Evolution of the Allard

Sydney Allard’s first Allard, the famous CLK5, was built in 1939. It was evolved from a crashed Ford V8 saloon. The chassis was cut down, normal Ford suspension, rod-operated brakes and welded Ford wheels retained, while the body had a GP Bugatti tail, and the steering box was also Bugatti. The engine was a standard 30-hp V8. Incidentally, Warburton later acquired it and today it still exists.

CLK5 was so successful that two more similar Allards were built, using Ringer, “imitation-Bugatti,” tails and sloping vee radiator grilles coming to a point at the base. These cars incorporated new side and cross-members purchased from the Ford Co, Ford steel disc wheels, and divided axle ifs. FGP 750 had a drilled chassis, was very light, and Allard used it to collect many awards. The sister car was bought by K Hutchison and driven by him in a pre-war Experts’ Trial, amongst many other events.

The next three Allards had 2/4-seater bodies and flat instead of vee radiator grilles, with inbuilt stoneguards. The first, AUX 59, was supplied to Sydney’s father and often chauffeur driven ; it is now in Scotland. The next, EXX 455, was owned by Mr Gilson, went to Ireland, but is now back in this country and has been converted by its present owner to coil-spring ifs. These cars had Ford wheels but the third, EXP 469, had wire wheels and Rudge hubs. It was sold to someone in Berkhamsted and last year was driven in trials by Hancock.

A more exciting car came next, for whereas those mentioned so far used V8 30 engines with iron heads, FXP 470, built for Ken Hutchison, had a Lincoln-Zephyr V12 engine. A Ford gearbox was retained and the engine accomodated by shortening the torque-tube. A 30-gallon slab-tank was fitted, and the flat radiator grille retained. Hutchison drove this car in the 6-Hour Sports Car Race at Brooklands but the fan belt fell off. Pulling a 4.11 to 1 axle ratio it would do 60 in second, 90 mph in top and the 1-mile in 17.8 sec. Later Len Parker made this Allard the basis of his fearsome rear-engined Parker Special trials car.

We come now to three more-civilised Allards built just prior to the war. They had full four-seater bodies, streamlined wings, -spatted at the back, and the sloping vee radiator grille coming to a point at the base. EXP 470 was a Zephyr V12-engined car built for Silcock and driven in the Alpine Rally after the war by Len Potter. ELL 300 was a similar Allard, but with V8 engine, delivered to VSA Biggs. One of these cars was later driven in trials by K McAlpine, who increased its ground clearance and fitted strip wings, etc.

The last of this series IMO 192, was another V12 intended for the 1939 show but unfinished when war intervened. It was later completed and driven by Allard in the first Speed tidal after the war at Bristol, and also in trials, including an “Experts.” Experimental work leading up to the production cars was performed on it, then Wick acquired it and now it resides at Banstead.

By 1945 Allard was supplying cars to order, to comply with the clamour of connoisseurs. In 1946 he formed the Allard Motor Co, Ltd, and a white two seater and red four-seater, having new curved grilles and low radiator bonnets, appeared in the London Cavalcade that year, driven by Imhof and Hutchlnson. Canham completed the trio in Silcock’s pre-war V12.

Production commenced with rather stark two-seaters, which had V8 engines and the same 8 ft 4 in wheelbase of the pre-war cars. They were known as the J-type. The more refined K-type two-seater followed. A four-seaterL-type was also produced at this time, and in June 1947, these were joined by a drophead coupe-the M-type—on the four-seater chassis. This Coupe proved so popular that the J and L-type Allards were gradually discontinued and the K made only in small numbers.

In August 1949, coil springs replaced a transverse leaf spring for the divided-axle ifs. Lockheed brakes were adopted and the J-type saloon, Monte Carlo Rally winner this year, was introdueed at the Show on the coupe chassis. This was a winner also in the commercial sense and to meet the demand for saloons the coupé was gradually dropped. It was however, re-introduced at the 1951 Show in revised form, known as the M2. The K-type two-seater, after slight modification, re-emerged in 1950 as the K2, with larger body, new-type front grille and bumpers and a big luggage locker. Before this, in August 1949, a new sports Allard, very stark, with oversize Mercury engine, made its debut at Prescott and this went into production as the famous J2 with coil springs all round and de dion back-end, a Cadillac engine being available as an alternative for USA customers. This in turn, has given way to the J2X, with Ardun-Ford, or 5.4-litre Cadillac or Chrysler ohv V8 engine, as tested by Motor Sport in Chrysler form last December, when the differences between J2X. and the J2 were described. In its various guises the Allard has won 92 important awards, and has got used to its world-wide fame by its victory in the recent Monte Carlo Rally. – WB