24 July 2000
THE PROPERTY OF BRIAN SHARP ESQ
1954 ALLARD K3 THREE-SEATER ROADSTER
Registration No. PLE 888
Chassis No. K3 3286
Engine No. tba
Duck-egg blue with grey leather interior.
Engine: Ford Pilot V8, 3622cc, 95bhp at 3800rpm; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: manual three-speed with synchromesh; Suspension: independent front by divided axle, de Dion rear, vertical coil springs all round; Brakes: Hydraulically operated drum, inboard at rear. Right-hand drive.
The imposing Allard K3 Roadster was a logical variation on Allard’s tubular-chassis generation of cars introduced in 1952. There had always been a K-type sports touring model in the company’s range, slightly longer than the out-and-out J-type racers and a great deal more civilised, but shorter and more nimble than the P-type saloons or L-type open tourers. The K also offered comfortable, weatherproof accommodation for up to three persons on the wide seat and some space for luggage within the shapely tail. Built on what was basically the 2.6 litre Palm Beach tubular chassis, the K3 followed this theme. But since it was designed to receive the powerful American V8 power units putting out anything up to 300bhp, it was provided with a version of the De Dion rear suspension developed in the J-type competition models. As with earlier K types, there was a single broad seat with plenty of space for three riders, four, it was murmured, at at pinch. The remote control gear lever was beside the seat and there were wind-up side windows to complement an easily lowered, fully disappearing hood. Some thought went into the rear luggage boot, twin fuel tanks tucked away into the rear wings providing useful extra capacity. The roomy body was again aluminium-panelled throughout, supported on steel formers and hoops rising directly from the chassis. The K3 was no lightweight, but when intended 5.4 litre V8 powerplants found their way into it there was performance in plenty, the American magazine Road and Track recording 16.9 secs for the standing quarter-mile with a 180 bhp Chrysler powered example.
This K3 was one of the two that were built with right-hand drive for the home market and it received the Ford Pilot V8 motor. Purchased by the then well-known writer and broadcaster John Paddy Carstairs, it is understood to have had one other owner before passing into the Allard collection of the present vendor.
It is finished in its original colours and has a particularly successful restoration of the leatherwork and cockpit area. The owner and his family have used the K3 for the occasional outing; the owner reports that it drives and handles particularly well.
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