In all likelihood, Carroll Shelby was inspired to fit American V8s in lightweight British sports cars from his experience with Allards, which he drove competitively in the early 1950s, a decade before his team rolled out the iconic Cobra.
Sydney Allard, like Shelby, was a colorful racer and car builder, though in reserved British style compared with the wild-west personae of the Texas chicken farmer. Allard began building race cars before World War II powered by Ford V8s, then started up his own automaking company after the war.
The Pick of the Day is an unusual 1950 Allard K1/K2 roadster, a bespoke build by the London automaker for an American buyer who wanted the earlier K1 styling even though they were out of production, according to the Hilton, New York, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
“Allard obliged, though the car was actually built on the superior coil-sprung K2 chassis, and fitted with specially made, backdated K1 bodywork,” the seller says in the ad.
The aluminum-bodied Allard is powered by a classic V8 engine of the period, which has been boosted in proper hot rod style.
“Under the hood is a 1947 Mercury 59A flathead V8 engine, rated in period at 85 hp, though now producing significantly more (probably closer to 200 hp) thanks to an overbore to 295 cubic inches, beautiful Edelbrock heads and a trio of Stromberg 97 carburetors,” the seller says. “An alternator has been fitted for reliable running day or night, and an electric fan keeps engine temps in check.”
The Allard was used originally only through the end of the 1950s, the ad notes, when it was apparently disassembled and stored away, for whatever reason. It was finally sold in 1972 and the refurbishment begun shortly thereafter.
“The Allard was gradually rebuilt over a 30-year period and, in 2003, was professionally restored to the state in which it presents today,” the seller says. “Finished in an attractive color scheme of silver paint over a pewter-grey cockpit, it presents in beautiful condition today. The quality of the paint work is outstanding with excellent levels of finish work and detailing.”
It certainly looks sweet in the photos with the ad, and the shots of the engine compartment are downright spine-tingling. What a great Allard with a unique build and colorful history.
The asking price is $150,000, for what’s essentially a cool hot rod with a British accent.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.