Racing driver Sydney Allard's post-war cars combined the same virtues of light weight, independent front suspension and an abundance of American V8 power, which had been features of his first trials special of the mid-1930s. These favourable characteristics enabled Allard cars to establish a formidable competition record in the immediate post-war years; Allard himself finishing 3rd at Le Mans in a J2 two-seater and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in a P2 saloon.
Introduced in 1947, the M-type (retrospectively M1) was a more civilised version of the contemporary L model and employed Allard's trademark independently suspended 'split' front axle and transverse-leaf rear end in a chassis 6" longer than that of the K-type, the extra length being used to accommodate two rear passenger seats. Like the vast majority of production Allards, the M used Ford components, which were readily obtainable from Ford in the UK, its engine being the Blue Oval's famous 3,622cc 'flat head' V8. Approximately 500 examples were produced between 1947 and 1950.
Being top quality, hand-built, British cars with American mechanicals, Allards were very usable and relatively inexpensive to run and maintain. With their powerful and torquey V8 engine, three-speed manual gearbox and high overall gearing, they were fast and exciting cars to drive. Details of factory and retailer records (copies on file) supplied by Gavin Allard, historian and archivist of the Allard Owners Club, show that chassis number '705' fitted with engine number '7200726' was delivered new to Bristol Street Motors in October 1948. Its first owner was one J E Keightley of the White Lion, Bideford-on-Avon, while the original colour scheme was maroon with matching hood and brown interior. We are advised that the Allard went to the USA in 1990.
A most impressive example, this car was the subject of a total 'last nut and bolt' body-off restoration in the USA that cost the equivalent of almost £100,000. Purportedly, it was a Pebble Beach concours winner in 2003/2004 and undoubtedly would be a strong contender for top concours honours now. Equipped with triple carburettors, the engine has been totally rebuilt to run on Super Unleaded fuel and incorporates tuning parts made by the legendary Offenhauser company in the form of the latter's aluminium cylinder heads. Fewer than 1,000 miles have been covered since the car's total rebuild circa 2000/2001 and we are able to report that it sounds wonderful and is said to drive superbly. The chassis is as clean underneath as the body is on top. It should be noted that after a further 500 miles the cylinder head bolts will need to be re-tightened to the correct torque setting (recommended figures enclosed with accompanying paperwork).
Chassis number '705' is finished in Flame Red with beige mohair hood, while the re-trimmed interior features beige leather upholstery, contrasting biscuit carpets bound in beige leather, and striking walnut woodwork. Chromed wire wheels have been fitted in preference to the standard steel disc wheels. Sold to a new owner in Germany in 2005, the car comes with a laminated sheet of starting instructions, its American title documents and German customs clearance certificate confirming EU duties paid and enabling EU registration (currently still in date). We are advised that the vendor has applied to the DVLA for a V5C document retrieving the original UK registration, 'JOF 189'. A fabulous car that has to be seen to be properly appreciated, this beautiful Allard soft-top must be one of the very finest of its kind currently available.