Filed under: History
Sometime early in 1951, Delvan Lee went into a buddy’s dealership in Detroit, MI and took delivery of a bright blue and Cad powered J2 Allard. For the next three years, Delvan drove the shit out of the little sports car – winning hill climb events, placing in road races, and thrashing away on the streets. In 1954 he sold the car to Fred Lavell, but didn’t pass the keys over until after running Watkins Glen.
So, it wasn’t until the summer of ’54 that Fred was actually able to take the wheel of his well used Allard. His first line of business was the Bonneville Nationals. He wasn’t impressed with the 127 mph speed the car posted that year and decided some changes were in order. Big changes.
The Cadillac motor was tossed to the side and a big Desoto bolted in as a replacement. Figuring he now had the power, Fred then turned to aero. The famous Allard body was ditched in favor of a slippery fiberglass job made by Sorrell. Fred ran that car at Bonneville (Class D Sports Car) in 1955 and 1956, but never saw speeds north of 151 mph.
Then the car went race car heaven – that place where cars go for decades never to be seen until they pop up in some random street configuration. This one is now one of the better examples of restored Allards… A guy named John Aibel found it and did the deed as seen here:
It’s a gorgeous car and I love it, but I’ve always yearned to see more of the car when it was in Fred’s Bonneville racing form. To date, I’ve only seen one picture of it (posted as the lead photo of this article) as found in the December, 1956 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine. This morning, I was wondering if maybe you guys had more. I would love to see a color shot.
What do you got?