The last of six J2Rs built, J2R 3406 is fitted with a large Cadillac V8 breathing through a giant four-barrel carburetor that produces huge horsepower and torque. It drives through a Muncie M22 four-speed transmission and a Halibrand quick-change differential to the deDion rear suspension. The car is fitted with an ATL fuel cell, a custom-built radiator and a roll bar. Allard J2R 3406's unique left-hand drive, two-door configuration sets it apart from other J2Rs. Furthermore, its cockpit now accepts drivers well over six feet tall. Its cosmetics are exceptional, attesting to the skill and quality of the restoration. This Allard J2R will satisfy fascinations (and primal urges), whether it's the 24 Heures du Mans of simply the explosive epiphany of a Cadillac-powered road racer.
Founded in 1946 by Sydney Herbert Allard, the Allard Motor Company would go on to create more than 1,900 vehicles, all that have evolved from 12 pre-war specials. The Allard specials were created at the Adlards Motors garage purchased in 1929 by Sydney Allard. Original production vehicles were dubbed the K, the two seater sports model, L, a four seater tourer and the J. The J was not as well-known as the other models, but it was a competition two seater very similar to the K. Soon to follow was the four seater; M. The 1950 J2 competition two-seater is most likely the best-known Allard and it was in this car that Sydney won 3rd in the '50 Le Mans which led to worldwide recognition, especially in the U.S. Sydney began by racing motorcycles before moving on to four wheels, and driving a three-wheeled Morgan in between. The original 'Allard Special' was introduced in 1936 and was commonly referred to as CLK 5 due to its registration number. The CLK 5 was a combination of a Ford Model 40 chassis and engine with a Bugatti Type 51 body.
Allard went on to be quite successful in the largest market of the world, the U.S. The Allard Special was lightweight and featured impressive ground clearance that made it a perfect Trials racer. The weight was concentrated over the rear wheels by moving the cockpit as far backwards as possible and this design was a signature that was found on all future Allard models. Allard's first Special was an immediate winner with Ford's flat-head V8 inside to provide plenty of torque.
Sydney Allard decided to hang tight to the divided front axle which was considered outclassed by competition. Allard achieved a victory at the 1952 Monte Carlo rally; the first British win for 21 years. This would have been great attention and advertising for Allard, but unfortunately driver King died on February 6th and the nation's attention was shifted.
A big interest in a production version of the Special was brewing and so after the War, Allard chose to produce the first Allard production vehicles. The Specials continued to be very successful in a variety of races. Unfortunately the main downfall of the ‘Specials' was the overheating problems at high speeds that were caused by the manifold design of the flat-head engine.
The first real Allard was complete in 1946 and is more often referred to as the J1. The basis of the Allard was created with bits and pieces of Ford. A total of 12 J1's were created and competed all throughout Europe and Britain.
A new competition Allard was debuted in 1950, the J2 which carried the basic structure and general design of the J1. The front suspension was very close in design to the J1, but the transverse leaf spring was replaced by coils. Drums were moved inboard and a DeDion axle was installed in the rear. By moving the engine as far back in the chassis as possible, weight concentration was focused over the rear wheels. The Allard was fitted with the V8, though a variety of American engines could be fitted. The Allard J2 was quite impressive, especially equipped with Cadillac's pushrod V8.
In 1950 Allard achieved great road racing success when Tom Cole and Sydney Allard maneuvered a Cadillac powered J2 to a third place victory and a first in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The J2X was introduced in 1951. An updated version, the J2X was very similar to the J2 but the engine was placed further down in the chassis to leave more room for a larger cockpit. Dominating racing in America, Chrysler HEMI and Cadillac powered J2's and J2Xs were all of the rage. A variety of full width bodied J2Xs were built by Allard to comply with new FIA regulations that banned cycle fenders.
In 1953, an all new generation of Allard's were introduced. These models shared a tubular frame chassis and the sports vehicle variation of the new range was named JR or JR2. These models were fitted with a body that was so evidently formed from the J2X Le Mans. Built specifically for the Cadillac engine, the J2R was much smaller and lighter than its forefathers.
The cylinder banks inside the J2R were equipped with a three pipe header which was evidenced in the three exhaust pipes on each side of the vehicle. A total of six complete J2R's were constructed by the Allard factory plus one chassis that was later built into a racing special. Unfortunately the JR's were constructed too quickly in preparation for Le Mans and proved to be unreliable. The Le Mans in 1954 were controlled by the big works teams which left no room for small independent manufactures like Allard.By Jessica Donaldson