Using a crashed Ford V8 coupe on to which he had grafted the body from a Grand Prix Bugatti, 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 specials-builder to motor manufacturer, though the latter activity was really little more than a means of financing the company's competition programme. Despite its small size and limited resources, Allard's achievements were legion in the immediate post-war years, Sydney himself finishing 3rd at the 1950 Le Mans in a J2 sports-racer and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in a P1 saloon. Allard's 3rd place at Le Mans should not be underestimated, for he and co-driver Tom Cole had been lying 2nd ahead of works Aston Martins, Ferraris and Jaguars when the bottom two gears of the three-speed gearbox broke. Such was the flexibility of the American V8 that they were able to continue to a class-winning finish using only top gear.
Introduced in 1950, the competition-orientated J2 two-seater employed Allard's trademark independently suspended 'split' front axle and a De Dion rear end with inboard brakes. Like the vast majority of production Allards, the J2 used Ford/Mercury components, these being readily obtainable from Ford in the UK. However, importing engines, such as Cadillac's powerful new overhead-valve V8, into Britain was prohibitively expensive so it was not unusual for cars exported to the USA to be fitted with the customer's choice of engine on arrival. With one of the larger of these installed the Allard J2 was more than a match for any contemporary sports car in a straight line, Jaguar's XK120 included. The majority of J2s produced ended up in the USA where they were raced with considerable success, dominating SCCA events.
This Allard J2 was delivered new to the California Sports Company in San Francisco in March 1951 and purchased by Californian George Dietz. The car was fitted with a Cadillac V8 engine and finished in Bugatti Blue with matching interior. An army officer, Dietz was posted to Japan in 1975; he sold the car to a Japanese owner when he was posted back to the USA. The Allard had one further owner in Japan before being bought by the current owner and imported into the UK in September 2015.
Reliable, easy to maintain and delivering plenty of 'grunt', this charismatic Anglo-American sports-racer is offered with import paperwork and a UK V5C Registration Certificate, spare engine parts and comes ready to participate in a wide variety of historic motor sport events.