Lot 617: 1948 Allard L-Type Tourer
Using a crashed Ford V8 coupé on to which he had grafted the body from a Grand Prix Bugatti, racing driver 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 and provided the inspiration for future imitators, including Carroll Shelby who acknowledged Allard’s influence on the Cobra.
After WW2, Allard progressed from special-builder to motor manufacturer, though the latter activity was really little more than a means of financing the company’s competition programme. Post-war Allards combined the same virtues of light weight, independent front suspension and an abundance of American V8 power, which had been features of that first trials special of the mid-1930s. These favourable characteristics enabled Allard to establish a formidable competition record in the immediate post-war years, Sydney himself finishing 3rd at Le Mans in a J2 two-seater and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in a P2 saloon.
Introduced in 1946, the L employed Allard’s trademark independently suspended ‘split’ front axle and transverse-leaf rear end in a chassis 6” longer than that of the contemporary K-type, the extra length being used to accommodate two rear passenger seats. Like the vast majority of production Allards, the L used Ford/Mercury components, these being readily obtainable from Ford in the UK, the choice of engines being the 3,622cc Ford V8 or modified 4,375cc Mercury. A mere 191 examples were produced between 1946 and 1950, only 10 of which are currently known to the Allard Register.
This restored Allard L-type tourer has been in the vendor’s hands since April 2001. Benefiting from overhauled brakes and regular servicing, the car has covered fewer than 600 miles in the past five years - as evidenced by accompanying expired MoT certificates - and is described as ‘on the button’. Finished in black with red leather interior, ‘MSL 808’ retains its original spats and comes complete with side screens, sundry invoices and Swansea V5.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£20700|
|Registration number||MSL 808|
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