Cars

A LUDICROUS OBSESSION

A metal box for transporting you, passengers and stuff.
There is no logical reason to be interested in them beyond these requirements as this would be a waste of time and cost a lot of money.

Allard are a great, historic sports car company with 89 years continuous racing history. Founded by Sydney Allard, the company manufactured sporting saloons, roadsters and high performance sports cars and funded their racing program from profits.

After the end of the Second World War, with many of our cities badly damaged and the empire falling away, Allard were part of this country’s drive to rebuild the economy with exports. They were particularly well positioned to export to America as their cars were designed to utilise the high power V8s which were being produced in the States at that time. To get around import duties many cars were sent west across the Atlantic without engines, which were then purchased in the USA and fitted by their new owners.

The idea of a lightweight, aluminium bodied British sports car mated to a great American V8 was appealing to an ex oil field roughneck and chicken farmer turned racing driver called Caroll Shelby. An enthusiastic racer of the Allard J2 in the 1950s, Shelby later fitted the British AC sports car with a large V8 in the 1960s and the Cobra was born. Perhaps racing his Allard gave him the idea?

Sydney Allard’s focus on racing led him from rallys and hillclimbs to the heights of motorsport greatness and land speed records. After numerous successes in the UK, Sydney Allard began to compete overseas and in 1952 he became the only man to win the Monte Carlo rally in a car bearing his own name, receiving his winner’s trophy from Prince Rainier of Monaco. In later years the fabulous Allardette, a supercharged racing Ford Anglia heavily modified by Allard, achieved a 1st and 2nd in class at Monte Carlo.

Only 5 years after the end of the war Allard was racing at the 24 hour Le Mans race with the J2, gaining a third place success in this gruelling event. Only a few years later, in 1953, Allard were back with the hugely powerful JR, bold privateers battling against factory teams such as Jaguar and Ferrari.

Sydney Allard’s search for speed and competition lead him to the sport of drag racing, which he brought to Europe from the States. Both he and his son, Alan, competed at the highest level and their success resulted in a record for Alan and the press accolade of ‘the fastest man in the World.’

Allard continued to compete in motorsport and Alan’s son Lloyd took up the challenge. Alan’s expertise in turbocharging and supercharging stood them in good stead and from 2002 to 2007 Lloyd Allard campaigned an Allard built car, the fastest diesel golf in the UK, winning races and breaking lap records.

For all the sporting success of Allard, it should be remembered that they were also a significant manufacturer at a time when British industry was striving to keep the British economy going. Celebrities such as Dirk Bogarde and Steve McQueen were drawn to the fabulous styles and sporting prowess of the Allard cars and models such as the JR, the J2X and the Palm Beach still turn heads.

Now Allard are back in manufacturing, building the Allard JR Continuation. With a handmade aluminium body, these cars are powered by an original 1950s Cadillac engine, fully rebuilt and producing up to 300 bhp. Visceral, thunderous and thrilling, these cars are the identical specification to the JRs that originally raced at Le Mans.

We were asked to help Allard Sports Cars Ltd with the launch of the first JR Continuation, built to the exact specification of the car that raced at Le Mans in 1953.  We publicised the company, organised their events, promoted them through PR and funded the the company through our financial expertise.  These photographs were taken by us during the Open Day that we organised in 2018.