406ci OHV Ford V-8 Engine
Upwards of 400bhp at 4,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Semi-Independent Front Suspension - De Dion Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
*One of the baddest Allards ever!
*Known history from new
*Fitted with Holman and Moody Ford 406 in period
*Exquisite, fresh restoration
*Recent exhibition and the Greenwich and Boca Raton Concours
THE ALLARD J2X
Sidney Allard's cars labeled by the irreverent as "The blacksmith's revenge" got their job done. Like Enzo Ferrari, Allard was a racer and competitor that built some street cars to bring in revenue to support his true love: competition. He started racing pre-war and was victorious in hill climbs and uniquely British "trials". After the war he developed increasingly powerful racers, culminating in the famous J2 and J2X. These were evolutions of his first pre-war competition hill climbing and trials cars, but designed to take the newly available, powerful, American V8's instead of the previous flat head Ford engines. Since he owned a large Ford dealership, he admired the Fords above all others in their price class, and it was natural that he used Fords as a basis for his creations. Many chassis components came out of the Ford parts bins. The infamous dual swing axle front suspension used on practically all Allard's would be familiar to any Ford truck mechanic. The rugged construction and relatively inexpensive running costs, combined with distinctive coachwork and tremendous performance, established an enviable string of victories in the formative years of American road racing.
Allard's swing axle front suspension worked great for the early trials as they plowed their way through some of the worst mud holes race organizers could create. As the first British "hot-rodder" he developed a real appreciation of the potential of large American V8's with torque bands as wide as the Thames. So to many, his cars were crude and unsophisticated; hence the "blacksmith's revenge" moniker. But they were also startlingly effective. His was the British car to break a 21 year dry spell by winning the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally. An Allard placed 3rd at Le Mans in 1950, won the British Hill Climb championship in 1949, and won the Watkins Glen GP the first time it was an international race. He co-drove an Allard with a young American driver, one Carroll Shelby, who might have gotten some inspiration for American powered, British chassis cars.
Constant improvements were made. Some have said that the handling went from terrifying on his first serially produced sports car, the J2, 99 made from 1950-51, to merely frightful on the J2X, 83 made in 1951-52. The J2X had an improved but not totally redesigned front suspension. The engine was moved 7.5inches forward allowing an enlarged cockpit, crucial to taller America drivers, many who couldn't fit in a J2. At the rear, the J2 introduced a De Dion coil sprung rear axle with inboard brakes, the first production British sports car to have this innovation. Carried over to the J2X this set-up, which had been first tried on his 1949 Championship Hill climb car, was extremely effective in getting the horsepower to the ground. These Allard's were easily adaptable to any of the latest overhead V8's. Most J2X's were shipped without an engine but with properly positioned mounts to accept the customer's choice.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
One of the baddest and best J2X's out there, fresh from a comprehensive refurbishment, this immaculate Allard combines awesome performance with stunning aesthetics.
The path to its presentation today began when car 3059 was delivered new midway through the production sequence in 1952 into the Texan ownership of a San Antonio Oilman. Legend has it that it was bought as a daily driver for his wife! She was reported to have hated the car and it wasn't long before it passed to second owner Jon Doyle, who part exchanged his wife's XK120 against it. She also wasn't appreciative of the car, but Doyle did get to race the car for a few years, and there it was raced first using a Chrysler Hemi, over time that was replaced by Cadillac 331 in 1957. In 1960 he sold it to long term owner Bill Bauder who would keep the car for more than 5 decades. Over its storied career on track with Bauder, its most interesting iteration came in 1962, when the Caddy blew a head gasket. Bauder reached out to Holman and Moody, no less, and was able to procure a super rare Ford 406 Nascar engine as a replacement. Boasting 550hp or more, the J2X has carried this power unit for the last 60 years. Bill Bauder raced the car for many of his years of ownership and finally elected to restore it in 2000.
The current owner was alerted to the car in 2014/5 and was fascinated by its simple history and incredible power. Used occasionally, and thoroughly enjoyed, in the last few years, it was clear that its cosmetics had aged, and with time a dream to restore the car to the guise we see today. The carefully chosen color scheme is an undeniable success, a subtle olive green/gray hue suits the car perfectly and is contrasted with rich mahogany toned leather. But the restoration was not limited to the exterior, the mechanics were carefully gone through, and details such as the half shafts which had twisted from the huge torque over the years were replaced with hardened steel units to prevent future issues.
Completed within the last 12 months, the car is freshly presented and debuted on the rescheduled Concours circuit late last year with a showing at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in the class celebrating 75 years of the marque. Looking and sounding sensational, this ground shaking Allard is ready to be experienced by its next custodian and could provide them an entry for a multitude of high-speed road tours such as the Colorado Grand or California Mille, or indeed would likely show well in any concours.