Allard J1 (1946-1947)
Following his success in pre-war trials events, Sydney Allard launched his new car the Allard J1 in 1946. The J1 was a two seat sportscar designed for road use as well being suitable for competition in trials events. Thanks to its minimalist coachwork the J1 weighed in at under 16 1/2cwt and with its large V8 engine the Allard offered excellent performance (for 1946!).
The Allard J1 came with a choice of either a 3.6 litre Ford V8 or a tuned 3.9 litre Mercury engine, which was also a V8. The J1 was similar in appearance and specification to the longer K1 and was only produced until 1947, just 12 examples were built.
Allard J2 (1950-1952) Usually Cadillac V8 5428cc
This was a Lotus Seven before its time: sheer automotive simplicity. It had the shorter (100in) wheelbase of the J1 but was still not a small car, for it had to accommodate husky American V8s (Cadillac was a favourite) which might be over 5 litres and come in highly tuned versions. To transmit that muscle onto the road a de Dion rear axle suspended on coil springs and located by radius arms was fitted. One peculiarity of the J2 was that the use of a Ford front axle meant a front track of 56in, while the track of the de Dion rear was only 52in, so they always looked as though they were ‘crabbing’, even when they were going in a straight line. A useful option for competition was a Halibrand differential with quick-change final drive ratio: Allard became the British agent for this device which has led to some writers to state that it was an Allard product. With the right engine, no contemporary sports car could match it off the line. It was a popular competition machine, being rugged and reliable, and one finished third at Le Mans in 1950 despite losing all gears bar top (third).
Allard J2R (1953-1955)
The fastest of all the Allards, this had the short wheelbase frame of the Palm Beach, but with a de Dion rear axle (located by an A-frame), a full width body and a variety of engines, although the 5.4 litre Cadillac V8 was the favourite. Sydney Allard actually led the first lap at Le Mans in 1953 in one, but the race was won by a Jaguar C Type with proper aerodynamics, a space frame, and disc brakes.
Allard K3 (1952-1954) Ford V8SV. Either 3622cc or 4375cc
In 1952 Allard gave its popular sports model a new look. The new K3 looked very modern in contrast to the skimpy J1 and K1 models that preceded it. The K3 had coil-spring front suspension and either 3.6 or 4.4 litre V8 engines, some USA cars even had a Cadillac engine as this was considered more prestigious.
The body of the K3 was all new. It featured integral front wings and was constructed on a light tubular frame with its twin fuel tanks housed inside the rear wings. Production of the K3 lasted until 1954, sadly it was not as popular as Allard had hoped and only 62 were actually built.
Allard Palm Beach (1952-1958) 1508cc -3442cc
In 1952 Allard launched a smaller sports model to compete in the ever growing British sportscar sector. The new car, called the Palm Beach, was clearly aimed at the Austin Healey 100 which was selling well in the USA, an already established market for Allard.
The Palm Beach used a tubular chassis and came initially with a choice of either a Ford Consul or Zephyr engine. In 1956 a Mk II Palm Beach replaced the earlier model and introduced the option of a larger 3.4 litre Jaguar XK engine and torsion-bar front suspension. Unfortunately the Palm Beach failed to sell in any great quantity, only 80 cars were built before production ceased in 1958.
Allard Safari (1952-1955) Ford V8SV – 3622cc – 5420cc (OHV)
Throughout the 1950′s Allard continued to experiment with different model types. In 1952 Allard added an estate version of its P2 saloon to its ever growing range. The new estate became known as the Safari, perhaps a slightly ambitious name for what was essentially a coachbuilt “Woody” estate car aimed at “Sportsmen” looking for a practical car with sporting characteristics.
The Safari was mechanically identical to the P2 saloon which meant it could be specified with either Ford, Mercury or Cadillac V8 engines. The model was listed until 1955, only 10 cars were produced.