South Londoner Sydney Allard’s eponymous car marque was a true giant-killer during the 1950s and ’60s, with his lightweight V8-engined racers very likely inspiring one-time Allard driver Carroll Shelby’s legendary Shelby Cobra. But Allard didn’t just build blisteringly quick cars such as the J1 and J2. He raced them, too.
After starting with a Morgan three-wheeler in 1929 at the age of 19, he progressed to a series of Ford-based specials of his own design, with which he achieved competition success in everything from sand racing to trials, sprints and rallies.
By the time the Allard company went bust in 1958, its founder had become a hillclimb champion, won the Monte Carlo Rally at his first attempt and taken third place in a J2X at the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hours.