Cobra Killer: 1952 Allard J2X

1952 Allard J2x Front Corner

We doubt that when Sydney Allard started building cars in the late 1930’s that he thought any of them would one day become so incredibly valuable. This 1952 J2X is a beautiful example of the pinnacle of ’50s race cars. The first cars Allard Motors built were race cars for trials racing and on that foundation the company built a reputation for durable and strong race cars. By the late ’40s Allard had made his way from the rough back roads of trials to the smooth pavement of Le Mans and Monte Carlo. A J2 helped Allard take 3rd place in the 1950 Le Mans and a P1, the J2’s bigger brother, took 1st place the next year at Monte Carlo. In 1951 Allard upgraded the J2, creating the J2X. The J2X addressed the complaints being made about the lack of legroom in the J2, so he moved the engine forward. This gave the cockpit more room and gave the car a more aggressive appearance. The J2X was slightly better balanced, but was heavier, negating the handling gains. This J2X is on eBay with an astronomical BIN price of $350k.

1952 Allard J2x Interior

Allards were known to have very simple interiors and the race models were even more so. This car still has the original seats, windshield, and soft top. In the mid ’90s the car went through a complete frame off restoration to get it back to pristine condition, special attention was given to keep this car as original as possible. The J2X, as most of Allard’s cars, used his own independent front suspension design. Independent front suspensions were rare in the late ’40s, but Allard’s design was very rudimentary and caused the cars to be squirrelly under hard acceleration and braking.

1952 Allard J2x Engine

Most Allards that were bound for the U.S. left the factory without engines; those that did usually came with a Mercury flathead. However, when ordering a car one could specify the engine to be used and the car would come prepared for that engine. This car had the popular Cadillac 5.4 liter engine producing 300 hp installed in it. This car currently has the original Cadillac engine from 1952, but was rebuilt and upgraded at the time of restoration. The transmission was replaced with a Borg Warner T-10 racing unit and the differential was swapped with a modified unit to handle more horsepower. The original differential is with the car and included in the sale, but the original transmission is not available. The rear end of the J2X is a De Dion and gave the car incredible amounts of traction, playing a significant role in the cars incredible acceleration.

1952 Allard J2x Side

The J2X is a truly impressive vehicle and can easily keep up with many modern cars. This car can easily accelerate to 60 in less than 6 seconds, a respectable time for a modern car and a mind blowing time for a car built in 1952. When Car and Driver tested a J2X in ’54 they clocked a 1/4 mile time of 15 seconds, which they noted was faster than a Cobra. The performance of the J2 and J2X was so astounding that Carroll Shelby and many other racers chose them for racing. This car is a beautiful example of one of the 80 or so J2Xs ever built, so we are sad that the mechanicals were modified during restoration. We doubt these modifications will affect market value of this car though, as the modifications improve the performance and drivability of the car. The seller maybe asking a bit much at $350k, but these cars are rare and vintage race cars are in high demand right now so we would expect it to sell for a number close to that. We would love to see this car at the California Mille or similar rallies, as this car was built to be driven hard and that’s what it should be doing.

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Comments

  1. Ron Southan

    I doubt there was a Cobra to compare it to in 1954 but never the less, I shall search through my sofa cushions for enough change to buy this rascal.

    • Mel

      My Allard kit is not quite finished and owing to medical problems, I can’t finish it. E-mail me I need to sell IT ASAP!

      Like 1
      • Ian McDonald

        I have a Cadillac J2 with standard L-Z gears. Thinking of a T10 or other conversion. What’s in your kit?
        Regards
        Ian McDonald

    • Cameron

      You Sure? Thats alot of Cushions

  2. Reuben Adkins

    Cobra killers? Considering that Mr.Shelby didn't start producing the Cobra until 1961, I find it doubtfull that in 1954 anyone would have found a Cobra to compair the JX2 to. Now, while it is true Mr.Shelby did race Allards in the 50's, he switched to the faster Cobra when his company started producing them. FYI, the 427 Cobra has a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and a 1/4 mile time of 12.7 seconds……considerably faster than the Allard.It takes a hell of a car to be a "Cobra killer", and the Allard isn't it.

  3. Josh Staff

    While the Cobra didn't come out till '62 it's true performance wasn't much faster then the Allard. The AC Cobra had a 0-60 time more like 5.5 seconds, not 4.6 seconds. The Allard J2X with the Caddy engine has been clocked at 5.7 seconds, so only 0.2 seconds slower. For a car that's 8 years older then the Cobra I think that's pretty impressive.

  4. jezza

    Astronomical BIN? Considering that at this time a UK reg’d car sold for £440k (650k dollars or so) It’s b..dy cheap. Check your facts before writing comments next time.

    And comparing J2X to Cobra… Why? Both were very fast in their time enough said

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