Where shall we start?
It’s been nothing but a hectic time just recently. The high season is over but as I write this in late October there is still loads going on. I’m in the middle of a number of our P & J Tours outings and have two fully sold out trips to JCB at a number of their plants. I’ve more later in the month plus a sold out trip to John Deere. The same day we also visit a company that restores tractors full time and have a staff of six. Yes, there are such companies, as the restoration business isn’t just confined to cars.
Getting back to life with my two Allard’s, it has been interesting to say the least. In my last column I explained how I wasn’t happy with the low oil pressure. This came about when I replaced the bi- pass oil filter and changed the engine oil in the Allard M. After road testing the car, I wasn’t impressed with the low pressure, so I ordered some Miller’s 20/ 50 Pistonezze.
The Allard’s engine takes just under a gallon of oil and after replacing the oil again I thought the pressure was much better. However, that really was not the case as I was to find some weeks later, but we’ll come to in my February (gosh, how time flies) column. One good thing I’ve got to report is that the Allard’s very difficult to fit chrome wheel trims have so far stayed in place.
On the first weekend in August, I took the Allard P to the Weald Of Kent Steam Rally at Woodchurch in Kent. This show is held some 44 miles from where I live and has become a major event in this part of the world. It’s held on an excellent airfield strip site that also features some classic World War Two period aircraft and I was delighted to find the Allard’s wheel trims survived the trip.
The event goes back to the original style of rallies and the first Weald of Kent Traction Engine Society rallies started 61 years ago on a site at Paddock Wood, Kent. In fact my late father secured the site for WOKTES and I attended in the tender of a 1902 Wallis & Steevens steam tractor. However father dropped the tractor’s firebox fusible plug, which he had to re- lead on mother’s kitchen cooker ring before the event the next day. The steam engine owners were paid 50 shillings to attend back in those days, which was quite a lot of money when you think of it.
To try and miss any major traffic to Woodchurch, I left home at 7:0am but as there was major road works in Hawkhurst but the Allard’s engine temperature stayed at 160-180° F, which was good, as these cars are known for running very hot. I was on site by 8:30am and made a call at Kelsey Media’s stand to see the 1959 Massey Ferguson 35 tractor that is going to be given away as a prize.
It’s a nice tractor though, and I was able to parade it around the show ring and later to persuade people over the PA system to buy a £2 ticket to try and win it. The draw takes place on Sunday, November 11, at the indoor/ outdoor Newark Vintage Tractor Show, the season’s climax for vintage tractors and commercial vehicles.
Displayed next to my Allard P at Woodchurch was Derek Gransden’s 1927 Wolseley 16/45. Built when this famous marque was part of Vickers, Derek’s car was produced just before Wolseley went bust and was taken over by William Morris. As I about to leave the show to drive home, I was accosted by a German Allard fan that was very excited to see the car and wanted to talk about it for hours. When I eventually got on the road just
After road testing my Allard, I wasn’t too happy with the oil pressure, so I ordered another blend and tried again
after 7pm the weather was still very hot and everywhere I drove there was just loads of traffic along the country roads, particularly as I travelled towards Tenterden.
The roads are very twisty in these parts and the P’s engine with its three-speed transmission was starting to ‘hunt’. This suggested the engine was running rather weak, so fed up with the traffic I pulled into a petrol station and filled the tank up at some expense (unfortunately the Allard’s fuel gauge doesn’t work!). When it came to leave, I must have flooded the engine, as it took a few seconds to fire up, but I placed it in gear and streaked out on to the highway at some speed to be in front of an 1981 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC. I’m sure the owners were not pleased to get behind the Allard, as they followed me for some 20 miles before until I pulled over at Hurst Green to let them pass.
Rather than travel through Hawkhurst where there were three sets of lights plus a carnival atmosphere, I decided to keep to the main roads but the brakes started to squeak. One bright moment on what was become a tiring journey home was when a lad spoke through the Allard’s passenger window to say it was the most beautiful car he had ever seen!
What a nightmare journey and when almost home I met an ambulance at speed coming towards me – help! Somehow we managed to get past each other and I was pleased to get home in one piece at just after 9:00pm.
I’d hoped to be out with the Allard M the following Sunday to a local ‘car’ party just a few miles up the road but I had to cancel as I needed to prepare my 1925 Davey Paxman 3hp steam portable for the Kelsey Media Old Glory magazine stand at the 50th Great Dorset Steam Fair that was held between August 23-27. More on this exciting event and other adventures with my two Allards as the season finally comes to an end in my next Driver’s Diary. It may be a tad early, but a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
My Allard P1 certainly looks different and was built 22 years later that this very original 1927 Wolseley 12/45.
Another car that attracted a lot of attention at Woodchurch was this magnificent 1954 Jensen Intercepter drophead coupé. Powered by a 3998cc six-cylinder engine, only 88 examples were ever built.
Allard Owners’ Club (1951) Captain Dave Lovey’s with his 1949 Allard K1 717 at the Silverstone Classic in July, Dave hillclimbs the car at Prescott and other places.
This modified Mini Clubman turned up at an event Peter attended. A lowered roofline and wide wheels really play tricks on the eyes!
An impressive line up of Allards at a recent show attracted a lot of attention. Not surprising though, as these are good looking cars.