Lot 177

Amelia Island 2014

1947 Allard K1 Roadster

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$176,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Amelia Island, Florida

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Chassis No.
71K249
  • Formerly owned by Bob Judd, Len Potter, and George Needham
  • Fascinating early history
  • Recent cosmetic and mechanical freshening by Healey Lane

110 bhp, 239 cu. in. side-valve Mercury V-8 with Offenhauser heads and Iskenderian camshaft, Jaguar four-speed manual transmission, Bellamy-pattern independent swing-axle front suspension, beam axle rear suspension with torque tube and transverse leaf spring, and four-wheel Lockheed drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106 in.

Stouthearted racing driver Sydney Allard began his career as a constructor by building a dozen Ford-based specials for British trails competitions. Many of them had a split-axle independent front suspension that was developed by Leslie Bellamy, and some were powered by Lincoln engines. During World War II, his London garage rebuilt Ford vehicles for British forces.

In 1946, with plenty of engines and parts from this work on hand but no government contracts, Allard introduced a car that would appeal to the burgeoning post-war sports car market. The first of what would become many legendary Allard sports cars was the K1, which was a two-seater on a box-section frame with transverse leaf springing, and it had either Ford or Mercury flathead V-8 power and a torque-tube driveshaft. It was light and powerful and boasted superb acceleration. Some 151 K1s were built.

The K1 offered here was the 43rd built, and it was sold through Mr. Sanders, of Dangenham Motors in London. Its original owner, and easily its most famous caretaker, was Bob Judd. He was an editor and writer for Road & Track during the magazine’s golden era, and he also wrote many novels and books, which included photos of his rally-racing days in England. Of his Allard, Mr. Judd once wrote, “She was so much fun to play with.”

According to the current owner, the car may have been used in the classic 1953 film Genevieve, although no documentation has been found to support this. The car was later owned by Robert R. Powell II, a professor of international law at Oxford, who drove it extensively while on his speaking tours, and business tycoon George Needham. These ownerships are documented by articles and photographs that accompany the car.

The Allard was restored in Mr. Needham’s care, and it has, in its current ownership, undergone extensive freshening by the well-known California shop Healey Lane. The body was refinished in Bright Silver, and the interior was upholstered in Flame Red, with tan Wilton carpets bound in red leather. All brightwork is new, or it has been re-chromed, and new wire wheels with Allard spinners have been added. Wonderful period touches include a Bluemel steering wheel and an air horn, which plays “Hail to the Queen!”

Under the hood is a correct Mercury V-8 that is 0.80 inches overbored and comes with Jahns pistons, Offenhauser heads, an Iskenderian track-grind camshaft, Isky valve springs, reinforced main bearing caps, and all-new bearings, valves, wrist pins, and water pumps. It is painted Ford Blue with black accessories, and the engine has its racing oil pan, with a NOS 1946 Fram Oil Filter casing, still intact. The Jaguar four-speed transmission was rebuilt with new bearings.

This Allard has a fascinating history and is wonderfully presented and a thrill to drive. It brings to mind the heady early days of racing after the Second World War, and she is still so much fun to play with.