Allard Motor Company was founded in the aftermath of WWII by Sydney Allard, a London garage owner who was also known for being a rather bold and courageous racing driver. Prior to the war, Allard built a handful of cars for trials competition on bespoke chassis that utilized cheap American horsepower that ranged from the Ford V8 to a Lincoln V12. His first cars were successful enough to sell about a dozen examples before the war. After the war, Sydney Allard wasted little time getting back to building cars. In 1946 he announced the arrival of the K1, a 2-seat roadster with a box-section chassis, live rear axle, transverse leaf springs and the signature split-axle front suspension designed by Les Ballamy. As a natural by-product of Allard’s war-time business repairing Ford military vehicles, power came from the ubiquitous Ford “flathead” V8, with the option to fit the more powerful Mercury version coming soon after. Many cars would be equipped with the ARDUN overhead valve conversion, as its creator, Zora Arkus Duntov served as a technical advisor and works driver for Sydney Allard prior to going to General Motors where he became the savior of the Corvette. Allard had indeed found an ideal formula, as 151 customers came knocking to buy the K1.
Following up on the K1 was the K2 of 1950, sharing the same basic architecture but with vastly improved handling via coil-springs that replaced the leaves on the split front axle. The K2 also featured revised styling, with the attractive pentagon grille and signature oval portholes in the bonnet making their first appearances. Power came via the tried and true Ford V8, with Cadillac or Chrysler OHV V8s offered as an option. Most cars would utilize Ford power as it was proven and easily tuned to make more than enough power for the chassis. The K2 was popular with American audiences, though it sold in fewer numbers than its predecessor – ultimately just 119 were built from 1949 to 1952.
Finished in attractive primrose yellow with black wings, this is a sterling example of the rare and desirable Allard K2 Touring. This particular car comes to us via long term ownership in a large and diverse collection, and it presents in very good condition with a well-preserved older restoration. Little is known of the car’s earliest history, though a series of accompanying photographs show it in approximately the early 1980s, as it was discovered in an unrestored but complete state. Photos show it was a sound and original car to begin with, requiring minimal bodywork. Photos depict the disassembly, repairs and the subsequent finished product in the handsome livery it wears today. The K2 now presents in handsome order, with good quality paintwork and finishing. The body remains straight with excellent door and decklid fit, and includes a full set of weather equipment in black canvas. A few touchups can be found, which is to be expected considering the time since its restoration, and the finish has taken on a pleasing character with just a very slight patina. It rides on correct color-keyed steel wheels with blackwall crossply tires and Allard dog-dish hub caps.
Power comes from a Ford Flathead V8 with period upgrades that include Offenhauser cylinder heads, Offy tri-power intake and a trio of Stromberg 97 carburetors. The engine compartment is tidy and very nicely presented, and the engine runs well, sending power through a three-speed manual gearbox. The chassis and undercarriage appear clean and sorted, with a very good driver-quality level of detail. It has seen limited use recently, so a light refresh of the mechanicals would be recommended prior to any serious events.
The interior is basic and purposeful, trimmed in black leather with off-white piping. Seats are in very good order, with a pleasing broken-in character to the leather. Door panels, carpets and dash covering are all in black and appear in excellent condition. Black canvas top and side curtains fit well and are in excellent order. The original instruments appear in good condition and a genuine Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel rounds out the correctly restored cockpit.
Of the 119 K2s originally built, just 87 are known to exist according to the Allard Register. These rare and desirable cars offer tremendous enjoyment with their mix of burly American power and a lively English chassis. Thanks to its broken-in character and robust, reliable flathead V8, this Allard K2 would be an excellent choice for rallies and driving events the world over.