1952 Allard J2X

Of all the cars that would wear the famous red Allard badge, the J2X is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of this storied marque. The J2 series was born in the late 1940s when sports car racing on open-road circuits in America was growing increasingly popular, but there was a noticeable lack of cars available to American buyers. The sports car revolution was just beginning to take hold, and Sydney Allard developed the J2 of 1949 specifically with the needs of American racing drivers in mind. The J2 featured svelte, minimalist bodywork and a robust chassis built to accommodate a variety of cheap and reliable American V8 engines. The J2X of 1951-1954 followed up on the J2’s tremendous success, with an outwardly similar appearance and a few subtle improvements to the chassis. Most notable, the engine was moved forward slightly to give more room in the foot wells which also improved the handling balance. A number of engines could be fitted, but it was the combination of the Allard chassis and Cadillac’s new overhead valve 331 cubic inch V8 that became the stuff of legend – dominating the heady days of early post-war sports car racing at storied tracks from Watkins Glen to Elkhart Lake to Le Mans. Just 71 examples of the J2Xwere ever built but its place is firmly cemented in the annals of motorsport history.

We are thrilled to offer this truly outstanding 1952 Allard J2X, chassis number J2X3042. Fully restored and prepped for rally duty, this is a proven and reliable example that benefits from a comprehensive, nut and bolt restoration performed by a highly respected specialist. The earliest history of car #3042 begins at the end of February 1952 when, according to marque experts, it was delivered (less engine) along with its sister car (#3043) to Noel Kirk Motors, the famous Los Angeles Allard dealer. According to the Allard Register there is a gap in the paper records for our subject car, but the build sheet for #3043 indicates preparation for a Cadillac engine, and experts believe that since both cars were shipped at the same time they would have been prepared in the same spec, which was typical practice for Allard. The first owner’s name is unknown, but it was owned by the late Evan Enninger of Downey, California beginning sometime in the 1960s. Mr. Enninger, a former B52 pilot, bought the J2X from his neighbor (allegedly for $35!) but apparently never drove it even once, instead keeping it tucked in his garage for the next 20-plus years. In the 1980s Enninger sold it to a Ferrari dealer in California for $25,000. Photos show the car in complete condition, with its Cadillac engine still in place. It was finished in red livery as original, with wide wheels and aftermarket side pipes.

After a light refurbishment the J2X was eventually sold in the early 1990s to two partners from Phoenix, AZ; Dr. Bob Dunne, a neurosurgeon, and Snuff Garrett, a music producer. After buying out his partner, Dr. Dunne entrusted the Allard to the highly respected Jaguar restorer and collector Terry Larson of Arizona for restoration work. It competed in the Copperstate 1000 in 1991, and Dr. Dunne sold it shortly thereafter. In 1997, Andrew Simpson of Texas would purchase J2X3042, eventually handing it over to the renowned Allard specialist John Harden of The Vintage Connection in Oklahoma City. Mr. Simpson was an avid vintage racing enthusiast and he charged Harden’s shop with restoring the Allard true to original specification, while making it a fast and dependable car for touring or track.

The restoration of J2X3042 would span 2 ½ years and nearly 2600 hours. The documented process shows the level of consideration given to every facet of the project. After being completely stripped down, each nut and bolt was scrutinized and the car was returned to a very correct state, with subtle improvements made to known J2X weak points that ensure safe and reliable use. The body was repaired as necessary, with special attention paid to the rear section which had been widened early in its life to accommodate fat rear tires. Using Harden’s proprietary jigs built from another J2X, the body was restored to factory original shape. In the time since the restoration was completed, the Allard remains in outstanding condition, with silver finish on the chassis and suspension components and a brilliant red livery with black leather seats.

The restoration included a complete rebuild of the Cadillac 331 V8 with mild upgrades for power and reliability. The engine features Stromberg 97 carburetors on an Edelbrock intake, Stellite valve seats, adjustable pushrods, Vertex magneto and a lightweight alloy flywheel. It is backed by a Richmond T-10 4-speed gearbox, sending power to the rebuilt original rear axle with limited slip diff. A forward-braced bolt-in roll bar is included that can be fitted for race duty or easily removed for show and street. Shortly after the $285,000 restoration was finished in 2005, Mr. Simpson parted with the J2X, when it passed to the hands of its current owners.

While in their stewardship, J2X3042 has been driven and enjoyed to the fullest. It has taken part in no fewer than ten Colorado Grands and successfully completed every one without a mechanical failure. The car is very well-known among Grand participants and it was depicted on the poster and route book cover of the 2010 event. It has been maintained in top mechanical and cosmetic condition and presents beautifully, showing few signs of the regular enjoyment it sees on the road and in rallies. The red paintwork has been protected with clear film in key areas and remains in excellent order. Bodywork is straight and tidy, detailed with a bonnet strap, correct Allard windscreens, and the J2X’s signature dual sidemount spares. The black leather displays an inviting care-worn patina from use, with the high side-bolsters exhibiting some creasing and fading that adds a welcome character to the interior, revealing this as a car that’s meant to be driven.

The lightweight body and sublime chassis combine with the heavy-hitting Cadillac OHV V8 engine to make driving this Allard a truly thrilling experience. Despite the impressive power-to-weight ratio, the car remains very well balanced and enjoyable without ever feeling like it wants to bite. It is a very finely sorted car that is ideally suited for countless events worldwide. With the added benefit of its bolt-in roll bar and integrated fire system, it is suitable for vintage track events as well, and would certainly make a welcome addition to the VSCCA ranks. Just 61 examples of this iconic Anglo-American racer are known to exist and are highly prized by their owners, making this a truly rare opportunity. This fabulous Allard J2X is a beautiful and iconic racing machine, and is one of most proven and best-sorted examples known.

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