Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline April 2016


by Facia Nearside

Sydney Allard was a visionary. He was perhaps the first to come up with the idea of mating a large American engine with a light British chassis foreshadowing several famous cars which followed. In the early 1950's both Cobra designer Carroll Shelby and Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Dunton drove Allards.

Allard became quite successful supplying the sports car starved U.S. market with exciting and competitive models. Cars were shipped engineless to the United States where the power plant was added per customer order, usually an engine from Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford or Oldsmobile. Alas, as good as the idea was, Allard did not put money into improving design. Within a few years chassis technology, which was developing rapidly, left them in the dust.

In a last ditch effort to save the company, Allard produced a lightweight fiberglass bodied three wheeled micro car called Clipper. Powered by a single cylinder, two stroke motorbike engine, it seated three adults on a bench seat and two children (who didn't mind getting wet) in optional dickey seats. The innovative and sophisticated idea was a dismal failure, and the 20 examples produced only accelerated the demise of once proud Allard.

Reprinted from British Boots & Bonnets Chronicle, Feb 2016

Allard J2; this very car was third overall at Le Mans 1950.

1954 Clipper

Post cards from Karel
An ‘Auto’biography of History

A post card from Paris with a MGA in front of the Moulin Rouge. (RV note: the Paris nightclub Moulin Rouge first opened in 1889 and is still famous for its cabaret shows with scarcely dressed dancers)

~~ Reinout Vogt

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