Allard

Allard This article appeared in La Presse in June 2004. Since then, the Allard “Canadian” continues under the direction of Roger Allard, his tenancy and courageous creator and has been the subject of many reports in international media. Details, photos, reports, videos on the site: http://allardj2x.com     The epic Allard: from Sydney to Roger Alain Raymond, special collaboration, La Presse

Coming from a wealthy family of South London Ford dealerships, Sydney Allard began his career in the automotive industry in 1928 as a mechanic and amateur rider. At the wheel of a Morgan, Sydney indulges in “trials”, off-road events, and circuit races. In 1936, Sydney built the first Allard by tapping into Ford’s stock of Ford parts. Driven by an American V8, the car is reliable and fast. Equipped with an imposing torque, the V8 of the Allard attracts the attention of other trial fans, prompting Allard to produce the car in small series.

Sydney, a great craft builder During the Second World War, Allard devoted himself to the production and repair of military equipment and found himself, after 1945, in possession of a large stock of truck parts that he used to make the K1 convertible. In a market where there is a shortage of mass production cars, Allard is doing good business until the beginning of the 50s when the competition starts to be more intense, in particular on behalf of MG and Jaguar. To counter this trend, Allard unveils the J2 model, an imposing roadster powered by a no less impressive V8 Cadillac 5.4 liters (331 cubic inches). Less expensive than its rivals, the J2 displays breathtaking performance that earned it a glorious third place overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950, a success that attracts the attention of famous names, including Zora Arkus Duntov, father of the future Corvette, as well as stars Clark Gable, Dirk Bogart and Steve McQueen. Allard’s fans include the young Carroll Shelby, who, by the way, will be inspired by the Allard formula (a big American V8 engine animating a light-hearted English roadster) to create the famous Shelby AC Cobra a few years later. In 1959, Sydney Allard hangs up her skates as a craft builder. Its record: 22 models, 1901 cars, including 83 J2X roadsters and a select club of enthusiasts still active today, especially in Britain and America.

Roger, the daring successor

From the end of the 50s, let’s go to the end of the 90s to meet another Allard. Communications specialist, former paratrooper and diver emeritus, Montrealer Roger Allard is not afraid of risk. A former vintage lover, Roger promises himself an Austin Healey 3000 on a trip to Britain. By chance, Roger discovers a book dealing with Allard automobiles and, on a walk through the famous museum. Beaulieu, in the south of England, he comes face to face with … an Allard, in this case a very beautiful J2 1950. Seduced by this discovery, Roger undertakes a search for cars with his name, a search that leads to San Diego, Neal Hardy, 69, rights holder of Allard J2X and founder of Hardy Motors, builder reputed replicas of historic cars. Impressed by the enthusiasm and seriousness of the Quebecois, Hardy agrees to give him the rights of the J2X. Triumphant Roger Allard returns to Montreal with these famous exclusive rights, shots of the J2X and a superb replica, painted – obviously – in British Racing Green (our photo).  Then begins the long – and sometimes tumultuous – renaissance of the brand Allard, a five-year journey that brings us to Thursday, June 10, 2004, date of the first public release of the prototype of the “new” Allard J2X. Built in collaboration with Fédico Inc., a mechanical engineering firm located in St-Hubert, the “Quebec” Allard benefits from numerous improvements to the chassis, suspensions and interior, while retaining the elegant and imposing pace of his ancestor.

True to its origins, the Allard is animated by a big American V8, the Chevrolet RamJet 350, developing 355 horses which will have no difficulty to propel the 995 kg of the beautiful Anglo-American-Quebecois at very respectable speeds. Optional, as in Sydney, the formidable 5.7-liter Chrysler Hemi and the stunning Cadillac V8 North Star, all stowed on a 5-speed Tremec manual. According to Yves Fontaine, founder, president and chief engineer of Fédico Inc., himself a motor racing enthusiast, “our J2X should make the quarter mile in less than 13 seconds and go from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 5 seconds … ” It goes without saying that Yves Fontaine, Roger Allard and the entire Fédico team are eagerly awaiting the first J2X launches scheduled for this summer.  As for the commercial prospects, Roger Allard did his homework. Armed with a market study of luxury cars and exceptional cars, Allard relies heavily on the US market, especially sunny states that are probably best suited to a roadster pure and hard in the rich British tradition. Note also that the J2X “Roger Allard” are eligible for the Allard Register and will carry a nameplate with an Allard serial number, confirming the car’s belonging to the resurrected Allard family. No doubt Sydney would approve.