports car race…K. Hutchinson (Allard Special) takes the last curve leading to the finishing straight on the Campbell Circuit.” The Campbell Circuit at Brooklands was first raced in 1937, but the land was soon pressed into war service in 1939. The Lincoln V-12 powered ELX 50 was built for Ken Hutchinson. According to Tom Lush’s book, Hutchinson and Sydney co-drove the car ran “faultlessly” except for a broken fan belt that was fixed within five minutes. The team finished 9th overall, completing 74 laps at an average speed of 56.5 mph. Not bad for the Allards first real road race.

Special thanks to Kerry Horan for sharing this with us.

Mystery Car

We found this photo of Sydney racing at the Poole Speed Trials in 1947 where he took the fastest sports car time (Motor Sport, October '47). The number plate isn't shown in our chassis registry. Know anything about it? Leave a comment.


For Sale - Allard L-390 Special

Click here or the photo above to view the extensive photo gallery

Allard JLY 162 (Chassis# L-390) was born in London on February 13, 1948 and delivered unfinished from the factory to Allard agent, Dagenham Motors. The new owner, Mr. Bentley had the car painted black. Early Allards were often shipped unfinished in and effort to bypass the tax man while also allowing the new owner to add their personal touches. L-390 started life as a RHD 4-seat tourer with a 2622cc Pilot Ford Flathead (21 stud) engine.

After a few years of hill climb and trials racing (and an accident in 1955), the car was redone as a 2-seat competition car by a London panel beater named Watson. Allards were modified quite often in an effort to harness the brute torque of the V8; every ounce of extra bodywork was removed from L-390.

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What the!?


Our friend Ralph from sent us these photos the other day of this amazing Allard J2 styled track day special. The photos were taken at a Mallory Park test day this past week. Unfortunately Ralph wasn't able to speak to the owner so we don't know if the car started life as an Allard or if the owner just wanted something different. Either way, we like it and we bet Sydney would have loved it! The car features a big-block Chevy engine, tube frame chassis, and doubel A-arm front suspension. Ralph said tells us the car is fast and the engine sounds like heaven.

If you know anything about this car, please contact us!

For Sale: P1 Special

This particular Allard is a hybrid. The original car was a P1 saloon, 4-seater (Chassis P 2240). The chassis was altered to the same dimensions as the J2. A small block Chevy 283ci, 4700cc was fitted, with a Mark 10 Jaguar independent back end which has a limited slip differential. It has GM inboard disc brakes. Aluminum body.

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