Allard name returns after 60 years

Historic Racing

The 1953 Le Mans-spec Allard JR will form the basis of a new continuation series, marking the first new Allards for more than 60 years

Allard JR continuation series

Allard JR continuation model is based on original drawings and was built with body bucks from the 1950s

One of British motor racing’s historic names, Allard, is making a comeback, more than 60 years after its production line of racing and sports cars ended.

A continuation series of the Allard JR, which led the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours, has been announced by the family of the company founder Sydney Allard.

The first aluminium-bodied car has already been built, using original parts, drawing and body bucks to recreate the 1953 competition specification, and will be auctioned next month, with an estimate of between £180,000 and £240,000.

“Watching my father build these cars in period is a memory that will always stay with me,” said Alan Allard. “The skills he’s passed on to me are now with my son, Lloyd, who has engineered and built the continuation you see today.

“Over 84 years on since the first Allard car was built, car number eight [after seven original JRs] continues my father’s legacy and if he saw what we were doing today as a family, I know he’d be proud – and desperate to see how it performs on track.”

Allard JR continuation series on the move

The Allard is understood to be eligible for a Historic Technical Passport, allowing it to compete in international historic motor sport, and is described as a “tool-room copy” of the design that entered Le Mans in 1953. It’s fitted with a re-engineered version of the original 5428cc Cadillac V8, producing 300bhp.

Buyers have the option of three- and four-speed gearboxes and the option of varying the ratio to suit specific events.

From the archive

Between 1932 and 1958, the company produced 1900 cars, which were typically fitted with big V8 engines. Among them was the Type P saloon that won the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Sydney Allard.

The J2 two-seater finished third at Le Mans in 1950, and had success in American road racing.

Typically fitted with large, powerful engines, It was followed by the J2X and then the JR, of which only seven originals were made.

Interior of the Allard JR continuation series

“As a family we have been passionate in reviving and continuing the legacy of what Sydney Allard created over eight decades ago,” said Lloyd Allard, as he spoke about his family’s involvement in the project.

“Since we’re all passionate drivers, engineers and archivists, it’s been important to stay true to our roots and passion.

“We see this car as a tribute and we’d love to see the JR continuation model car follow in the footsteps of my grandfather’s legacy and get back to Le Mans. Likewise, it would be a pleasure to see our creation on the historic and competition car circuit.”