HomePick of the DayCadillac-powered ’53 Allard K3

Cadillac-powered ’53 Allard K3


Editor’s note: November is Import Month on the ClassicCars.com Journal. Get all the news you could ever need about Italian, German, English, French, Japanese and lots of other cars at our dedicated page.

Sidney Allard was a British gentleman racer, specializing in drag racing, hillclimbs and speed trials. He founded his own Allard car company just after World War II to produce lightweight track and road cars powered by brawny American V8s, beating Carroll Shelby to the Anglo-American formula – both Shelby and Corvette’s famed chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov raced Allards in the 1950s.

After building raw-boned, cycle-fendered J-series roadsters, Allard developed the K-series cars with enveloping sports car bodies, powered by Cadillac, Dodge or Ford V8 engines.

The Allard’s body was formed from lightweight aluminum

The Pick of the Day is a 1953 Allard K3 “all-weather” convertible fitted with a 351cid Cadillac V8 and updated with a Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission and front disc brakes.

The K3 was Allard’s effort to present a more-refined model with mainstream styling, but it was not well-accepted despite its blistering acceleration, most likely because of its lofty $5,300 price tag, and was offered only from 1952-53.

As a result, the K3 is rare in today’s collector car market, but highly regarded for the subtle design of its light-alloy body, engine power, comfort and handling.  Rather than being presented as a two-seater, the K3 was offered with three-across seating on its modified bench seat.

The Cadillac 351 V8 should provide breathtaking acceleration

This K3 looks to be in exceptionally nice condition, according to the Monterey, California, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.

“The current owner purchased the car in 1988 before setting out for a long-term restoration in the 1990s,” The seller states. “The car was completed in 2014 and the mileage set to zero at time of restoration. (Approx. 2,800 miles on the restoration.)

“The paint and body work performed was to a high quality, but body panel fit isn’t perfect, and neither were they from the factory. Interior is excellent. Dash is trimmed in period fashion, correct Smiths gauges with the exception of an updated volt gauge.”

The interior looks to be in excellent condition

After seeing the exceptional display of more than a dozen Allards at the Hilton Head Island concours weekend in South Carolina, I’ve been obsessed with these wonderful cars.  While the K3 with its automatic transmission is more of a grand tourer, this would be a great entry for long-distance rallies and a fine getaway car for weekend road trips.

The rare Allard K3 commands a strong price tag in this lovely and drivable condition, with the dealer asking $175,500.   Where else could you find such a spectacular American V8-powered British roadster this side of a Shelby Cobra?

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. A friend had one of these (only 63 were built ). It’s much larger than most sports cars of that period. The gear selector is a modified column shifter mounted on the floor between the seat and driver’s door. Also, the front suspension has a beam axle cut in the center so each side is independent of the other. Crazy camber angles.

  2. Reminds me of my late Dad’s Austin-Healey. When I did a Google image search of this car, Google images picked Austin-Healeys. Very similar in style. Hopefully, this performed better than my Dad’s Healey.


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