1951 Allard J2 RoadsterSOLD
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Estimate: $200,000-$250,000 US

Sold: $154,000

283 cu. in. V8 Corvette engine, four-speed manual transmission, front suspension by coil springs and tubular shocks with straight front axle, rear suspension with deDion tube, coil springs and tubular shocks, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100"

Following the World War II, England was desperate to rebuild its domestic economy after years of devastating aerial attacks and a national industry that focused solely on war production. Exports were essential and the government decreed that its scarce resources would be allocated only to those enterprises that produced hard currency revenue. Faced with limits on the supply of parts and material to return to racing, Sydney Allard did what any self-respecting racer would; he adapted his V8-powered prewar trials car to circuit racing and looked for customers in the world’s hard currency capital, the United States.

The medium for this enterprise was called the J2. It was as spartan as a spartan race car could be, and was built along the rugged lines of Allard’s prewar trials car. Powered by the reliable and readily available Ford flathead, the J2 was easily modified and maintained, as there was certainly no shortage of speed equipment geared to the L-Head V8 and any mechanic worth his salt was quite familiar with the powerplant. The J2 utilized Allard’s preferred split beam swinging arm front suspension with coil springs and employed a deDion-style live axle with inboard drum brakes. The brakes themselves came from the Jaguar XK 120, but worked much more effectively on the 700-pound lighter Allard.

Stuffed full of American V8, the Allard J2s were rip-snorting, loud, thumping creatures that inspired drivers and spectators with their looming presence and thunderous performance. There was nothing subtle about a J2 on the track; finesse had no place in the J2’s performance equation. It was a deafening, brutal balance between torque and control. The typical Allard body was very much in the spirit of the times: a simple two-seater with cycle fenders. The car was festooned with blisters, fairings, vents and louvers with small cowlings in front of each occupant’s seat where they crouched behind a pair of Brooklands aeroscreens.

The 1951 Allard J2 offered here was shipped new to the U.S. dealer Roy Rictor in late November 1950. It was originally raced by “Boss” Clark who was a movie house owner in Lynwood, Washington and competed under his own sponsorship as “The Guild 45th”. In fact, it is believed that Guild 45th was the name of an arthouse theater he acquired in Seattle on, what else, 45th Street.

Clark’s Allard originally had a Cadillac engine and he raced it extensively at Santa Barbara and elsewhere on the west coast. To improve the handling, he replaced the split front axle with a straight unit, which it retains to this day. In fact, recent road tests have confirmed the superiority of this modification over the original Allard setup. Given his profession, Mr. Clark was quite involved in the film industry and, as such, it is believed his car was used in the movie Written on the Wind (1958), starring Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall. He finally sold his car in March 1962 to the wife of Jack A. Goffette. Goffette then installed a 1957 Corvette 283 cubic inch V8 engine, mated to a four-speed Corvette transmission, both of which the car still has. The Goffettes raced the Allard at the Seattle International Raceway and at Thunderhill, just north of Seattle.

The current owner acquired the car from another noted collector and enthusiast, who commissioned a very pricey restoration which was conducted by an experienced Indy car builder. With no expense spared on performance or quality, the car remains in excellent condition and, above all, is a tremendous performer – extraordinarily fast, responsive and a sheer thrill to drive.

Reference Number 38581

as of 2/10/2009

Car 1951 Allard J2 Roadster
VIN 99J1787 
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