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Lot 100: Allard L-Type Tourer

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (23 June 2010)

A motor sport enthusiast through and through, Sydney Allard was a well-known figure on the pre-war trials and hill climb scene. His first car was based on a wrecked Ford V8 coupe onto which he grafted the body of a Grand Prix Bugatti. Based at his family's garage in Putney until 1945 and then in Clapham, he went on to make a succession of lightweight sports cars powered by powerful American V8 engines which would be competitive in trials events and still be suitable for road use. In fact Carroll Shelby drove an Allard in the 1950s and acknowledged Sydney's influence on his famous AC Cobra.

Just twelve Allards were made before the war, mainly for Sydney's own use, but such was their success that he turned the hobby into a business once hostilities were over. Four post-war models were introduced: the J, a competition sports car; the K, a slightly larger car intended for road use; the L, with four seats; and the M, a four-seat drophead.

All featured a V8 engine mated to a Ford three-speed manual transmission with a remote shifter, torque tube drive shaft and a solid rear axle. Front suspension was of the Bellamy pattern, which was a Ford solid front axle modified into a swing axle independent suspension. With good handling, powerful drum brakes and excellent power-to-weight ratios, the cars were formidably successful in competition, Sydney himself finishing 3rd at Le Mans in a J2 two-seater and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in a P2 saloon.

Testing an L-Type at its launch in 1946, Autocar noted that it was full of life and capable of holding almost anything on the road up to speeds of 90mph. Total L-Type production was only around 190 cars of which only 10 or so survivors are known to the Allard Register. Indeed by the time Allard production ceased in 1959, less than 2,000 cars of all types had been made.

First registered in May 1949, this particular L-Type four-seat tourer appears to be in lovely condition throughout after a major restoration in the early 1990s by a previous owner, Arthur Buckley of Bolton, who had owned the car since 1980. Powered by a 3.6-litre sidevalve Ford V8 mated to a three-speed manual transmission, it is said to drive very well and certainly fired up promptly and ran exceptionally sweetly on the occasion of our visit to take these photos, despite not having been started for several weeks. In fact the engine was completely rebuilt during the restoration with a reground crank and many other new parts and has been very little used since. A new exhaust and four new tyres were also fitted and the interior retrimmed in red leather along with new carpets and a new hood.

The car comes with a modern V5C and a buff continuation log book from 1961 when it was owned by a Brian Mann of Hertfordshire. There are also various bills for the restoration although, at the time of cataloguing, these had been mislaid so we have not had chance to examine them. Currently taxed and due to have a fresh MOT before the sale, this is a most rare and charming 1940s tourer in very nice condition throughout that is ready for immediate use.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number100
Estimate£24000-£26000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£27200
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1949
Condition rating0
Registration numberUMC 486
Mileage-
Chassis number71L822
Engine number72E6050A
Engine capacity (cc)3622
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2