Allard have just released some exciting news. They are due to re-release the Allard J2, Allard J2X and Allard J2X Le Mans Competition cars into the UK. The classic cars will be hand built and will include the ferociously torquey Cadillac engines.
The Allard Motor Company was formed in 1946 by the now legendary Sydney Allard. It is one of many pieces of British motoring heritage in which we can be particularly proud, although like many pieces of British motoring heritage it was a short lived and an unfortunate failure. Having produced just shy of two thousand cars by 1966 when production all but ceased they were never a high volume manufacturer.
Allard had a similar mentality to building cars as the late, great, Carroll Shelby did with the AC Cobra. Allard’s vehicles tended to feature large American V8 engines squashed into a small British sports car giving an immense power-to-weight ratio. In fact it was Allard who really did this first. The Cobra’s designer, Carroll Shelby drove an Allard in the 1950’s as did the Corvette’s designer. I wonder how much of the vehicles they created were inspired by Allard? Particularly as the demise of Allard left the doors wide open for someone to create such a vehicle to fill the growing demand for ever faster cars.
The J2 was a successful race car in it’s own right. Gaining a 3rd place (1st in class) at Le Mans in 1950 driven by Sydney Allard himself. It was a car that more often than not put it’s driver upon the podium. The J2X was an attempt to update the J2 in a changing world where lightweight, overpowered, sports cars were becoming more commonplace year on year. Possibly inspired by Allard themselves. The J2X wasn’t as successful as the J2 in the racing series it entered and found itself against more advanced cars such as the Jaguar C Type and Jaguar D Type, as well as Ferrari’s and Maserati’s. As it’s competitors became more advanced, Allard struggled to keep up and slowly struggled it’s way into obscurity. Very few Allards were produced after 1959 and by 1966, a great year for British sport but terrible year for British motor racing, as Allard production stopped altogether, Sydney Allard died, and the factory burned down.
In his time Sydney Allard was one of the most important people in motoring. He competed in 14 Monte Carlo Rally’s and was responsible for bringing Drag Racing over to the UK. It was Sydney Allard who created Europe’s first ever dragster which is currently in the process of being restored. The Performance Direct Non Standard Awards have supported the ACAG (Allard Chrysler Action Group) now for some time and have contributed funding and support to this important historic project.
At Motor-Vision.co.uk we look forward to seeing, and more importantly hearing, these historic vehicles once more.