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History Is an Allard J2X a Hot Rod?? Limeworks thinks so..update 01-11-10

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 32gal, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. 32gal
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    32gal Member

    About 4 months ago i got an email from a friend in Hawaii asking if i knew of a shop that could restore his Allard. I went down to Limeworks and discussed the project with Steve the owner of Limewroks. He then told me of his connection with the Allard family in England. "Bingo" i knew that Limeworks was the choice. I emailed bac k the info and after many emails Limeworks was chosen to do the job. Tickets were sent to fly over to Oahu for inspection and packing, but due to an unexpected illness, Steve had to make the trip without me. I arranged for Steve to stay at my friends place while there. Steve got everything crated up and returned back to the mainland to wait for the arrival of the project. Several weeks later the Allard arrived. Only 83 of these were built and who knows how many survive. Its powered by a early Cadillac with 6x2's atop a log manifold. The car is destined to be raced at Laguna Seca in the historical class when finished. So heres the start of the "adventure" it now rests at Steves shop awaiting the attention the Limeworks crew will give it in the months to follow. My involvement will be to "monitor" the work on a weekly basis for the owner and send him pics. I will be doing updates as work progresses.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  2. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    Laughing at myself, when i posted this i was on 32gals puter and should have logged out and changed it to me.....anyway its supposed to be my thread....LOL
  3. 66Newport
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    66Newport Member

    No doubt it will be nothing short of amazing when they are done.
  4. BeatnikPirate
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    BeatnikPirate Member

    One of my all-time favorite cars!! I saw one with a caddy engine, one with a hemi, and one with an Olds engine. I understand that they could be purchased w. a flathead ford, a caddy, or a hemi. Not sure about the Olds engine option.
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  5. The Brudwich
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    The Brudwich Member

    Rad! I can't wait to see more build coverage. I love Allards. I got to see one run at the vintage races at Road America a few years ago.
  6. fur biscuit
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    fur biscuit Member

    one of the most "inspiring" cars to watch race...almost always guaranteed to see a brown stain in the trousers moment.
  7. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    Ok a little more, as i said i forgot and didnt log in as me when i started this thread.

    only 83 ever made. This model is a competition style, 1952 Allard J-2X, chassis number 3062. The Allard Motor Company has a long and varied history, with more vehicles than just the J2X to their credit. The following is an excerpt from “A Short History of the Allard Motor Company: 1936 – 1959”, written by John Allard, that tells a bit of history of how the Allard Motor Company got it’s start and how the J2X came to be.

    “The first car to be officially called an “Allard” was the result of a marriage of an English Ford V-8 and a Grand Prix Bugatti body. This fusion of components was purposely built to compete in that most English of all automobile competitions, The Trials.

    For the uninitiated, an “Automobile Trials” would remind one of a Jeep Rodeo, complete with boulders, mud, and impossible gradients with the occasional stream fording thrown in for good measure. Into this morass the intrepid competitor would urge his mechanical steed, and follow a course that cunningly takes advantage of the surroundings worst features in a series of stages. The object of the course designer would be to try and stand the vehicle and driver. The winner of the competition would be the team that completed the most stages with the fewest penalties.
    Prior to the arrival of the “Allard Special” these events were the playground of diminutive Singers and MG’s many of them supercharges, their tiny engines screaming at high RPM through substantial gear reduction and skinny tires to navigate the bogs and mountains. Sydney Allard had been competing with a modified Ford, but its size and weight distribution were against it. So when a brand new Ford was totaled near his garage (Adlards Motors) in 1935, he bought it, dragged it into the shop. When it re-emerged, complete with the body off of a Bugatti racing car, the purists swooned. CLK 5 as the car became known (that was it’s English registration or “license number” became an instant hit. It featured the tried and true Ford Flathead V-8, essentially the same engine that Ford built in the US. Of huge displacement by English standards it only produced 85 horsepower in its stock configuration. But it did have torque in abundance. And torque, combined with a chassis that had most of it’s weight concentrated on the rear axles, gave it TRACTION!!! Now the most dreary of conditions seemed to be conquered with the greatest of ease. Other competitors took note, and some of the better-heeled ones began to inquire about the possibility of acquiring similar rigs. Almost by accident, Sydney found himself in the manufacturing business.
    The cars were built to special order in the back of Sydney’s Adlards Motors (the name was pure coincidence, an on-going enterprise that Sydney’s father bought for his son in the early 1930’s) which was becoming a thriving Ford Dealership.
    Allard used Ford parts to build the cars and at least two of them featured Lincoln Zephyr V12 engine. It was during the pre-war period that Allard adopted a feature that was to haunt the drivers’ of Allard’s cars forever more. His own peculiar independent front suspension.
    In 1936 independent front suspensions were rare. Allard had been experiencing loss of control as his front end would bob in the air, while climbing hiss that no self-respecting filly goat would attempt. Also he felt that adding one would improve the handling. So Sydney engaged Leslie Bellamy, a suspension engineer, to assist in designing a simple rugged IFS system for CLK5.
    The result was a swing arm system that in the beginning was a straight axle that had been cut in the center. The two pieces the had one end bracketed to the frame at the center of the front cross member, and still used Ford’s transverse leaf springs. It DID allow the front wheels to move up and down independently of each other. But as time and speed would tell, it would also allow the front wheels to move in other directions as well. This would result in Allard’s developing a reputation for squirrelly handling, and a tendency to understeer under acceleration and oversteer under braking. Subsequent “Allard Specials” (as all of the pre-war cars were known) and virtually all of the Allards built after the war would feature this set up. Sydney Allard remained convinced almost to the end of his car’s production run of the merits of this design. Later on, another manufacturer, Colin Chapman and his Lotus cars would copy this system and with minor revisions and would use it in a very successful line of sports racers that are praised today for their handling!
    During World War II; Allard concentrated on rebuilding Ford Army trucks. The end of the conflict found him with a factory full of machine tools, and a huge inventory of parts. With no personal transportation being produced for 6 years, a huge pent up demand for new cars existed and a dearth of product to satisfy it. So three models were announced: the J, a car designed for competition events, the slightly larger K, a classic two seat sports car and, the L , a four passenger touring car. The cars featured striking coachwork and were heavily based on the Ford parts inventory that Sydney possessed.”
    Sydney Allard felt that there was a huge potential market for his product in the US. But while the MGTC was selling in impressive numbers, there was little interest in America in British cars, even the Allard. Sydney got the idea that an upgraded version of the J type competition car would get the Yank’s attention. He overhauled the styling, put a De Dion style independent rear suspension under the car, and convinced his American agents to take a couple of the new model, called the J-2 in late 1949.
    At the same time, General Motors brought out the new Cadillac 331 cid V8. It was a match made in heaven. Allard had trouble importing engines into England to install in his cars, so he agreed to ship the cars sans powerplant and have the engines installed in New York. Several of the new J-2’s were ordered with the Cadillac engine, and a legend was born.
    The resulting sports car was a rocket! It’s weight at 2500lb. was light. A typical J-2 Allard with Cadillac engine installed cost $2995 in 1950. The equally new and exciting Jaguar XK-120 was approximately $3500. For the additional $500, the Allard owner could have an impressive amount of engine work done, and even stock, the Jaguar would be hard pressed to keep up. There was never really a Cadillac-Allard or later on, a Chrysler-Allard which implies that there was a formal arrangement between Allard and the engine providers. When you ordered an Allard, you specified what engine you were going to have installed at the dealership and the factory would ship the car with the correct adapters and engine mounts etc. installed. Ford powered Allards were by far the most popular choice of buyers around the world.
    The J-2’s biggest failing, aside from its suspension and weight bias, was its lack of legroom, thanks to the rearward installation of the engine. This problem was addressed in an upgrade, the J-2X in 1951. The engine mounts were moved forward, the foot wells extended and the nose lengthened to accommodate the suspension location arms. The new look was somehow more aggressive that the J-2’s and this is the Allard that continues to be the most sought after. Oddly, the J-2X was not as successful on the track as its predecessor. Part of the reason might be attributed to it’s slightly higher weight, another was the fact that the competition was getting faster, and third was the handling and braking was never a strong point of either car.
    In 1952 to conform to new Le Mans regulations, Allard brought out an envelope bodied variation of the J-2X as an alternative to the motorcycle fendered styling that had been the trademark of the competition cars from the beginning. Both the Le Mans and the conventional bodywork were offered simultaneously.”
  8. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    Heres a picture of the owner of the Allard in 1957, he told me he saw an Allard roar past him and had been on the quest to own an Allard ever since

    Attached Files:

  9. BeatnikPirate
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    BeatnikPirate Member

    Very interesting, cruzr.
    Thanks for posting!
  10. Mr48chev
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    Mr48chev
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    One of my all time favorite cars. There was and may still be one here in the Northwest that showed up at car events 30 or so years ago and blew everyone's socks off then.
  11. Limey Steve
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    Limey Steve Alliance Vendor

    This one had a Hemi originally , when Allan bought it it had a sbc that was ditched for a 331 Cadillac. we are the 3rd shop to take on the project , the 1st 2 were in Honolulu .Hopefully we can do it justice, he wants to keep it all original with the De dion rear end, banjo diff , right hand drive English Ford 3 speed trans etc etc , Very interesting suspension arrangement with a split I beam axle ( British forged axle halves ) Photos to follow , back out to the chassis for me ( I'm re-assembling everything , as we started with a completely stripped down automobile ) .
  12. Hellfish
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    Hellfish Member

    Allards rule. Here's one racing at Elkhart Lake

    [​IMG]
  13. Weasel
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    Weasel Member

    Good to see you back in action Cruzr - if only on the keyboard.;)

    Sidney Allard was the original English hot rodder - besides manufacturing cars using American V8 power he also made a few quick change rears and built Britain's first true rail dragster, which is currently undergoing a complete restoration. And he was significantly involved with the development of the Ardun heads, along with Zora and Yura Arkus Duntov and George Kudasch.

    Sidney Allard a hot rodder - you betcha....

    [​IMG]
  14. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    Although each Allard is slighty different, the finished car should look close to this one

    Attached Files:

  15. Crazydaddyo
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    Crazydaddyo
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    I am really looking forward to following this build. Good luck Steve.

    .
  16. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    Dan........I will be updating the build on a weekly basis. I am excited to be part of this project and also happy that Limeworks got the job on my recomendation. I know Steve and his crew will do the car justice !~!
  17. 73roundlight
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    73roundlight
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    I think so too. One of my favorite cars.

    I have seen at least one and supposedly there are two others that came with an Ardun conversion on the flathead as well.

    Brilliant race cars, lots of grunt.

    Here is a British example that was brought to Pebble beach in 08.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    73Roundlight.......cool pics, slighty different version,maybe a year or 2 earlier?
  19. hotrod-Linkin
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    hotrod-Linkin Member

    my partner in crime has an allard nearly identical to this. it's been stored underground for many many years. asked him once about selling it...he rambled off a few numbers and i about passed out..i couldn't think that high.
  20. cruzr
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    cruzr Member


    yea , they can get real pricey,250k-500k my guess
  21. hotrod-Linkin
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    hotrod-Linkin Member

    he was talking a 1/4 mil and he would let it go. not trying to hijack your wonderful post but allards aren't talked about much.
  22. chrisser
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    chrisser Member

    What's the car in the pic? It isn't an Allard, is it?
  23. hotrod-Linkin
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    hotrod-Linkin Member

    allard....
  24. Mark H
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    Mark H Member

    Is that Bellamy front end the same as the old Bellamy kit for Ford Pops(Anglia)?Only seen one,pretty clever set up.
    Looking forward to the build!
  25. holeshot
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    holeshot BANNED

    CRUZER...O TEA! that's a real hotrod allright. and an expensive 1 at that. it looks like the british comparisan to our cobra. and that's fine by me. humm i wonder what that little baby would do in the 1/4 mile? yea i understand it wasn't designed for that. but it doe's make me wonder...POP.
  26. HealeyRick
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    HealeyRick Member

    In the 50s and early 60s there were basically two camps ... your hot rodders and your sporty car guys. And the truth is, they didn't much care for each other or have anything to do with one another. But there were always a few people with one foot in each camp that combined American power plants with European handling. Sydney Allard was one of those guys, along with Max Balchowsky, Carroll Shelby (who used to race Allards) Briggs Cunningham and a bunch of less famous specials buillders.

    I'm recovering from rotator cuff surgery and re-reading one of my favorite books, "The Last Open Road" by Burt Levy. It's the story of the early days of American sportscar racing in the 50s as told by Buddy Palumbo, a young New Jersey mechanic who gets the racing bug. Here's Buddy's description of the first Cad Allard he laid eyes upon:

    "My God, what a beast that car was! The grille was nothing but a huge chromium sneer and there were scoops and vents and louvers chopped all over the place to let the heat breathe out (or cool air in, I could never figure out which) and you coudn't miss how they had the hood buttoned down with no less than five separate butterfly fasteners and two great wide leather straps, each one hefty enough to harness a prize bull. Whatever monstrous kind of motor was in there, they weren't taking any chances on it breaking out."

    With all that torque and weight on the front end, Allards were a real brute to handle. And brakes didn't last too many laps either. That set up some of the more interesting races where the Allards would blast off to big leads at the start of the race while the slower, lighter, better handling cars spent the remainder of the race trying to reel them in.

    So, are they hot rods? Hell yeah! But they're damn fine sports cars as well.
  27. BeatnikPirate
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    BeatnikPirate Member

    Wow! Couldn't have said it better, myself!
  28. Bib Overalls
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    Bib Overalls
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    Our Cobra? Shelby used A/C bodies and chassis made in England and fitted with Ford motors in California. Same basic concept as the Allard but done later.

    A fellow I knew twenty years ago in Miami had one. White with a Caddy. Took a couple of rides in it. At the time it was not all that special.
  29. 22dodge
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    22dodge Member

    It looks like an early 50's Austin Healey 100-4 to me.

    I don't think you could have found a better shop and person to handle the
    restoration that the Lime Works crew and Steve.
    Allards have always been a favorite of mine...
  30. cruzr
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    cruzr Member

    yea thats a Healey in the early pic of the owner

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