A brief history of The Allard Motor Company.
Sydney Allard was a successful trials and hill climb driver before the war, to such an extent that people ordered cars based on his winning car. He made 12 cars before the war. During the war Sydney received a government contract maintaining jeeps and other Ford V8 based vehicles. After the war he set up the Allard Motor Company Ltd and commenced motor manufacturing. In all he made about 1,910 cars, but candidly admitted that he became a manufacturer to subsidise his competition activities.
The J1, was the first production Allard. Some 12 J1’s were produced, being followed by 16 different models, until the last car a Mk2 Palm Beach left the Southside Workshop in 1959. Of the K type, there were three different models, followed by the L type tourer, 500 M types plus a small number of M2X’s. Some 559 P type saloons were made being followed by the P2 type Monte Carlo saloon and Safari Station Wagon. The J1 was followed by J2 , J2X, and lastly by the JR. The Mk 1 Palm Beach models were supplied with either Ford Consul or Zephyr engines, and lastly the MK2 Palm Beach and Gran Turismo (GT) models which were produced with a wide range of engines.
Perhaps the most remembered Allard models were the J2 and J2X which were developed from Sydney’s 1949 RAC Hillclimb Championship winning air-cooled Steyr V-8 single seater. Both these models had many competition successes in the world including the USA and Europe. The Cadillac powered J2 driven by Sydney and Tom Cole came third in the 1950 Le Mans which was an outstanding result which resulted in a full to overflowing order book. A “Motor” magazine road test in 1951 of a Cadillac powered J2 described it as “the finest sports motor bike on four wheels ever conceived” and quoted it’s splendid handling qualities and performance as “outstanding”.
Another great triumph for The Allard Motor Company, was when Sydney won the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally, with Tom Lush and Guy Warburton. This is the first (and only) time the rally has been won by a manufacturer driving his own car.
When Allard production ceased, the Company became main agents for the Shorrock supercharger and developed a modified version of the Ford 105 &109E Anglia, called the Allardette, which was produced in sufficient numbers to be homologated to compete in the the modified saloon class in International rallies. Both Sydney and his son Alan competed in Allardettes in European Internation rallies.
Sydney Allard was responsible for producing the first European built dragster, and pioneered drag racing in the UK, with Alan establishing a number of World records with the Chrysler powered dragster.