Allard Owners Group

The Allard Motor Company was founded in 1936 by Sydney Allard. The company produced approx. 1900 cars until its closure in 1966.

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Latest Activity: Nov 24, 2013

Allard History

The Allard Motor Company was an English car manufacturer founded in 1936 by Sydney Allard. The company, based in Putney, London until 1945 and then in Clapham, London, produced approximately 1900 cars until its closure in 1966.

Allard History
The Allard Motor Company was founded in 1936 by Sydney Herbert Allard, grandfather to the current proprietor but the story started much earlier…..
From the 18th century ancestral home of Warminster in Wiltshire, Sydney's father and other members of his family moved to South London circa 1900, Sydney was born in Streatham in 1910.

Sydney's father Arthur Allard was a property developer and master builder, a profession he hoped Sydney and his brothers would follow, but a passion for mechanical devices grew in Sydney from the youngest age rather than for bricks and mortar, Arthur soon released his son from his wish to enter the building trade realising the futility of his efforts.
Sydney started with a Grand Prix Morgan three wheeler handed down from his eldest brother Jack, in 1929 Sydney with brother Dennis he competed at Brooklands in a better Aero model financed by their father, they won the three lap handicap event, competition would be Sydney's passion for the rest of his life.

In 1930 after a mechanical apprenticeship Sydney was set up in business in Acre Lane, Brixton, London by his father, partnered by a trusted businessman Alf Brisco, Arthur had recently bought a roofing company called Robert Adlard, struck by the name he called Sydneys new firm Adlards Motors Ltd which would lead to years of confusion. Whilst developing his trade Sydney's Adlard Motors facilities were transformed in 1935/36 with the redevelopment of the site by his father with garage facilities beneath a large block of flats. After converting his Morgan to four wheels Sydney lost interest and successive cars followed, Talbot 105, 1932 Ford Model B with 24hp Ford Truck engine and then a Ford TT race car bodied by Jensen was campained in 1935/36 with some success in motor trials.

The real Allard history starts with the first true Allard built in 1936 on a Ford Model 48 chassis recovered from a local garage and combined with the complete tail and scuttle from a GP Bugatti Type 51 in a local coachbuilders, additional items such as Bugatti steering assembly, a 3622cc Ford Sidevalve V8 engine and narrowed rear axle were juxtapositioned in such a way to make a perfectly conceived trials car constructed in just 18 days and nights.

Named after its registration plate 'CLK 5' proved itself over the next two years with a large number of wins in trials and other races. SHA's first win was at Southport Sands 50 mile event on April 26th 1936 with speeds exceeding 100mph. Numerous victories followed in trials events, this was recognised by the motoring press, 'The Motor' featured a cartoon of CLK 5 with the caption 'SH.Allard climbing almost any hill in almost any trial'.

By 1937 CLK 5 was a very well known car to fellow competitors and spectators, enquiries came in to Adlard Motors Ltd regarding the possible construction of replicas. Sydney's father still having a major influence in his sons business observed competition activities as non-profit and distracting from Adlards normal garage work.
However, this is where Sydney went from being one of the many one-off special builders to a car manufacturer (the others were Lotus and Healey), one definate order led to another and by September 1939 11 cars were built with the 12th being completed in 1946.

After a short period with a solid front axle CLK 5 and all Allards to follow would have the Leslie Ballamy divided front axles which would give the famous splayed front wheel appearance terrifying so many spectators in the years to come. A pre-war team of 3 Allards formed the 'Tailwaggers' with SHA in his new ELL 300 car, Guy Warburton in CLK 5 and Ken Hutchison in the Lincoln-Zephur V12 ELX 50, winning many team prizes as well as individual success.

The war years 1939-45 saw Adlards spreading into Fulham to provide overhauls to jeeps, trucks and staff cars returning battered from the front line, he would soon be specialising in only Ford vehicles, there were no racing activities of any kind so Sydney learnt what he could in the war and developed skills within the business that would set him on an firm footing at the end of hostilities. As the war ended he bought all the remaining stocks of Ford components including many sidevalve engines and Ford became the manufacturer that Sydney chose to supply all the major components to his cars through his Ford dealership Adlard Motors Ltd.

1946 saw the formation of the Allard Motor Company who would eventually construct over 1900 cars all evolving from 12 pre-war specials.
Sydney had assembled an array of friends and collegues that would form the backbone of the new company and provide valuable advertising in the form of competition successes.
Perhaps it should be noted that it is well known that SHA's prime interest was competition before car manufacture, he maintained a small workshop just for his special projects such as his first post-war special HLF 601, then JGP 473 a forerunner to the J2 model and his most famous special, the Steyr, a single single seater hillclimb car with 3.7 litre Austrian Steyr engine brilliantly engineered to give 140hp through twinned rear tyres, Sydney took the 1949 British Hillclimb Championship in this car combining his considerable engineering and driving skills.

The first production cars were the K (later called K1), a two seater sports model, L, a four seater tourer and the J (later called J1) although not actively advertised it was the competition two seater very similar to the K. The four seater M was to follow shortly.
Perhaps the most famous Allard many people know would be the 1950 J2 competition two seater, in this car Sydney would be 3rd in the 1950 Le Mans, worldwide recognition and success followed particularily in the USA where the use of Cadillac and Chrysler engines created a Ferrari and Jaguar beating machine.
Competition success secured the following few years of business for Allard in the biggest market of the world, the United States, in these years cars exported meant a return in steel from the British government to make more cars, the export market was vital.

The J2 was updated in 1952 with the J2X and SHA used a fully enveloped version in the 1952 Le Mans, the JR followed in 1953 but competition was getting stronger by then with Ferrari and their new V12 and new Jaguar models, perhaps the divided front axle was being outclassed but Sydney clung to this original ideal.
Other models out of the Allard stable included the P1 saloon of 1950, K2 two seater sports of 1952, K3 two seater sports of 1953, P2 saloon 1952, Palm Beach two seater 1953, Palm Beach MkII GT 1956, M2X four seater tourer 1952 and the P2 Safari estate 1952.

Probably the greatest achievement for Sydney was his victory in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally in a very tough ice ridden year, the first British win for 21 years since Donald Healey and the only man to win in a car of his own name, the very young Stirling Moss in his first rally was second.
This should have been a great advertising opportunity but on February 6th five days after the finish the King died and understandably all press attentions and that of the nation changed in an instant.

Beyond 1952 the motor industry for small fish was getting harder, still relying on exports, the US market was maintaining the company, other British makes such as Jowett were already winding up. The market for big muscle cars was diminishing and new models such as the smaller Palm Beach and the disasterous three-wheeled Clipper did little to help, by 1957 cars were only constructed to order with the Palm Beach MKII GT the only model, the writing was on the wall.

Adlard Motors were still the mainstream Ford dealership being one of the biggest in London, Allard Motor Company were into performance equipment after winding up car manufacture in 1959. Sydney's son Alan was following in the trade having competed in his first Monte Carlo Rally in 1962 beating Sydney. He trained in motor engineering and had accompanied Sydney on many pre-rally reccies before he was old enough to drive.
Allard Motor Company produced recognised Ford Anglia competition cars known as 'Allardettes' which were homologated Anglias with 997, 1200 and 1340cc supercharged engines, Sydney and Alan used these cars in several Monte Carlo, Spa-Sofia-Liege rallies, domestic rallies and sprints.

Superchargers, rally and race equipment were Allards mainstay, Sydney maintained his competition interests throughout his life having competed in 14 Monte Carlo rallies between 1949 and 1965. In 1960 he brought Drag racing into Britain with the construction of the first British dragster, this was followed in 1964 by the blown 1500cc four cylinder Ford engined 'Dragon', the second large Allard dragster was constructed by his son in late 1966.
After organising his second drag festival in 1965 which was washed out due to rain Sydney fell ill and was never to recover, he died in April 1966, a legendary figure in British motorsport and the motor industry had gone.

Alan eventually took over the Allard business alongside Adlards continuing in rally and dragster competition, Alan drove all three Allard dragsters in competition and in 1968 he took the world quarter mile record in the later Allard-Chrysler machine. In the years to come Alan became the foremost knowledge in Britain on super-charging and later turbocharging as Allards bought both the Wade and Shorrock super-charging businesses, he continued rallying until 1973 with the birth of his second son Lloyd.
In 1976 Adlards was sold and Alan moved to Wales to continue the Allard business in a smaller capacity, from 1970 he sold the merits of turbocharging, some ten years later the motor industry would start to produce production turbo cars.1982 saw Alan publish his knowledge in a book titled 'Turbocharging and Supercharging', re-issued in 1986 in paperback form it has since been accepted as the leading technical handbook to the keen enthusiast. Alan continues with turbocharging and intercooling to this day in Monmouth, South Wales. He remains the President of the Allard Owners Club since his fathers death in 1966 and attends events regularly.

His son Lloyd started an apprenticeship with him in 1994 with a particular interest in aluminium welding and fabrication, this was further developed under a collegue who was producing intercoolers for the Subaru World Rally Team, Lloyd has been taught to produce a World Class finish to his products. With motorsport in his veins Lloyd along with a team partner constructed and entered a VW Scirocco in a local saloon car championship in 2000, it won the 'Best presented car' on its first appearance.
The first season was a learning experience with several disapointments and teething problems, 2001 saw Lloyd top the championship with consecutive class wins, his products having been tested on the proving ground.
Lloyd aims to return some of the glory back to the Allard Motor Company with the best quality products possible on the firm backbone of a motoring heritage unrivalled by any other.

1948 Allard P1 Sports
1949 Allard ConvertibleAllards generally featured a large American V8 engine in a small, light British sports car body, giving a high power-to-weight ratio and foreshadowing the more famous AC Cobra - in fact, Carroll Shelby drove an Allard in the 1950s.

Prewar Allard Specials
The first Allard cars were built specifically to compete in Trials events - timed events somewhat like rallies but through much worse terrain, almost impassable by wheeled vehicle. The first Allard mounted a Ford flathead V8 in a body mostly sourced from a Bugatti racing car, and used the American engine's high torque to great effect in this slow-speed competition.

Further Allards were soon built, all specially ordered, and fitted with a variety of large, Ford-sourced engines, including Lincoln-Zephyr V12 powerplants. By 1939 and the outbreak of war, twelve Allard Specials had been built, and Sydney Allard planned volume production, but the war forced a delay to those plans. Allard's company worked instead on Ford-based trucks during the war years, and when hostilities ceased, Allard had built up quite an inventory of Ford parts.

Allard M-Type Drophead Coupé 1948
Allard J2X
Allard Palm Beach 1952-58Using these and bodywork of Allard's own design, three postwar models were introduced: the J, a competition sports car; the K, a slightly larger car intended for road use, and the L, with four seats. All used primarily Ford mechanicals, making them easy to maintain anywhere. Sales were fairly brisk for a low-volume car, and demand was high for cars in general; Allard introduced several larger models, the M and N.

Sydney Allard soon saw the potential of the US market, in much better shape financially and rather lacking in quality sports cars. A special model intended for the American market was soon produced, the J2, fitted with a new independent rear suspension. They were available with a huge choice of different American engines, including a new Cadillac V8, much more powerful than the Ford units used before. Importing American engines just to ship them back across the Atlantic proved troublesome, so soon US-bound Allards were shipped engineless and fitted out in the States.

They proved phenomenally successful, and the American mechanicals meant that unlike more exotic British sportscars, they were familiar beasts for mechanics to work on. They were used to great effect in competition on both sides of the Atlantic, including a third place at Le Mans in 1950 and first place in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1952 (driven by Sydney Allard himself).

A rather bizarre model was the 1953 Allard Clipper that was hoped would cash in on the microcar market. This tiny car with glass fibre body was powered by a rear mounted 346 cc Villiers twin cylinder motorcycle engine and claimed to seat three people abreast with room for two children in an optional dickey seat. About 20 were made.

Allard's R&D department, unfortunately, did not keep up its former pace, and soon other manufacturers were producing cheaper and more technically advanced cars. Allard scrambled to try and keep up, but its new Palm Beach smaller car was a year later than its competitors. Allard's new K-3 also did not live up to expectations, though it was a beautiful car, and their Safari Estate, a large Woody station wagon with eight seats, a huge V8 engine and beautiful bodywork, didn't seem to find a market.

By the mid fifties Allard was struggling as a manufacturer. Its attempt to give Dodge dealers a Corvette competitor using a rebodied Palm Beach with a Dodge Hemi engine were hit by the recession in the US economy in the late Fifties, and Allard produced few cars after 1959, and those only to special order.

Sixties Allards were simply performance modified British Ford Anglias marketed as the Allardette 105, 109, and 116. Everything ended in 1966 when Sydney Allard died; on the same night, a fire destroyed the factory and most Allard company records.

The Allard name was bought by a new company in 1991 but production never started. In 1994 a new version of the J2 were made by Allard Replicas of Harpenden, Hertfordshire in either kit or assembled versions with full agreement with the trademark holders. Production ceased in 1997.

A version of the J2X is currently made in Montreal, Canada.

External links
Allard vehiclesAllard history
Modern Allard J2X recreation
Allard J2X Group C race car from early '90s
One of the two Allard J2Xs that ran in LeMans in 1952

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Possibly an Allard?

Started by Barrie Feb 15, 2010. 0 Replies

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Comment by Frank Hiersekorn on November 24, 2013 at 5:21am
Comment by Roger Allard on September 18, 2012 at 3:10pm

The Allard J2X MkII is a Commemorative Edition made available by Allard Motor Works Inc.. The modern version is based upon a proprietary CAD-designed chassis and uses current performance components. Powered by new fuel-injected American V8s, the J2X MkII is a bespoke roadster with options that include a complete all-weather kit (Targa hardtop), heater, air-conditioner and soon, a right-hand drive version. Power range offered runs from 350 hp to a supercharged 640 hp. Allard Register serial numbers are included. Can be seen at


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