1957 Allard Palm Beach MKII GTSOLD

Built for Sydney Allard, Jaguar powered

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Registration No: UXB 793 Engine No: 0973718S CC: 3400 Colour: Red Trim Colour: MOT:

Reference Number 52351

as of 9/29/2009

Overview
Car 1957 Allard Palm Beach MKII GT
VIN GT7102XK 
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Known History

The unveiling during 1953 of the Triumph TR2 and Austin-Healey 100 left the Allard Palm Beach stuck between a rock and a hard place. Too close to the cheaper Triumph in performance terms and not sufficiently distanced from the faster Austin-Healey cost-wise, the Allard - which had only been on the market a year - was quickly swamped by the new arrivals. Although, unable to compete with its mass made competition, the Palm Beach was nevertheless an accomplished design. Based around a tubular steel chassis equipped with the marque's familiar split `I' beam independent front suspension, a well-located `live' back axle and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, it was powered by a choice of in-line four- (1508cc) or six-cylinder (2262cc) Ford engines allied to three-speed manual transmission. Alloy bodied, the two- / three-seater roadster was praised by the contemporary motoring press on both sides of the Atlantic for its refinement and ride / handling balance but slow sales left Allard in a financially perilous state. Introduced at the October 1956 London Motor Show, the Palm Beach MKII was altogether more visually arresting with styling cues seemingly borrowed from the likes of the Frazer-Nash Sebring and BMW 507. Under its skin the newcomer boasted a revised chassis complete with MacPherson strut-type independent front suspension and the ability to house a Jaguar XK 3.4 litre engine (or even larger powerplant). Allard tried to boost the Palm Beach MKII's appeal still further by creating a GT version - this very car - which made its debut at the October 1957 London Motor Show.

 

Despite attracting the attention of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret whilst on display at Earls Court, chassis GT 7102 XK prompted few, if any, orders. Indeed of the seven or eight Palm Beach MKII cars built only one other was bodied as a GT; ordered by a member of the Du Pont family it was fitted with a Chrysler `Hemi' V8 and dispatched new to America. Meanwhile, the Jaguar-powered `Motor Show' GT was road registered as `UXB 793' and became Sydney Allard's personal car. Though, that did not preclude the 2 2 seater from carrying out more than its fair share of press duties and development miles. Modified with Girling front disc brakes and De Dion rear suspension, the Allard Gran Turismo Coupe was road-tested by Autocar in June 1959. The magazine found `UXB 793' capable of a genuine 120mph but felt that it was a little rough round the edges. Tom Lush's book `Allard The Inside Story' records that Paul Frere also drove the fixed-head coupe during a Guild of Motoring Drivers test day at Goodwood in 1958, the legendary scribe considering it "quite interesting but criticizing the pedal positions and the hard front suspension". Interestingly, Lush also states that Sydney Allard used `UXB 793' for the occasional competitive outing alongside his Ford Zephyr rally car and Steyr-powered sports racer. Passing from father to son, the `Motor Show' GT remained in the Allard family until 1980. Thereafter, we are informed that it spent a number of years on display at the Stondon Transport Museum, Bedfordshire before being tucked away in private storage approximately fifteen years ago.

 

Finished in red with black upholstery, chassis GT 7102 XK is described by the vendor as follows: "The car is complete and original and does run but requires a brake overhaul amongst other recommissioning work". Interestingly, the other Palm Beach MKII GT, the `Du Pont' car, has not only survived but is actively campaigned in American historic events. With its alloy body and tunable Jaguar 3442cc DOHC powerplant, the seller feels that `UXB 793' has the makings of "a competitive and exclusive racer" too. A truly historic motorcar, this unique Allard is offered for sale with a photocopied buff logbook extract, letter from Allan Allard re its 1980 sale, signed copy of `Allard The Inside Story', V5 / V5C Registration Documents, assorted black and white photos (including one of Sydney Allard in a dragster alongside `UXB 793'), `Allard Gold Portfolio' and various photocopied magazine articles.