1953 Allard K3 Roadster

After making a name for himself in the British Trials scene before World War II, Sydney Allard branched out into sports cars for the Post War era. The Allard K1 Touring debuted in 1946 as 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, the ubiquitous Ford “flathead” V8 powered the K1, with the option of a more powerful Mercury version following. Some cars featured the ARDUN overhead-valve conversion, as Zora Arkus Duntov served as Allard’s technical advisor and a Works driver before going to General Motors, where he famously saved the Corvette.

The J2 marked Allard’s arrival on the international motorsport scene, particularly in the United States, where Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, or Chrysler V8-powered J2s dominated the open road racing scene of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Soon, more prominent manufacturers caught the sports car bug, pushing development along so quickly that small firms like Allard struggled to keep up.

Undaunted, Sydney Allard persevered and continued developing new cars like the 1952 Palm Beach, with its fully-enveloped body and four- or six-cylinder Ford power from the Consul/Zephyr. Allard built just 80, but the body lived on to clothe the new K3. Whereas the Palm Beach was a relaxed boulevardier, the K3 was an outright bruiser – essentially a road-going version of the brutal J2 in a handsome new suit. Hidden beneath the attractive alloy body was a massive American V8, usually a Ford or Mercury – though Cadillac and Chrysler engines were also offered, as was the Jaguar XK inline-six. Sadly for Allard, the K3 sold in small numbers – just 63 examples were built, and today they stand among the most collectible of all the Allard road cars.

Factory production records show that this Allard K3, chassis no. 3196 was ordered for the American market, with modifications for the Cadillac 331 cubic-inch V8 engine. Copies of the original ‘pink card’ assembly notes show the color was blue with blue trim and that it left the UK in the spring of 1953 aboard the cargo vessel Loch Avon. It was delivered to the legendary sports car dealer Noel Kirk Motors of Hollywood, California. At Noel Kirk, it received its Cadillac V8 engine and manual gearbox as specified by the first owner, Mr. Robert Downey, a Lockheed Aerospace employee. The K3 remained in California for much of its life, surviving the years remarkably intact. In about 1965, Mr. L. Macomber of El Cajon, CA, acquired 3196, and it stayed in his family’s care through 2007. Along the way, it was restored and refinished in red. Around 2011, the Allard left the warmth of the west for Hadley, Massachusetts, and the workshop of renowned restorer Mike DiCola. In his care, the Allard received a comprehensive, nut-and-bolt restoration, finished to concours standards.

By 2016, the exhaustive restoration was complete, and the Allard emerged in a beautiful shade of dark British Racing Green, accented with rich Oxblood leather upholstery. Mr. Dicola has had Allards on the lawn at Pebble Beach, and his expertise is evident throughout this superb example. Chassis 3196 has been with the most recent owner since 2017 and remains in absolutely fantastic condition, with concours-quality finishes and on-the-button mechancials. The body is authentically detailed with knock-off wire wheels and the original Noel Kirk Motors Lion badges that have been with the car since new. The most recent owner added period-correct Lucas fog lights to improve visibility on the road and provide a sporty accent, and roll-up windows were fitted for additional comfort while on tour. The cockpit features gorgeous oxblood leather upholstery, black wool carpeting, and a superbly crafted Haartz canvas hood piped in green leather. Smiths instruments were fully rebuilt as part of the restoration, and they sit in an engine-turned alloy panel surrounded by precisely stitched red leather. A proper four-spoke banjo steering wheel rounds out the purposeful and authentically restored cockpit. The generous boot houses the spare wheel, jack, and hammer, with ample room for luggage and spares.

The Cadillac OHV V8 sits in a tidy and purposeful engine bay, and is detailed with period-style finned alloy valve covers a finned valley cover. Detailing is generally period-correct with a few understated upgrades for reliable touring. Most notably, a 5-speed gearbox improves high-speed cruising ability, though the original transmission is included in the sale. The K3 proved its mettle over thousands of miles of challenging events in the most recent owner’s care. Decals show that since 2017, it ran in North America’s most prestigious classic rallies – including the Colorado Grand, California Mille, 2018 Going to the Sun Rally, the 2019 Pebble Beach Tour D’Elegance, and 2021 Copperstate 1000.

According to the Allard Register, just 46 K3 Tourings are known to exist. This example is undoubtedly one of the finest extant, boasting superb, concours-ready looks and an impressive roster of accomplishments on America’s most challenging vintage rallies. It is now ready for its next custodian to carry on its impressive legacy and will undoubtedly be a thrilling addition to your stable.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered

 

$189,500

Stock number 7130

For immediate assistance please call us at +1-314-524-6000 or please fill out the following form and a member of our team will contact you.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.