Long-dormant Allard revives 1950s Le Mans racer

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British sports-car maker Allard Motor Company stopped manufacturing cars in 1958, but its cars have remained popular. So, the family of company founder Sydney Allard is relaunching the brand with a new “continuation series” of its JR model, which raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953.

Several companies have introduced Allard replicas over the years, but this new venture, dubbed Allard Sports Cars, is run by Sydney’s son Alan, and grandsons Lloyd and Gavin. They’ll be assisted by the Allard JR’s original designer, Dudley Hume, and David Hopper, chief engineer at the original Allard factory, according to the company’s website.

The original Allard Motor Company was founded in 1932, but achieved its greater success in the 1950s, when its J2 and J2X sports cars competed against the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar in Europe and the United States.

Allard JR continuation series

With just seven made between 1953 and 1955, the JR is one Allard’s rarest models. One of those cars—chassis JR 3403—raced at Le Mans, giving the model a notable racing pedigree. That combination of rarity and racing heritage led Allard Sports Cars to choose the JR as its first continuation model. As with other automakers launching continuation cars, Allard considers them to be brand-new versions of old models, rather than replicas. To drive that point home, Allard is assigning chassis numbers in sequence with the seven 1950s cars, so the first continuation car gets chassis number JR 3408.

The JR continuation uses a re-engineered version of the original model’s 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 that makes 300 horsepower. Both 3-speed and 4-speed manual transmissions are available, with a quick-change rear differential. The aluminum bodywork is shaped using the original 1953 body buck, while the chassis has the same twin-tubular design and divided-front-axle suspension as the original. The dry weight is 2,200 pounds, according to Allard.

The first JR continuation car will be sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction in London Oct. 31, with a pre-auction estimate of around $230,000 to $310,000. In the United Kingdom, cars from the regular production run will start at about $382,000 at current exchange rates, according to Autocar. Allard hasn’t discussed U.S. sales, but the company is looking to revive other models, the magazine reported.

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