Allard Motor Company, the historic, Gloucester-based sports car company with 89 years continuous racing history, is making its comeback for the first time in 60 years.
Allard were part of this country’s drive to rebuild the economy after the Second World War. Now, continuing where founder Sydney Allard left off more than 60 years ago, the Allard family is offering the first of its JR continuation series, chassis eight (3408) for sale with RM Sotheby’s at its London sale on October 31.
One of the very few remaining family-owned car companies, the JR continuation series has been a collective family project to bring back the Allard name and continue the founding father’s (Sydney Allard) legacy. Hand built in the UK by Sydney’s son, Alan, and grandson Lloyd, alongside his other grandson Gavin, archivist of The Allard Owners Club, the JR continuation model has been built using original drawings and parts, design bucks, traditional materials to the original racing specification.
Around 2,000 Allards were made between 1946-1956 and the family estimate that around 500 original cars still exist across the world. After WW2, the company was well positioned to export to America as their cars were designed to use the high power V8s then being produced in the States. To get around import duties, many cars were sent across the Atlantic without engines, which were bought and fitted in the USA by their new owners.
Sydney Allard won the 1952 Monte Carlo rally in an Allard. He also brought drag racing to Europe. His son, Alan, gained was dubbed “the fastest man in the world” by the press at the time. Alan’s son Lloyd raced in an Allard-built car from 2002 to 2007.
Alan Allard said: “Watching my father build these cars in period is a memory that will always stay with me. The skills he’s passed on to me are now with my son, Lloyd, who has engineered and built the continuation you see today. More than 84 years on since the first Allard car was built, car number eight [after seven original JRs] continues my father, Sydney Allard’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 Motor Company was a revered specialist, low-volume motor vehicle maker based in London, UK. The JR model followed the Allard Motor Company’s J2 and J2X models, which were extensively raced in the USA in the early-Fifties, scoring convincing road racing victories over the latest Ferraris and Jaguars at the hands of such legends as Tom Cole, Erwin Goldschmidt, and Fred Wacker.
Since racing is such a large part of the company’s legacy and passion, the family decided to create the JR continuation series to be competitive and offer customers with the option of HTP papers and accreditation. Fitting the JR with a re-engineered version of the original-specification Cadillac 331 ci (5428cc) overhead valve V8 (300 bhp at 4500 rpm) Allard Sports Cars is also offering three- and four-speed gearboxes (chassis number 3408 fitted with the optional four-speed transmission) and a differential final drive with selection of quick change transfer gears, as well as providing the option to vary the ratio to suit specific events, race circuits and road rallies.
Eligible for a number of race events, series and road rallies, the JR continuation’s coachbuilder Lloyd Allard said: “As a family we have been passionate in reviving and continuing the legacy of what Sydney Allard created over eight decades ago. Since we’re all [the current Allard family members involved in the project] 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.”
The continuation JR model chassis number 3408 is exclusively for sale at RM Sotheby’s London sale on 31st October 2020 with an estimate of £180,000 – £240,000. RM Sotheby’s famously sold the 1953 Allard Motor Company JR Le Mans entrant, of which the JR continuation is based, at its Amelia Island sale in 2013 for $605,000 and has auctioned a range of highly collectable Allard racing cars previously.
For all the sporting success of Allard, it should be remembered that they were also a significant manufacturer at a time when British industry was striving to keep the British economy going. Celebrities such as Dirk Bogarde and Steve McQueen were drawn to the fabulous styles and sporting prowess of the Allard cars