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Overview

The end of WWII in 1945 saw the resurrection of the British civilian motor industry that had been dedicated to the war effort since the late 1930's. Many of the well established motor manufacturers started to produce their pre-war models again from tooling that had been temporarily put to one side. Some, like Riley, Jowett and Armstrong-Siddeley were able to introduce new model ranges and inevitably, there were little known names such as Healey and Allard that started the production of sports cars for the enthusiast. In fact, the name Allard had been well known in trials circles from 1936 to 1939.

Sidney Herbert Allard, born in June 1910, was the son of a well-to-do builder, who had acquired a building firm with the coincidental name of Robert Adlard. But from his early days, Sidney Allard had been interested in motor sport, especially car trials and he had decided to pursue that interest rather than join his father's business. In 1929, he entered a Morgan three-wheeler in a three lap novices' race at Brooklands and won, going on to do the same thing the following year in the same car. He had started in business with a small service garage which he named Adlards Motors Limited, in partnership with his mother and Robert Briscoe, who's acquaintance he had made through the garage when he served his apprenticeship.

In 1934, Sidney Allard acquired a Ford dealership and spent much of his time successfully competing in trials and sprints with a Ford V8 powered car. It had lightweight bodywork, having been built to compete in the 1934 Tourist Trophy Race. But his major successes were with a second Ford V8 powered car. Originally a crashed saloon, he re-built it using several parts, including the tail, of a Bugatti that had once belonged to Earl Howe. His achievements with this car prompted requests from friends and other competitors to build similar cars for their use. One was built for Ken Hutchinson, fitted with a V12 Lincoln 'Zephyr' engine and the two of them joined forces to collect many awards and trophies as a team called the 'Tail Waggers'. There was so much interest shown in his cars that Allard decided to start a business in alternative premises in 1938 for the sole purpose of constructing and selling competition cars.

1937 - 1939 Trials cars, now carrying the 'Allard Special' badge, had 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 30hp engines, giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm that gave a top speed of 95 mph.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring. Nine cars were built.

1938 - 1939 Alternative Trials cars were fitted with the 4,379 cc side-valve Lincoln Zephyr V12 engine giving 112 bhp at 3,900 rpm. The top speed was 100 mph.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring. Three cars were built.

World War II intervened and Allard worked from premises in Fulham, originally converting vans to run on gas and later specialising in the repair and maintenance of Ford army vehicles. After the war, Allard decided that as his earlier trials cars had been so successful, there could be a future in producing sports cars badged with his name and he opened premises in Clapham in 1945 which he called the Allard Motor Co. Ltd. (Adlards Motors Ltd. still remained as a separate company and would do so until 1976).

A range of Allards were announced in 1946, using mainly Ford parts and fitted with the Ford 3,622 cc V8 engine, although all Allards were built to take alternative engines. The streamlined, long nosed Allard built bodies were constructed of sheet steel panels over a wooden frame, mounted on a very strong box section chassis with box section cross members. Particular attention was paid to the strength of the forward part of the chassis to accommodate any engine requested by the customer. On the early post-war Allards, the front had a large and very distinctive waterfall grille, the headlamps were set into the bulbous front wings and the rear wheels were covered. Later cars had a re-designed, shorter grille and the rear wheels were open.
Model designations were: type 'J' open two-seater sports, type 'K' two-seater tourer, type 'L' four-seater tourer, type 'M' drophead coupe and type 'P' saloon.

1946 - 1947 Type 'J' two-seater sports which was available with a choice of two engines; 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm or alternatively, a 3,917 cc V8 engine giving 100 bhp at 3,000 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

1946 - 1950 Type 'K1' two-seater sports tourer with 3,622 cc side-valve V8 engine giving 95 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

1946 - 1950 Type 'L' four-seater tourer with 3,622 cc side-valve engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

1947 - 1950 Type 'M' drophead coupe with 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent transverse leaf spring. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

By 1948, Allards were well established and were sold, with Ford's permission, through Ford agencies world wide. The type 'P' slab-sided saloon was shown for the first time at the 1948 Motor Show. One Allard type 'P' saloon had a special Lea-Francis body fitted, but retained the unique Allard front from the windscreen forward. Unfortunately for Allard, the beautiful Jaguar XK120, with its sophisticated 3,442 cc twin ohc Jaguar designed and built engine, of comparable price, was introduced at the 1948 show and sales of the Allard began to slide in England. But exports improved as the Allard became more popular in America, where rolling 'J2' chassis' were fitted with Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge and Arden-tuned Mercury V8 engines.

1949 - 1952 Type 'MX2' drophead coupe with 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. rear: transverse leaf spring.

1949 - 1952 Type 'P1' saloon with 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

Allard, with his co-driver Guy Warburton and navigator Tom Lush drove a type 'P1' saloon, fitted with a 4.2 litre Mercury engine to victory in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally. That year, Allard announced the Type 'P2' Monte Carlo saloon with a De Dion rear axle and a new tubular space frame chassis, but fitted with the 3,622 cc Ford V8 engine.

1949 - 1954 Type 'J2' two-seater sports roadster with 3,917 cc overhead valve V8 engine giving 140 bhp.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

1950 - 1953 Type 'K2' two-seater sports tourer with 3,917 cc side-valve engine giving 100 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: transverse leaf spring.

1951 - 1954 Type 'J2X' two-seater sports roadster with 4,375 cc overhead valve V8 engine giving 150 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

1952 'Safari' estate with 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

1952 - 1956 Type 'K3' a low production two-seater sports tourer with slab-sided full width bodywork, fitted with the 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 95 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

1952 - 1956 Type 'P2' saloon with 3,622 cc side-valve Ford V8 engine giving 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

When Ford decided to cease production of the 3,622 cc V8 engine and introduced two new overhead valve 4 and 6-cylinder engines, Allard decided to create new two-seater designs around them. Using a tubular chassis and looking very similar to the Swallow Doretti, they were aimed specifically at the American market and were named 'Palm Beach'.

1952 - 1956 Model 21C 'Palm Beach' two-seater sports with Ford 1508 cc 4-cylinder ohv engine (as used in the British Ford 'Consul' Mk1) giving 47 bhp at 4,400 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil spring. Rear: coil springs.

1952 - 1956 Model 21Z 'Palm Beach' two-seater sports with Ford 2,262 cc 6-cylinder ohv engine (as used in the British Ford Ford 'Zephyr' Mk1) giving 68 bhp at 4,000 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: coil springs.

1956 - 1960 Model 72Z 'Palm Beach' two seater sports with 2,553 cc 6-cylinder ohv engine (as used in the British Ford 'Zephyr' Mk2) giving 90 bhp at 4,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: coil springs.

1956 Type 'J2R' two-seater sports roadster with 5,424 cc overhead valve V8 engine giving 270 bhp at 4,800 rpm.
Suspension: Front: Independent coil springs. Rear: De Dion.

Oddly enough, although it was the appearance and successes of the Jaguar XK120 that eventually helped to seal the fate of the Allard, the last three Allards were fitted with the 3,442 cc Jaguar engine. In England, the cheaper, very competitive Triumph TR's and M.G.'s were now very popular and Allard sales hit rock bottom.

Sidney Allard ventured into another field in 1954 and started a separate company called the Allard Clipper Company to produce a rather ugly motor cycle engined three wheeler designed by Gotlieb and powered by various motor cycle engines. The chassis were made by Allard and the bodies were in fibreglass. Unsurprisingly, only a handful were made and only one or two were actually sold to customers. In 1958, the company converted ambulances to De Dion axles for the London Ambulance Service, which brought similar work from the far East. Other work was highly tuning Ford Anglia's, fitting them with disc brakes and a sunroof to sell them as 'Allardettes'. They were designated 105, 109 or 116, depending on the specification. Allard went on to manufacture and become world distributors for Shorrock's superchargers. Another venture in 1962 was a dragster, built by Sidney Allard, powered by a 5.7 litre Chrysler engine. This spawned a few smaller versions known as 'Dragons', fitted with supercharged 1,588 cc 4-cylinder Ford engines. Sidney Allard died of cancer in April 1966.

Adlards Motors continued until 1976 and his son, Alan became the founder of Allard Turbochargers in Ross-on-Wye, England.

Replica's of the 'J2X' Competition two-seater are being built in Montreal, Canada.

Source: Reg J. Prosser

Models produced by Allard

Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo

1957-1959

J1

J1

1946-1947

J2

J2

1949-1954

J2R

J2R

1953-1955

J2X

J2X

1951-1954

JR

JR

1953-1956

K1

K1

1946-1950

K2

K2

1950-1953

K3

K3

1952-1956

L

L

1946-1950

M1

M1

1947-1950

M2X

M2X

1949-1952

P1

P1

1949-1952

P2

P2

1952-1956

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

1952-1958

Palm Beach 21

1954-1954

Palm Beach 21C/21Z

Palm Beach 21C/21Z

1952-1956

Palm Beach 72Z

1956-1960

Safari

Safari

1952-1955

V12

V12

1938-1939

V8

V8

1937-1939

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