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Cadillac V8 Power! 1952 Allard K2

London-based Allard Motor Company built its K Series of 2-seat sports car over three generations from 1946-52. This was a small volume operation that saw just 332 made overall. The K2 was a refinement of the K1 and produced in 1949-52. These cars featured large displacement American V8 engines in a light British chassis and body. This 1952 K2 has been owned by the same family for decades and was treated to a restoration at some point. Located in Windsor, Pennsylvania, it’s being offering here on Facebook Marketplace for $135,000, not an unusual figure for one of these rare automobiles. Thanks, Chuck Foster, for alerting us to this interesting find.

While sports cars were not the only quiver in Allard’s product offering, some sedans and microcars would also see production (about 1,900 cars of all types built in total). The company became insolvent in 1958, thus exiting the automobile assembly business. Following the run of 151 K1’s from 1946-48 which used Ford V8 engines, an updated version of the car materialized in the form of the K2 in 1949. It differed from the K1 by using coil springs all round and the body wore three prominent oval “portholes” on each flank. We’re told that assembly efficiency improved with the K2 models, but only 119 of those cars saw the light of day.

The K2 was much beefier in terms of performance, trading in the tuned 221 cubic inch V8 supplied by FOMOCO for a Cadillac unit with a displacement of 331 cubes using 2×4-barrel carburetors. The selling family came across this car around 1980 and have kept it ever since. It was treated to a frameup restoration, but we don’t know when that may have occurred. The car is said to have 15,000 miles on it but is that total mileage or miles since the refurbish? We’re told the body needs some minor touching up which the seller will take care of before the car changes hands.

It certainly is an impressive-looking machine both inside and out. The seller says it runs and drives very well, which we’re not likely to doubt. Given the car’s production number of 110, it had to be among the last of the K2s built before the K3 came along as a bit larger sports car that looks akin to an MG Midget. The seller tells us that the side-mounted spare tire is a rare option for these cars. It normally would take up a good amount of the limited trunk space.

Perhaps due to their rarity today, a top-flight Allard K2 can go for north of $140,000, according to Hagerty, while excellent is around $100,000. So, if the appeal of a small British sports car that has a big, American-made V8 engine under the hood on purpose, expect to pay this kind of money.

Comments

  1. Jim in FL

    I happened to see a J2 at a vintage race many years ago in Philadelphia. Without scale, they look big. But they aren’t large cars. It was racing with MG t series cars and was similar size. What I thought was cool was the sound. Most of the cars in the class had buzzy four cylinder motors, but this was a straight piped v8 for sure.

    I’ve enjoyed learning about these over the years. The rarity keeps me priced out, but I always wanted one.

    Like 2
  2. Howard A Member

    Allards are fascinating cars. Why they weren’t more popular, I’m not sure. I read, the reason for the V8, was famed Corvette mogul, Zora Arkus-Duntrov worked for Allard around this time and he and Carrol Shelby raced V8 Allards. The Corvette and Cobra were a logical step for them. I also read, with the Caddy motor ( or 331 Hemi was used as well) with 2×4 barrels, it would lift the front wheels off the ground, making them understandably unstable. Cost no object here for one of the most fascinating cars of the early ’50’s. You could say, the V8 Allard started it all.

    Like 3
    • Martin Horrockd

      Don’t think so. Allard used V8 sidevalves before WW2 for trials cars. They were available in Europe as well, though not popular. It was a very British company.

  3. MikeB

    Quite a nice car, not as neat as the J2X but nicely designed and of course the Cadillac engine just makes the whole package. IMHO none of the other engines used were quite as cool as the 2×4 Cad.

    Like 1
  4. Chris Munn

    You guys are looking for a feature writer. Howard A has a good turn of phrase and is informative. Just saying.

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      Thanks, Chris, just a “spoke in the wheel” here. I think the writers do a great job, and sometimes, I like to know a little more, and just getting info off the innernet[sic]. Others may not have the time, and truth be known, writing for BF’s takes a lot of research, especially if they know nothing about the vehicle featured. They present it in a professional manner, what a good journalist does. I don’t think I could do that as well.

      Like 2
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I was at a guy’s shop in Danville,VA a few weeks back.
    He just sold a couple of Allard project cars for a fraction of the
    asking price on this one.He told me that they were the later cars,
    & not worth what the earlier ones are.

  6. ChingaTrailer

    I am puzzled by your reliance on Hagerty’s valuation guide – I’ve felt it gives unrealistically high numbers not supported by actual verified sales. Anybody else feel that way too?

    Like 1
    • ArtyParty

      Right with you there, @ChingaTrailer! Excellent K2s can be purchased at auction for well under $100k. I guess Hagerty are just part of the whole deal to inflate prices of old cars, which makes for a great business model, until people start thinking cars are over-priced in a downturned market and then we’ll see the required correction in prices.
      Modern classics, especially “supercars” have seen some considerable softening of late, along with XKE and XK Jaguars and Astons, to name just a couple, but ofcourse the industry needs to keep this as quiet as possible for fear of the slip turning into a landslide.
      We are well overdue for a correction in the cyclical scheme of things, so here’s hoping it will come soon to get some of these cars actually out on the road as vintage transport, rather than under a cover as an “investment”. Buy ’em to drive ’em!

      Like 2

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