Cad/Allards were one of the most feared cars on the sports car racing circuit in the 1950's. Brutish power, coupled with a lightweight frame and relatively small size, made them hard to beat. This 1950 J2, chassis #99J1851, is the sister car to the famous Pollard #14 Allard. Tom Carsten, of Pacific NW Racing fame, owned #14 and raced #15 for the owner. The original engine, complete documentation and comprehensive spares package are included.
Sydney Allard was an experienced English racing driver who raced cars at LeMans and the Mille Miglia bearing his own name. Sydney saw the potential of the economically more vibrant – but sports car starved – US market and developed a special competition model to tap it, the J2. The new roadster was a potent combination of a lightweight, hand-formed aluminum body fitted with independent front suspension and de Dion type rear axle, inboard rear brakes, and designed for a Ford "flathead" V8. J2 was a limited production racing car, and since Allard didn’t manufacture their own engines, many were fitted with American V-8s. The standard unit was the Mercury V8, which was bored and stroked to produce 140 bhp. However, many cars came to US with out engines to take any combination of engine and transmission. When combined with the 331 cu. in. Cadillac or Chrysler 331 Hemi Firepower, the J2 was a particularly potent contender.
These powerful American engines combined with a rigid chassis and a small, cycle wing body to give an exceptional power to weight ratio. Contributing to good handling was a chassis constructed using small diameter tubes, a de-Dion rear axle to help keep the rear wheels connected to the road and the large aluminum Alfin drum brakes. Allard's distinctive front suspension was produced by splitting the I-beam front axle in two to make swing axles, with long radius rods and a new feature, for their day, of inclined telescopic shock absorbers. Importing American engines just to ship them back across the Atlantic proved problematic, so US-bound Allards were soon shipped engineless and fitted out in the States variously with newer overhead valve engines by Cadillac, Chrysler, Buick, and Oldsmobile. In that form, the J2 proved a highly competitive international race car for 1950, most frequently powered by 331 cubic inch Cadillac engines. Domestic versions for England came equipped with Ford or Mercury flatheads. Russian-American engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, formerly of Ardun, where he designed and developed aluminum overhead valve hemi heads for flathead Fords, worked for Allard from 1950 to 1952 and raced for the factory Allard team at Le Mans in 1952 and 1953. The J2 proved successful in competition on both sides of the Atlantic, including a third place overall at Le Mans in 1950, driven by Sydney Allard himself. Of 313 documented starts in major races in the 9 years between 1949 and 1957, J2's compiled a list of 40 first place finishes; 32 seconds; 30 thirds; 25 fourths; and 10 fifth place finishes. The J2s best moment came at LeMans, when a 5.4 liter, Cadillac-engined car placed third at the 1950 LeMans behind the winning Talbots. Ninety J2s were built between 1950 and 1951. Of all the cars Allard built, the J2 of 1950 received the most attention and reflected his racing background.
This special example has a long history in the Pacific NW. Following the loss of Tom Carsten’s number 14 J2 Allard against the tree up Pebble Beach, the sister car owned by David Fogg was prepared for a full club racing career. As the work was started in 1953, it is interesting to speculate that much of the program could've found its way into the new production J types. The David Fogg J2 always carrying number 15, was raced extensively in club events in Washington and Oregon between 1954 and 1958. Highly successful during this period, the car was retired as larger Ferraris and Chevrolet engine car spread to the club circuits. This car was always beautifully turned out and fully race-ready, would fit in well with any collection of 50’s and 60’s sports and racing cars. A unique history, significant documentation and a comprehensive spares package make this a very desirable Allard.