1952 ALLARD P2 SAFARI EIGHT-SEATER ESTATE CAR
Registration No. NLD 412
Chassis No. P2 4003
Engine No. tba
Metallic gold with brown leather interior.
Engine: Cadillac V8, pushrod overhead valves, 160/200 bhp at 5800 rpm; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: manual three-speed synchromesh; Suspension: independent front by divided axle, de Dion rear, vertical coil springs all round; Brakes hydraulically operated drum all round, inboard at rear. Right-hand drive.
When the Allard Motor Company decided to replace its successful range of V8 powered saloons in 1952 it went all the way. Intended to carve out a niche in the North American imported saloon market, the P2 Monte Carlo saloon and sister Safari estate were big, luxurious and - in 5.4 litre Cadillac V8 form - impressive performers. It was all underpinned by a rigid tubular chassis frame of Allard's own design and a skilfully laid out second generation version of the company's divided axle independent front suspension. Matching that, at the rear was the clever de Dion axle, already well-proven in Sydney Allard's championship-winning single seater sprint car. The excellent Marles steering gear was used, as on earlier models from Clapham.
Very much in the tradition of the hand-built English luxury car, the Safari flaunted rich carpeting, hide and polished wood for fascia and door cappings. The spacious timber-framed and panelled estate car body uniquely revealed to the kerbside observer the high level of workmanship deployed by traditional coachbuilders. More unexpeceted was the pioneering rear-facing rearmost seat and the huge front-hinged body section which, propelled by two hydraulic rams, swung forward and up to reveal the front suspension and engine bay. A fresh air heating and ventilation system was standard; thoughtful touches included a steering wheel adjustable for reach, door-operated interior lights and an automatic reversing light. To make it possible to accommodate a third front seat passenger, the remote-control gear lever was located on the floor between the door and the driving seat. Allard built just 21 P2 saloons and estates between 1952 and 1955.
This Safari was delivered new to a purchaser in Wolverhampton, who parted with it to a second owner six months later. The present vendor purchased it in 1983 and it has since been the subject of a lengthy and exhaustive restoration, since when it has had only limited use.
Like other restored Allards in this collection it rewards detailed examination. Pleasing period touches are the radio and the Rimbellisher wheel trims. The speedometer reading is 93,399 miles, which there is no reason to doubt. A large car of commanding presence on the road, the Safari demands attention wherever it goes.