1947 ALLARD L-TYPE FOUR-SEATER TOURER
Registration No. MLS 400
Chassis No. 71L 345Q
Engine No. TBA
Black with red leather interior.
Engine: Ford Pilot V8, 3.6 litre, sidevalve with downdraught carburettor, 85 bhp at 3,800 rpm; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: transverse leaf springs to divided front and live rear axle; Brakes: hydraulically operated drum all round. Right-hand drive.
'The new Allard', said The Autocar in February 1946, 'has changed its sporting tweeds for a lounge suit'. There were other changes. Allards were no longer specials, for their builders had taken on a new identity. The Allard Motor Company, formed in 1945, now operated from a kind of factory in South Hill Park, Clapham, and a whole collection of workshops around South and West London.
On the strength of a stockpile of Ford V8 engines and parts built up during the war years Sydney Allard launched into full-scale production of a range of aggressively styled modern looking touring cars while most British car manufacturers were still planning theirs. It hardly mattered that they were mostly Ford; in the car-starved Britain of the 1940's there was soon a waiting list for the Allard. The formula was very much as it had been in the 1930's only now the Ford Pilot V8 engine was installed well back in a chassis frame of Allard's own devising. Helped by the excellent Marles steering and that rearward weight bias, the handling was considered to be excellent. The independent front suspension, for all its simplicity, was seen as thoroughly up-to-date. There was power and acceleration in abundance and the 'long' rear axle ratio of 3.6:1 used at first, gave these tourers an easy gait up to a maximum of around 85 mph.
After the chassis destined to become L-Type, open tourers were built in South Hill Park, they were towed across London to the Hilton Brothers workshops in Fulham where the hand-crafted, ash-framed, coachbuilt bodies were installed. By the standards of the time, they provided roomy accommodation for four people in comfortable leather-trimmed seats. They were fully carpeted and the hood and removable sidescreens were practicable and weatherproof, although a sports-type fold-flat windscreen was also provided. The L-Type remained in production from late 1946 to 1950, during which time 100 were built.
This L-Type, originally registered in Manchester, purchased in 1976, formed the nucleus of the vendor's collection. It was the subject of a body-off restoration that returned it to factory specification and today looks very much like a car that has just been carefully 'run-in'. It has the benefit of the original rear-wheel fairings that were such a feature of these models. Like all the cars in the collection it has been used on 'high days and holidays' by the owner and his family. As presented it represents a very usable, eye-catching open touring car of an interesting period, and should provide many more thousands of miles of enjoyable driving.