Thanks to John Aibel today we are looking at a storied Allard J2 of which John says :-
“The car was ordered on 7th. June, 1951 for Wood Motors, Detroit, MI. Park Hill Ref. No. 248: Head Office Order No. 173. It was assigned production number J-2123.
Many Memorandum notes followed detailing the options needed, like Cadillac Engine Modified, 32 mm wire wheels Left Hand Drive, Large Lucas Headlamps MPBL with stone guards Red Leather interior, Blue paint as per chip supplied.
The car was delivered to Wood Mtrs. on August 31, 1951. It was built and imported for Mr. Delvan Lee a personal friend of Don Wood’s brother. Mr. Woods told John they only imported one Allard, and this was done as a special favor to Mr. Lee. They were interested in more popular imports and they are today Mercedes-Benz dealers.
Mr. Lee worked for Connell Cadillac of Detroit who supplied high performance engines to the marine industry. They did the instillation of the Cadillac engine into the Allard.”
He entered in some local and regional sporting events including ice racing. In 1953 and 1954 Mr Lee entered events at Watkins Glen, as well as Bridgehamton Long Island.
Mr Lee won the Giant Despair Hillclimb and set fastest time of the day in 1953.
By 1954 Mr. Lee sold the Allard to Fred Lavell. Delvan raced the car for Lavell at the 1954 Watkins Glen event.
Photo Motor Life December 1957 will be properly credited or removed upon request.
In 1954 Lavell took the Allard to Bonneville, Ut. speed events. He drove the car to a speed of 127 mph. The next two years the stock body was removed and a Sorrell [streamliner] fiberglass body with a DeSoto engine was installed. It ran this was in 1955 and 1956 and attained a speed of 150 mph.” Another J2 owned by Denny Larsen held the Class D modified Bonneville sports car record at an average 178.068 mph at the time.
“When I bought the car, the aluminum Allard body was not installed on the frame, and a Chevrolet small block was in the engine compartment coupled to a Moss 4 speed transmission. The instillation was not operational.”
John had the car restored to its original specification by Mr. Tivvey Sheldon with a 6390 cc / 390 cui Caddy engine, three Stromberg 97 carbs, GM transmission. “We kept the quick change rear that was put in I believe before the Bonneville runs.”
John has driven this car at Pocono, Pa., Philadelphia Vintage Grand Prix, and Watkins Glen Allard reunion. The highest recorded speed by radar in John’s hands was 115 mph during the Phily event.
My thanks to John for sharing the photos of his magnificent car and to Colin Warnes of the Allard Register for additional information and photographs.
Thanks for joining me today on this Giants Despair edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !