British Beach Party: rare 1953 Allard

You’ve got until February 11th to study up on the history of the Allard Motor Company, the London based small batch production company that made amazing little sports cars from 1945 to late 1958. The 1953 Allard Palm Beach, featured here in the London Telegraph, is a cute, quirky “…giant jigsaw puzzle, with many parts in many boxes…” and goes up for auction in just a few weeks.

There’s plenty to learn about this British bit of automotive history. Perhaps the most fun fact is that the company founder himself, Sydney Allard, won 3rd place in the 1950 LeMans in his little J2 model – a feat that propelled Allard into international fame. Fans from the US especially jumped on the Allard wagon – fitting models with Cadillac and Chrysler engines that beat the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar that dominated the European circuits.

Interestingly enough, the Allard J2X is still being faithfully recreated in the US by Richard Allard, who started Allard Motor Works in 1999. While traveling in Europe to attend car shows and visit museums for his 50th birthday, Richard came a crossed a few gleaming show quality examples of the British brand that bears his family name. Although he has never found a family connection to the original founders, his J2X’s seem worthy of sharing the badge.

This Palm Beach (question – does anyone know the history of naming it after the fine US city?) will certainly be a challenge to restore, and at an expected auction price of $21 – 28k (£15k – 20k) it will not be cheap. Perfect survivors have fetched near 6 digits, with most well below that. Still, cruising around in a very rare Allard and chatting away at all the car shows about this little piece of industry history could be a ton of fun!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Rabbit

    Actually, the J2 wasn’t all that little. According to my sources, (The Last Open Road, by BS Levy) they were shipped to the US without engines, & were typically fitted with Caddy, Buick or Chrysler mills for racing. Neat cars. We typically get a couple on SVRA weekend at Watkins Glen, where they’re flogged as if they were new. Getting back on track, tho….. Totally unfamiliar with the Palm Beach model. Great looker.

    • John D

      I was at a Watkins Glen SVRA race where Mr. Levy signed my copy of The Last Open Road. He asked me what my addiction was? At the time, it was TR3s and 4s. What a great read. He put you right on the Pa Turnpike in its infancy, when open exhaust race cars could travel at whatever speed seemed safe.

      At a SVRA race at Mid-Ohio, I saw a hemi powered Allard that had color coordinated velocity stacks in the pits. It was as much Show Car as Race Car, a thing of beauty.

      • Rabbit

        I was a fixture at The Glen for a while, having worked there from 98-03 as a course marshal. Best job I never got paid for. Levy is quite the guy, very engaging. The Allard I recall best from those days was a Caddy-powered canary yellow JX. Unforgettable, because the driver used the old formula Castrol fuel & the exhaust reeked of rotten eggs.

  2. Z1rider

    Do these have the split straight axle? The early Allards did and they were rather squirrelly. I went to the listing and there were no under body shots so I couldn’t tell.

  3. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    oh yeah baby!

  4. 68custom

    allard’s are neat cars with a fascinating history. there was a great article about Sidney and the cars he built many years ago in an edition of Collectible Automobile. most of these were raced. dig up some history on this one and it may fetch big money?

  5. Doug

    There was a J2 running through Reno, NV during Hot August Nights this past year – it sounded like one of the earlier ones with a Ford flathead V8- unfortunately, I was never able to locate it after it drove by…… I recall watching an Allard /Chrysler at the first Monterey Historic Auto Races – that split front axle made it REAL squirrelly coming out of what was then Turn 9 – the hairpin leading onto the start finish straight. The front of the car would lift about 18 inches and the rear would lurch sideways, and the driver would be all elbows trying to get it to go straight. There was also an Allard / Cadillac in the race that seemed to handle better, but it had been previously raced by Briggs Cunningham, so that may have had something to do with it.

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