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1948 Allard L-Type news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: L 390
British racing driver Sydney Allard obtained a bunch of Ford V8 engines purchased by the British government but not needed for the war effort and he built a sports car around them. He launched the Allard K1 in 1946. Two years later he had produced more than 400 vehicles. Allard production ended in 1960 and Sydney passed away in 1966. Sydney competed extensively in his own cars, in the British Hillclimb Championship, at LeMans, and in the Monte Carlo Rally. He was a British pioneer in his own dragster.

This 1948 Allard LCC roadster was purchased in London in 1961, driven throughout Europe and then brought to the United States.
In 1946 Sidney Allard had launched his K1 roadster, using a stockpile of engines and parts not needed following the war effort. Between 1946 and 1949 he eventually also built the J1, L and M series.

A total of 191 L Types were manufactured from 1946-48. Only 19 remain worldwide. This example is of only seven that remain in the United States.

For many years, this car was owned by U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Frank Savage, a World War Two hero who was popularized in the film 'Twelve O'clock High.'

Most of these cars were equipped with a Ford flathead V-8, which is the case here. Minimal restoration has been done - a repaint and new leather in 1999.
Chassis Num: L743
Sold for $52,250 at 2015 RM Auctions.
In the 1930s, Sydney Allard built a dozen Ford-based specials for British competitions. Some had Lincoln engines and many were fitted with a split-axle independent front suspension developed by Leslie Ballamy. During World War II, his London based garage named 'Adlards, Ltd.,' rebuilt Ford vehicles for British forces. After the War there were plenty of engines and parts available but no government contracts. So he introduced the Allard K1, a two-seater on a box-section frame with transverse leaf springing and Ballamy's IFS front axle. Power was sourced from either Ford or Mercury flathead V-8 power. The K1 Model offered power and performance; customers who were seating seating for four occupants could purchase the L-Type.

Allard introduced a shortened version of the K1 in 1947, called the J1, along with a four-seater, the M1. The J1 was intended for sprints and trials. The J2 soon followed, an updated version of the J1 with a DeDion rear axle on coil springs and radius arms. In 1950, a works J2 finished third at Lemans. 90 examples were built and most were exported to the United States, with Cadillac or Chrysler engines fitted on arrival. Production of the L-Type continued until February of 1950 with most being built prior to 1949.

This particular example was dispatched from the factory on December 2nd of 1948, consigned to Cardiff, Wales. A short time later, it was registered ETH88 in Carmerthen. This right-hand drive example is believed to have come to the United Sates after 1994.

This L-Type is finished in Burgundy and upholstered in gray leather with matching tonneau cover, top, and side curtains. It has Wilton wool carpets and a dashboard made from Indian rosewood. It has Lucas fog lights, a rear-mounted spare with cover, color-keyed steel wheels, and whitewall tires. There is a modern horn under the hood, concealed turn signals, and lap seat belts - all modern safety additions.

Power is from a British 21-stud version of the 221 cubic-inch Ford flathead V-8 mated to a three-speed manual transmission with remote floor shifter.

It is believed that fewer than 200 examples of the L-Type Allards were built with just 19 are said to survive, seven of them in the United Sates.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2015
'The new Allard', said The Autocar in February 1946, 'has changed its sporting tweeds for a lounge suit.' There were other changes. Allards were no longer specials, for their builders had taken on a new identity. The Allard Motor Company, formed in 1945, now operated from a kind of factory in South Hill Park, Clapham, and a whole collection of workshops around South and West London. On the strength of a stockpile of Ford V8 engines and parts built up during the war years Sydney Allard launched into full-scale production of a range of aggressively styled modern looking touring cars while most British car manufacturers were still planning theirs. It hardly mattered that they were mostly Ford; in the car-starved Britian of the 1940's there was soon a waiting list for the Allard. The formula was very much as it had been in the 1930's only now the Ford Pilot V8 engine was installed well back in a chassis frame of Allard's own devising. Helped by the excellent Marles steering and that rearward weight bias, the handling was considered to be excellent. The independent front suspension, for all its simplicity, was seen as thoroughly up-to-date. There was power and acceleration in abundance and the 'long' rear axle ratio of 3.6:1 used at first gave these tourers an easy gait up to a maximum of around 85 mph. After the chassis destined to become L-Type open tourers were built in South Hill Park, they were towed across London to the Hilton Brothers' workshops in Fulham where the hand-crafted, ash-framed, coachbuilt bodies were installed. By the standards of the time, they provided roomy accommodation for four people in comfortable leather-trimmed seats. They were fully carpeted and the hood and removable sidescreens were practicable and weatherproof, although a sports-type fold-flat windscreen was also provided. The L-Type remained in production from late 1946 to 1950, during which time 100 were built.
During the 1940's and 1950's, the name Allard was a highly esteemed motor manufacturer. Some of the world's most influential people were the proud owners of an Allard automobile including Carroll Shelby, Clark Gable, Richard Dimberley, John Fitch, Jack Fairman and Frank Curtis. On the racetrack, racing Allard version were incredibly fierce competitors. Sydney Allard, the company's founder, won the British Hill-climb Championship in 1949 and the challenging Monte Caro Rally in 1952 and became one of Britain's leading competition drivers. The Allard Motor Company Limited was a British company founded in 1945 operating in south London.

While most British car manufacturers were merely in the developmental stage following the war years, Sydney Allard was launching a full-scale production of an aggressively styled modern range of touring vehicles. Mostly Ford V8 engines and parts, the Allard Company progressed from special-builder to motor manufacturer. Using a similar formula from the 1930's, the Ford Pilot V8 engine was now installed far back in a chassis frame of Allard's own planning. Handling was excellent thanks to a superb Marles steering wheel and rearward weight bias. The independent front suspension was thoroughly modern and impressive power and acceleration along with the long rear axle ratio of 3.6:1 brought the car up to a top of speed around 85 mph.

Introduced late in 1946, the L-Type open tourers chassis was constructed in South Hill Park. They were then transported across London to the Hilton Brothers' workshop in Fulham where the ash-framed, handcrafted, coachbuilt bodies were fitted. The L-Type tourer was incredibly roomy for up to four people and provided a comfortable ride on leather-trimmed seats. The interior of the car was fully carpeted while the hood and removable side screens were weatherproof. A sports-type fold-flat windscreen was also provided.

The L-Type utilized Allard's trademark independently suspended split front axle and transverse-lead rear end in a chassis that was 6 inches longer than the contemporary K-type. The extra length was put to good use in the rear accommodating the two passenger seats. The L-Type used Ford/Mercury components that were incredibly easy to acquire from Ford in the UK, much like the majority of production Allards. The L-Type was available with a choice of the 3,622cc Ford V8 engine or the modified 4,375cc Mercury engine.

Godfrey Imhof was a close friend of Sydney Allard, and was responsible for the bodywork design of the L-Type. He also undertook the design of the two-seater roadster K1 and the short-chassis J1 two-seater. Imhof managed to create a flowing line in the design of the sports tourer and saloons, but was able to keep a masculine ruggedness in the design of the competitive sports models. The L1 had a wheelbase of 9 feet 4 inches and utilized the 95 bhp engine. The bodywork of the automobile was made of aluminum and formed an appealing 'wind cheating' shape that aided in the acceleration.

During its production span a total of 191 L-Types were manufactured from 1946 through 1948. Today only 19 units remain, with only seven found in the United States.


By Jessica Donaldson
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