The tough and burly J2X is perhaps the most recognizable automobile ever to wear the famous red Allard badge. The J2 series was born in the late 1940s when open-road racing was booming in popularity, but there was a noticeable lack of suitable sports cars available to American buyers. The sports car revolution was in its infancy, 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. It was overwhelmingly successful, and for a brief time, the J2 was the dominant force in road racing, making its name in places like Elkhart Lake, Pebble Beach, and Watkins Glen.
Replacing the J2 was the J2X of 1951-1954. Outwardly similar in appearance, it featured a few subtle improvements to help tame the wild nature of the J2. The front suspension was refined and the chassis stretched by 6-inches (though wheelbase remained the same at 100 inches), the body stretched, and the engine moved forward by 7.5 inches to give more room in the footwells. The J2X had much-improved high-speed stability, but sports car development was moving at such a pace in the early 1950s that it was soon outclassed by the thoroughbred racers from Ferrari, Jaguar and Aston Martin. However, the improved chassis and superior handling still made the J2X the darling of Allard fans, and to this day it remains one of the most sought-after cars for historic rallying. Just 71 examples were produced, and the J2X has earned its place in the annals of motorsport history.
We are delighted to offer this outstanding 1953 Allard J2X-Cadillac. One of just 61 survivors known to The Allard Register, J2X 3077 is an exquisite example of the breed with a rich and fascinating history. The earliest provenance is not fully known; however, it is believed that the car left the factory in October 1952 and was delivered with a Cadillac 331 V8 and Lincoln 3-speed manual transmission. Previous owners include Don Marsh as well as Tiny Gould; who is considered one of the “founding fathers” of the collector car business. The most recent owner acquired the car from a UK-based collector in 2001.
Chassis number 3077 was actually his second J2X, as he had purchased a new one in 1953 and drove it for several years before joining the military. He regrettably sold that first car to a friend and always kept track of it, vowing to own another one day. After acquiring J2X 3077, he amassed over 30,000 miles, driving it from his home on the East Coast to numerous events, shows, Allard gatherings, and rallies around the country; without the benefit of such modern conveniences as a full windscreen or a heater. The car was driven to Texas, where it participated in the Texas 1000 Rally and was driven home. He also took the car on an epic 6000 mile coast-to-coast round trip to Seattle, participated in the Colorado Grand, Mountain Mille and a drive down the East Coast to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. He reported to us that even the Allard family suggested that he had covered more miles in a J2X than even Sydney Allard himself!
As if to reward the car for its loyal, reliable service, it was treated to the no-expense-spared restoration by John Harden and Chris Campbell of The Vintage Connection in Oklahoma City, OK. As expected of such a specialist restoration, the quality is outstanding with beautiful finishing and detailing. A log shows a total of $268,698 was spent on the project between 2008 and 2010. All of that effort and expense is reflected in what is a gorgeous car from top to bottom.
Today, J2X 3077 presents in excellent condition, still looking very fresh from its restoration. The car is very true to original form with its British Racing Green livery, boot-mounted spare (side mounts were optional for the J2X, and a pair of brackets are included) and “Le Mans-style lighting.” The body has been carefully restored by the craftsmen at The Vintage Connection and refinished in a beautiful dark British Racing Green with matching wire wheels. Paintwork has been lovingly maintained and remains in excellent condition. Rotax headlamps and Le Mans-spec driving lamps are fitted up front and feature body-color housings. Chrome and brightwork is limited to the light surrounds, grille, Allard-script knock-offs, and minor fittings, and it all presents in excellent condition.
The cockpit is purposeful and straightforward, trimmed to a high standard and properly restored. The beautiful engine-turned instrument panel wears correct-type Smiths gauges and Lucas switches. Correct details include the Bluemel Brooklands steering wheel and Allard-script gear knob. With the superior leg room of the J2X chassis, the cabin is quite comfortable once you’re in place and is a great place to spend a day enjoying your favorite roads.
The 331 cubic-inch Cadillac V8 is beautifully presented in correct dark blue and fitted with period appropriate parts such as Offenhauser finned aluminum valve covers, and an aluminum Edelbrock intake topped with a trio of Holley 2110 carbs with chrome scoops. A few carefully judged improvements have been made for drivability, including a four-speed T-10 replacing the Lincoln 3-speed, and Mallory Unilite ignition. A modern generator-style alternator has been fitted to give a period look with the reliability and performance of a modern alternator to keep up with sat-navs and phone chargers. The fuel system is upgraded with a Harden-designed fuel cell, though the original tank is also included in the sale.
This outstanding J2X has been proven over thousands of miles and shown with pride at events including the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The sublimely balanced chassis and muscular good looks make the Allard J2X one of the most sought-after classics for use in events like the Colorado Grand, California Mille, and numerous other historic rallies and tours. Chassis number 3077 has proven to be a reliable, loyal companion over thousands of miles, and thanks to its outstanding restoration, it is one of the finest examples of the breed we have encountered.