1952 Allard J2X
Year of manufacture1952
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Amelia Island event, 6 - 7 March 2020.
$375,000 - $425,000
- Offered from the Muckel Collection
- One of the most famous racing models of its era
- Former single-enthusiast ownership for over three decades
- Equipped with six-carburetor Cadillac V-8
- Well-maintained restoration in classic colors
- An ideal mount for any number of vintage rallies
Sidney Allard was a British Ford dealer who, after World War II, set to work employing the numerous available surplus engines into purpose-built sports and racing cars. In many ways, he was the UK equivalent to Carroll Shelby, recognizing ahead of his time the ability of a European-designed chassis when combined with light bodywork and a big American mill under the bonnet.
The Allard J2X, its creator’s most famous offering, was memorably described by one wag as “resembling a bucket of bolts, flying in all directions along a generally forward course.” It combined a cigar-shaped body with cycle fenders and, truth be told, not much else, though the J2X did improve over the earlier J2 with relocated engine mounts and lengthened footwells for better balance and comfort. What it was, though, was successful: Propelled by one of the new overhead-valve V-8s available from post-war American automakers, it had an unbeatable power-to-weight ratio. The men brave enough to climb aboard an Allard generally won their races, and the cars developed a legend that has never quite died. Few automobiles were, or are, more entertaining and involving to drive.
Chassis no. 3062 was one of only 83 original J2Xes produced between 1951 and 1953. Completed in June 1952, it was, like many of the cars, shipped to New York less an engine; the original owner was to provide a Chrysler Hemi V-8. Historians have been unable to track its earliest years, but it was acquired in 1969 by Alan Beall of Southern California, later Hawaii, who would maintain it faithfully for over three decades. He used it regularly, noting to the Allard Register, late in his ownership, that he had it “restored” twice, but “not professionally.”
In 2010 that changed when the car was restored by Steve Dennish of Limeworks Speed Shop. Under the hood was placed a Cadillac 331 cu. in. V-8, another popular period Allard motivator, this one specially built and lightly modified with forged pistons, custom-ground camshafts, and six Stromberg 97 carburetors, reportedly all good for at least 255 horsepower delivered to the rear wheels by a Lincoln-Zephyr transmission. All the remaining running gear reportedly remains original, as do all of the original body panels. The body was finished in bright red with a leather interior and Brooklands windscreens—a classic appearance for a J2X, for good reason.
Afterward the Allard passed into the hands of a Southern California collector who maintained it well until selling it to the Muckel Collection several years ago. Updated with tan leather upholstery and correct original gauges, it has continued to enjoy good care and to be a fun machine to drive. A new owner can well be expected to enjoy it on any number of the vintage rally events for which it is eligible, not least the Colorado Grand and Copperstate 1000. Its menacing, throaty, all-American roar and its distinctive appearance are sure to beat all comers!To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/am20.