1951 ALLARD K2 ROADSTER
Registration No. WHX 777
Chassis No. K2 1924
Engine No. tba
Sky blue with dark blue leather.
Engine: Ford Pilot V8, 3.6 litre, sidevalve with twin downdraught carburetters, 90bhp at 3800rpm; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: front independent with coil springs, transverse leaf spring to rear axle; Brakes hydraulically operated drum all round. Right-hand drive.
The K2, said The Autocar, was for the driver who liked his motoring in the raw. That was not quite how Sydney Allard saw it, for it fitted his concept of what a habitable high performance two-seater road going sports car should be. The J-series sports racers, admirably suited to their task, were short in the wheelbase, had cramped cockpits and offered little in creature comforts. His cruiserweight four-seater tourers and saloons were almost luxury cars with performance in plenty, but nobody could say they were very agile.
Introduced in 1950, the K2 took the middle ground. Its wheelbase was a couple of inches longer than the J's, six inches shorter than the saloon's. With a wooden-framed, aluminium-panelled body, it weighed about 5cwt less than the latter. Chassis layout was similar to the touring cars, with Allard's strong box section chassis frame supporting the customary 3.6 litre Ford Pilot V8 engine and its three-speed gearbox, set well back. There was the usual divided-axle front suspension with a leaf-sprung live rear axle and really powerful hydraulic brakes.
Behind the K2's new aluminium-framed windscreen was a shallow engine-turned aluminium fascia panel with all the instruments an enthusiast expected to see. There was a typically Allard, very simple but effective remote control gear lever. The generously dimensioned leather-trimmed seats were adjustable. A capacious luggage locker with its own lid was a welcome feature. The engine was fitted with twin downdraught Solex's on a special Allard manifold and all manner of performance options could be provided. Even with the factory's 90bhp basic tune the K2 was quite a performer, with all the expected sweeping top gear acceleration to its maximum of around 90mph. Many of the 50 built were exported engineless to the USA, there to be fitted with a new generation of large capacity American V8 motors now available from Cadillac and Chrysler and to set new standards of performance.
This K2 was delivered new to an owner in London in 1951. There is photographic evidence that it was used in rallies in its early days, but that part of its history awaits further research. The present owner purchased it in 1986, since when it has received his customary detailed restoration. It has covered 1355 miles since the completion of this work and, like others in the collection, looks throughout just as it must have done back in 1951 after 'running in'.
It is understood to be in running order throughout, will be offered with a current MOT certificate, and represents an opportunity to acquire a rare and important survivor built at the very beginning of what is now regarded as a classic period in performance car design.