Allard Quick Change rear axle = Unobtainium
There are certain “bits” on a traditional-build car that help define it, make it unique, and give it some personal flavor. What truly stands out are the ultra rare pieces that can’t be merely bought, but must be searched for, and found. Such is the case of this Allard QC rear end of which a scant 15 or so were known to be manufactured.
In the early 50s, the Allard Motor Company facilitated many of their US customers retrofitting Halibrand quick change differential in their sporting J2X roadsters via the open center axle assembly. For their native British customers, it wasn’t cost effective to import the California QC parts for this upgrade, so Allard decided to make their own.
The Allard quick change diff was made in 1952 and ’53, with approximately 15 units being manufactured at their South-West London facility. Their QC design was based on the Halibrand version, however they couldn’t find a UK foundry that was able to cast steel inserts for the pinion housing bearings, forcing them to machine an insert which bolted onto aluminum casting. The standard Ford based side steel covers were replaced by aluminum castings. Unfortunately, these units were not very reliable due to the manufacturing compromises I’ve just noted. An updated version came later in 1953, replacing the counter shaft composite front bearing with a standard ball race. This improved the reliability and found use on Hemi dragsters and competition sports cars in the UK. After the Allard factory fire of ’66, a few of the surplus un-machined castings were rescued from the ashes, which hopefully surface someday. Unfortunately only a couple of complete units are still known to exist today. How sweet would one of these little inboard brake beauties look under the back of a ’32 highboy?