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 Allard K1 photo

1948 Allard K1

Racing driver Sydney Allard constructed one of the most unlikely of all pre-war trials specials by grafting a body from a Grand Prix Bugatti onto a crashed Ford V8 coupe. Its lightweight construction and relatively powerful American V8 engine demonstrated the formula's potential and would become the foundation for future Allard vehicles, inspiring future imitators along the way, including Carroll Shelby who acknowledged Allard's influence on the Cobra.

When World War II came to a close, Sydney Allard quickly progressed from a 'racing specials' builder to motor manufacturer, though the latter activity was really little more than a means of financing the company's competition program. These post-war cars followed a similar mold of the first trials special of the mid-1930s, using lightweight construction, American V8 power, and an independent front suspension. These favorable characteristics earned Allard a formidable and enviable competition record, a tremendous achievement considering its limited resources and small size. Among the numerous accolades were a 3rd at the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans by Sydney himself in a J2 sports racer and winning outright at the Monte Carlo Rally in a P-Type saloon. The victory at Monte Carlo was the only time a driver and manufacturer won the event.

Among the earliest models produced by Allard in the post-WWII era was the K1, announced in 1946. It was a lightweight two-seater resting on a box-section frame and powered by either Ford or Mercury flathead V8 engines. The Bellamy-pattern independent swing-axle front suspension was paired with a beam axle rear suspension with torque tube and transverse leaf springs, effectively resulting in an independent rear suspension well before other carmakers utilized this setup. A longer wheelbase version, called the L1, had seating for four. Like many of the production Allards, the J1 came equipped with either Ford or Mercury components since they were readily available from Ford in the U.K. Allard vehicles destined for the U.S. were usually fitted with Chrysler or Cadillac powerplants.

The Allard vehicles were minimalistic and purposeful, and they were usable and relatively inexpensive to maintain and run. Their torquey and powerful V8 engines appealed to the performance enthusiast, and the three-speed manual gearbox and high overall gearing allowed them to be driven very fast. They were suitable for both road and track use, finding popularity in North America with such drivers as Zora Duntov, John Fitch, Tom Cole, and Carroll Shelby. Mr. Shelby won every race he entered in 1953 with his Allard.

Allard built approximately 151 examples of the K1 between 1946 to 1948. Among the specifications were a 106-inch wheelbase and four-wheel Lockheed drum brakes. The frame used stamped steel channel sections by Thomsons of Wolverton, and side rails and cross members were specially designed to accommodate the suspension and live rear axle.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2022

1948 Vehicle Profiles

1948 Allard K1 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 577

There were 151 K1 Allards produced between 1946 and 1948.....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: 577 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

K1

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
106.00 in.
8 cyl., 221.03 CID., 85.00hp
8 cyl., 239.03 CID., 95.00hp
106.00 in.
8 cyl., 221.03 CID., 85.00hp
8 cyl., 239.03 CID., 95.00hp
106.00 in.
8 cyl., 295.00 CID., 85.00hp

Industry Production

#1#2#3Allard
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)7
1945Volkswagen (12,852)

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