The Introduction of the Allard J2-R
Now we consider the introduction of the Allard J2-R, the finest Allard.
During 1952 and 1953, Allard built both smaller and larger cars: the M2-X five-passenger cabriolet and the P2 five/six-passenger sedan, with a choice of Ford/Mercury or Cadillac V-8 engines, and the smaller 21-C Palm Beach with the inline four-cylinder ohv Consul engine or the 21-Z with the inline six-cylinder Zephyr powerplant (both Ford engines). And, finally, there was the K3, with a choice of Ford, Mercury, or Chrysler V-8s -- or the more exotic Jaguar inline dual-overhead-cam six. Whatever the engine, all of these models retained the coil springs, split front axle, and de Dion rear setup.
The final J model, the J2-R -- probably the best Allard ever made -- came in 1953. Its frame consisted of the four-tube assembly used for the Palm Beach model, but with a new de Dion layout at the rear that positioned the de Dion tube with twin A-brackets and parallel trailing arms on each side. The front axle assembly remained as before, with the split-I-beam Ford front axle and coil springs.
The Cadillac engine was modified to accommodate four twin-choke Solex carburetors, a high-lift cam with solid tappets, 9.0:1 compression ratio, and a special exhaust system, all of which combined to produce 270 horsepower at 4600 rpm. The mechanicals were complemented by an envelope body and a dry weight of 2200 pounds.
The J2-R was built solely as a sports/racing car, and Sydney Allard proved its performance potential when he led the first lap of the 1953 Le Mans race by a wide margin. He continued to lead for three laps before a broken brake line put the Allard out of the race. Only seven of these J2-R Allards were built, most of them going to the U.S. or Canada.
Unfortunately, the J2-R was too much too late. By the time this relatively heavy machine got into competition, the Ferraris, Jaguars, Maseratis, and Aston Martins were becoming lighter, riding more sophisticated suspensions, and -- in some cases -- running with more power. The Jaguars also featured better brakes: Dunlop disc units from the C-Type model.
To read about the end of the Allards continue on to the next page.
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