Birds Of A Feather: 1952 Allard K2 Roadster

1952 Allard K2 Black

UPDATE 2/19/12 – The car was relisted once after not meeting reserve at 84,600. The auction was then removed so we can only assume that it was sold offline.

We know we just featured one of these the other day, but rare beasts such as this do not come to market often. When they do, they seem to all flock there together. This car is also a 1952 Allard K2, but is sporting the opposite color scheme of black over red. Lots of work has already been  done, so it sounds like it is ready to enjoy. Located in Media Pennsylvania and listed for sale here on eBay, bidding is at $60,100 with a BIN of $110,000. Not cheap, but a realitive bargain for a clean K2.

1952 Allard K2 Rear

Admittedly, most Allards are only for those with very deep pockets, but we still enjoy learning about this great underdog manufacturer. Sydney Allard was a British race car driver who admired American automotive engineering at a time when it was not popular in Europe. He built some Ford V8 powered trials specials back in the thirties and ended up selling a few to fellow racers.

1952 Allard K2 Cadillac V8

After the war, Sydney worked out a deal to purchase surplus Ford V8 engines and then things really started to take off. Everyone was in the market for a new car and he was able to sell quite a few considering the size of the operation. Allards were essentially pre-war Ford specials though, so sales started to decline in the fifties when new competition hit the scene. Many victories at the track did help keep sales coming in, but it wasn’t enough.

1952 Allard K2 Red Interior

Things got so bad that Allard even tried its luck in the growing micro-car market. Their ‘Clipper’ wasn’t enough to keep the company afloat though and they ended up closing the doors in 1960. In the short time they were in business, Allard did produce some impressive automobiles. The exterior styling was always unique and the Ford sourced parts assured affordable reliability.

1952 Allard K2 Side

This particular car is a great example of the sort of machines that came out of the Allard factory. With its original Cadillac engine and forty year old black re-spray, this car has some serious presence. The car has only gone through three owners and the last one has just installed a new fuel tank and reupholstered the seats. Allard’s unique independent suspension can make things a little hairy on bumpy corners, but we would still love to take her out just to see what she could do.

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Comments

  1. TomW

    Wow! Not cheap but if it checks out may be money in the bank down the road,

  2. Gary Fogg

    Love the Cadillac power !

  3. Wilbur

    Love it! You gotta wonder what’s behind those other garage doors!

  4. Dolphin Member

    Ahhh, another Allard K2. Can’t get too many of these ’50s icons, the ultimate civilized rod back then, and one that you didn’t have to build yourself, unlike a Deuce coupe for example. Funny how the typical V8 engines available with these cars were at the extremes. One extreme was the good old Ford flathead, the ancestor of which came out in 1932. These were built to a price and were not…let’s say, the most high tech engines in the world. But Sydney Allard was a Ford dealer, so you can see why he might adopt Ford V8s for his car—that, and lower cost. The other extreme was what’s in this car–a Cadillac V8 of about 330 cubic inches, or as an alternative, sometimes a Chrysler Hemi of about the same 330 cubes. These were pretty much the biggest production engines back then. I owned a 1951 Hemi engine years ago—the first year they were made—and they were very formidable. It came from my Dad, who I helped rebuild both Caddy and Hemi V8s on Saturdays at the shop. As a skinny teenager it was all I could do to lift a single Hemi cylinder head. Part of that was due to the great width to accommodate the hemispherically-arranged valves. Cylinder heads were all cast iron in those days, as was the block. Aluminium as the typical metal for blocks and heads was years in the future, as was the thin-wall casting technique. Good thing the rest of these Allards was so light.This car has aftermarket finned valve covers to dress up the engine, similar to the ones seen on some early Corvettes. The regular Caddy items were of plain pressed steel, painted dark blue, and not nearly as impressive as these finned covers. This engine carries triple Stromberg 97s, a standard hot-rod setup back then. These were simple and cheap and widely used by rodders on all kinds of V8 engines. The 3 carbs had so much venturi area all together that the usual setup was a progressive linkage, which opened the middle carb up to about half throttle, at which point additional throttle started to open the other two carbs. I remember driving a car with one of the early Chevy V8s with 265 cubic inches (before the 283) that had triple Stromberg 97s and it was clearly over-carbed. You had to open the throttle very carefully or it would spit back at you and would not run strong until it was wound up a bit. That would not have been such a problem with this engine given its larger displacement. I have never driven one of these but it would be a real vintage thrill. Of course you would want to do the drive on the right road, maybe a narrow lane in the Cotswolds, or Highway 1 on the California coast, or the Colorado Grand. I’ll bet that anyone applying to enter the Grand with one of these would be accepted in a heartbeat.

  5. Hank

    These used to win Pebble Beach and Golden Gate Park trials all the time.

  6. Dave

    What a gorgeous car. Carroll Shelby raced these, and they served as the inspiration for the Cobra. You know, light British sports car, powerful American V8. Winning combination right there.

  7. Jeff

    If those side-pipes are original, its got to be a first. Shelby copied then GM (DuntovVette).

  8. Robert Burke

    As a teenager,I think I was 14 or15 at the time, I worked at a Texaco gas station east of Butler Pennsylvania at route 38 and 68 intersection and clearly remember this guy who used to come in with this Allard. Man, the sound of that thing was awesome it would just sit there at the pumps and shake and rumble while I pumped gas into it! When he took off you could hear the sound of him going through the gears miles away…unforgettable some 60 years ago! Thanks for the pictures and the memory.

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