MAR­QUE TIME Lon­don man­u­fac­turer bor­rowed from Detroit

The West Australian - - WEST WHEELS | COVER STORY - DAVID PIKE

The name Al­lard en­tered the mo­tor­ing in­dus­try in 1936 when Syd­ney Al­lard, a Lon­don Ford mo­tor dealer with a pen­chant for mo­tor­sport, de­cided to build the Al­lard Spe­cial for him­self.

Based on a Ford V8 chas­sis and with other Ford parts to pro­vide the run­ning gear, Al­lard en­cased the whole thing in a cut-down Bu­gatti body.

He, as well as oth­ers, was ob­vi­ously pleased with the re­sults of this un­usual com­bi­na­tion be­cause he

went on to build a fur­ther 11 of these cars be­fore the out­break of World War II.

Like the first spe­cial, all were based on Ford parts with ei­ther Ford V8 or Lin­coln V12 en­gines.

At the end of WWII, Al­lard’s Ford deal­er­ship con­tin­ued but Al­lard also es­tab­lished the Al­lard Mo­tor Co and by 1946 had al­ready an­nounced his first mod­els.

These con­tin­ued to be based on Ford en­gines and trans­mis­sions fit­ted to a spe­cial chas­sis, which had in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion at the front us­ing trans­verse leaf springs.

The orig­i­nal com­pe­ti­tion two-seater racer was known as the J1. In 1950, this was re­placed by the J2, which had an alu­minium body mounted on a lad­der-style frame with sus­pen­sion changed to in­de­pen­dent coils at the front and a DeDion rear end.

Al­though a great va­ri­ety of en­gines could be fit­ted, the best was a 120kW Cadil­lac V8, which gave the car a top speed of 180km/h.

Most cars sold in the UK had ex-dis­posal Mer­cury V8s with a 4.4-litre ca­pac­ity and an op­tional OHV con­ver­sion cylin­der head.

Many of these were the less sporting mod­els such as the K, P and M types, which were pop­u­lar sports cars but not fast enough for rac­ing.

In the early 1950s, Al­lards had con­sid­er­able suc­cess on the race track, both in Europe and North Amer­ica.

Al­lard cars ap­peared reg­u­larly at

Le Mans and Monte Carlo and achieved much suc­cess.

How­ever, growth in sales and ex­ports of cars such as the Jaguar XK120 be­came too fierce and sales soon dwin­dled away.

In an at­tempt to in­crease sales, Al­lard in­tro­duced less ex­pen­sive cars us­ing Bri­tish Ford four-cylin­der and six-cylin­der en­gines but this proved to be a com­mer­cial fail­ure. In his later years, Al­lard spent much of his time tun­ing the en­gines of small Fords be­fore he died in 1966.

A clas­sic 1950 Al­lard K2.

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