Friday, 10 December 2010

Allard J2X MK II Roadster to go on sale in Europe

Allard J2X MK II Roadster to go on sale in Europe

Well, after quite a few personal posts of late it's nice to get back to some vintage news from elsewhere on the interweb. This story originally broke a month ago but due to the aforementioned posts and a dearth of retro news items recently, I'm blogging about it now.

Allard cars were originally produced in Britain for 30 years between 1936 and 1966, the company having been founded by one Sydney Allard. Primarily a sports car manufacturer, although a few saloon models were also sold, Allard produced its own designs in London and used big American Ford V8 engines and mechanicals to create lots of power in a lightweight body making the cars ideal for racing. Indeed Allards driven by Sydney Allard himself won the 1949 British Hillclimb Championship, the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally, came third in the 1950 Le Mans endurance race and were owned by the likes of Steve McQueen and Carroll Shelby (almost certainly influencing the latter in the creation of the Shelby Cobra). The zenith of Allard's race-bred motor cars could be said to be the J2X Roadster (above) but somewhat paradoxically it is one of the rarest, only 83 being produced between 1951 and 1954.

However it has been possible for some time to buy an accurate "recreation" of the J2X from the new Allard Motor Works, based in Montreal, Canada. Staying true to Sydney Allard's original ethos, the J2X MkII is painstakingly hand-built by Allard in Canada (and north-east America) and still uses a big 'ol American V8, albeit this time a GM unit (the same engine that's in the Corvette, as it happens). So accurate and traditional are the product and methods that the British Allard Register recognises these cars as though their own and awards each finished vehicle a certificate and fully-sanctioned serial number. Although it has always been possible to unofficially import one of these "new" Allards into the British Isles as this article explains they will now be available through a proper UK dealer.

It is always a delight (for me, anyway) to see a successful marriage of classic vintage style with modern practices and this car is another perfect example of that. Now they will become [slightly] more readily available in Europe and hopefully ensure the continued success of Allard Motor Works and the memory of Sydney Allard.

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