<B>1951 ALLARD J2<br /></B>
Lot 8
1951 ALLARD J2
US$ 325,000 - 375,000
€ 290,000 - 330,000

Lot Details
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1951 ALLARD J2

Chassis no. 99J2121

289ci OHV Hi-Po V-8 Engine
4-Barrel Carburetor
306bhp at 6,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Semi-Independent Front Suspension - De Dion Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Named the "Ultimate Allard" by Simon Taylor
*Shelby Cobra 289 Hi-Po engine
*Beautifully restored and well-documented example
*The feature of numerous publications
*1 of only 43 surviving J2s out of a total of 90 produced


Using a crashed Ford V8 coupe onto which he had grafted the body of a Grand Prix Bugatti, Sydney Allard constructed one of the most unlikely of all pre-war trials specials. However, the Allard Special's lightweight construction and relatively powerful American V8 engine, although not the first such combination, demonstrated the formula's potential, providing the inspiration for future imitators including Carroll Shelby, who acknowledged Allard's influence on the Cobra.


This particular Allard is acclaimed by many to be the finest J2 in existence. In accordance with its original build sheet, J2121 was assembled on August 24th, 1951. From new, the chassis was fitted with an Ardun-modified Mercury flathead V8. On March 28th, 1952, J2121 was purchased by its first owner, B.S. Wade of Cheadle, England and was registered under FBA 685.

After a series of brief ownerships, in 1963 the car wound up in the hands of Allard's former promotions manager, Gerry Belton. Early on in Mr. Belton's stewardship, he commissioned to have the body repainted in classic British Racing Green and to have the interior re-trimmed. Being a former Allard employee, Mr. Belton possessed the connections to have the upholstery work performed by the original upholsterer who fitted the car's interior form new. Period photographs show the cosmetically refreshed J2 participating in both the Brighton Speed Trials in Brighton, England during 1964 and in an Allard Concours, which occurred in 1966. After numerous years of enjoyment, Mr. Belton sold J2121 in 1968 to fellow Allard enthusiast, Bob Judd, an American businessman who at the time was living in London.

As noted in Simon Taylor's 1969 article featured in the August issue of Autosport magazine, at the time Mr. Judd acquired J2121 the car was in need a full engine rebuild. Upon digestion of this news, Mr. Judd contemplated upgrading the J2 with the famed and hallowed Shelby Cobra 289 Hi-Po V-8. As a true Allard enthusiast he was hesitant, wanting to insure that he was doing right by the car. Mr. Judd took his J2 to the Allard works in Capham, London, and spoke with the very same craftsmen who built J2121 eighteen years prior. Mr. Judd presented his question to the craftsmen – would it be sacrilege, instead of rebuilding the old engine, to fit a brand-new Cobra unit? The craftsmen responded by asking if it would make the car faster; Mr. Judd confirmed that it would indeed. The craftsmen replied: "Put it in then. That's what Sydney (Allard) would have done!"

After hearing this from the car's original builder and receiving his blessing, Mr. Judd took J2121 to Bob Rayner of Acre Road Garage, where he had the car fitted with a 289 powerplant and a close-ratio Ford transmission. After driving the freshly powered J2, Simon Taylor went on to explain the experience stating: "With identical power and torque and similar weight to the AC Cobra, the (J2) is certain to be as quick as it felt. Once underway it just thunders forward, its snub green nose swallowing up the road and its Wagnerian exhausts seeming to blow everything else off the road." It was this experience that inspired Simon Taylor to name J2121 the "Ultimate Allard".

Shortly after the release of the Taylor article in 1969, Mr. Judd sold J2121 to Otto Bowden, a well-known collector based in Jacksonville, Florida with an impressive collection of other prestigious automobiles, including the likes of Ferrari and Bugatti. In the early 1970s J2121 was yet again featured in a magazine, this time in an advertisement for Champion spark plugs.

In 2008, after owning J2121 for nearly 40 years, Mr. Bowden sold the car to Dr. Martin Stickley of Winter Park, Florida. Wanting to be able to show the J2 at the nation's finest concours events, Dr. Stickley sent J2121 to Gassman Automotive Products of Waynesboro, Virginia, to receive a comprehensive, show quality restoration. It was discovered that the engine in the car at that time was that of a 225hp Ford V8, so one of the first orders of business became sourcing a correct, 1965 Cobra 289 Hi-Po engine. Dr. Stickley delivered and, after finding the correct type engine, had it balanced, blueprinted and fitted with an all-roller valve train, oversized Manley valves, and custom tubular headers. Some of the other work performed during the 80-hour-per-week, six-month restoration included stripping, straightening, and powder coating the chassis, rebuilding the suspension, replacing the interior with cork Connolly leather, refurbishing the gauges, and bringing the body down to bare metal before dressing it in beautiful Allard British Racing Green. Photos of the restoration process are available, which showcase the level of craftsmanship and care that was put into each aspect of the project.

The extensive restoration was completed in 2011 and, soon after, the beautifully restored Allard was featured in a number of prestigious events and took home a number of acclaimed awards. The impressive list includes being shown at the 2011 Amelia Concours, winning Best in Show at the 2011 Winter Park, Florida All British Car Concours, winning the Spirit of the Road Award at the 2012 Boca Raton Concours, and an award at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours. In 2012, J2121 was also yet again the feature of a magazine article, this time in the July issue of Classic Motorsports Magazine.

In total only 90 Allard J2s were built. Of those 90 cars, it is believed that just 43 examples have survived. Of the 43 examples still with us, J2121 is sure to be one of the most well-known and extensively documented. Accompanying the sale of J2121 is its original build sheet, factory inspection certificate, the original British registration logs, and numerous pieces of original equipment such as the original, full windscreen with dual electric wipers, tools, Dunlop Racing Tires, and front fender mud flaps, amongst others. When considering that J2121 is believed to wear its original aluminum bodywork, has been featured in numerous publications, was the recipient of a no-expense-spared restoration, has won multiple awards, and is powered by a legendary powerplant, it is very easy to see why J2121 has become known as the "Ultimate Allard."

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that according to the Allard Registry, 82 of the original 94 Allard J2's are still known to exist.
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