1949 ALLARD M-TYPE DROPHEAD COUPE
Registration No. HAA 106
Chassis No. 862
Squadron blue with grey leather interior
Engine; Ford V8, 3,622cc giving 85bhp at 3,800rpm; Gearbox; three speed manual with column change; Brakes; four wheel hydraulic drum; Suspension; front, independent, swinging half axle type with transverse leaf spring, rear, transverse leaf spring. Right hand drive.
Sydney Allard's spectacular sports cars have earned a reputation far beyond the limited numbers in which they were produced. Allard built his first car in 1935, a roadster using a Ford V8 engine, especially for hillclimbs. The following year he built another special using a Bugatti body and he became so successful racing that car that his friends wanted copies. So, in 1946 he formed Allard Motors and began building his own custom built cars. About a dozen were sold prior to the war and afterwards a separate factory was acquired at Clapham to build cars based mainly on Ford components. One hundred and eighty cars were built in 1946/47 followed by a remarkable four hundred and thirty two in 1948. The arrival of the XK120 that year meant that Allard never again achieved such a high level of sales despite increasingly good competition results. Allards were raced in a huge diversity of events ranging from hillclimbs to the Le Mans 24-hour race. Many notable successes were recorded in the USA, but perhaps the most famous was that of Sydney Allard himself winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in 1952.
This drophead coupe was first registered on 21st January, 1949 and was acquired by the present owner in about 1975. The car had been in daily use, but was in poor condition with a broken engine and poor ash frame. In 1980 a complete restoration of the bodywork and frame was undertaken. The body panels were removed and a new ash frame fitted, the panels refitted and the whole car re-painted. A new V8 engine was found (still sealed and thought to have arrived during the war on lease lend) and fitted, since when the car has had very little use and has probably covered less than 500 miles. The transmission and electrical equipment were working satisfactorily and were not touched. A new hood was also fitted in 1980. The interior is the original leather upholstery which is intact, but quite worn. The car has been dry stored in a barn in recent years and the chrome work on the bumpers and hub caps are needing attention (one hubcap is missing). The bodywork and frame are understandably still in a very sound condition and the chassis which has been painted black has a few small areas of surface rust appearing.
It is hoped that by the time of the auction the Allard will be fully roadworthy with a new MoT certificate. It is a genuine four seater, and when compared to many similar cars of the period it is easy to see why it was so impressive. The steering is light and precise, roadholding exceptional, good acceleration, unstressed V8 power, comfortable driving position and aerodynamic styling.