Allard K3 Roadster
If hot rods had been invented in England, Sydney Herbert Allard would have certainly been their originator. The first post-war production models of the Allard Motor Company, founded in 1946, featured American Ford flathead V8s, more often than not fitted with Sydney’s own alloy speed parts such as intake manifolds and cylinder heads. By the early fifties, larger American overhead valve V8s became available to American rodders and so, in true hot rod fashion, Sydney wasted no time in following suit and having his dealers shoe-horn these into his sports and racing models.
Beautiful or brutal – take your pick -- these Allards were the epitome of early fifties sports car design with their alloy bodywork, flashy knock-off wire wheels and huge, throbbing power plants. Cornering at speed was a challenge as a result of Sydney’s affection for a semi-independent front suspension created by cutting a Ford solid axle in half before mounting the two pieces in a swing arm fashion, giving the front end a radical and unusual positive camber appearance.
A valiant attempt to “civilize” the J2-X range without losing its visceral V8 performance, Sydney Allard’s K3 was launched at the London Motor Show in 1952. The K3 used a twin-tube steel chassis with the familiar semi-independent swing axle front end and a proper DeDion rear axle with inboard mounted drum brakes.
The full width alloy coachwork was a great departure from the J2 appearance. The single bench seat, a full 56 inches in width, could accommodate three adults, with clear floor space for the middle passenger being provided by a clever off-set gear change lever located on the left side of the driver. Additional features designed to make the K3 a more practical car included twin fuel tanks in the rear fenders to create more luggage room in the trunk, wind-up glass windows, and a real cloth covered convertible top which folded down and out of sight behind the rear seat.
It is clear that Sydney Allard had the North American sports car market in mind when he specified the K3 model range, as 57 of the 62 Allard K3s built crossed the Atlantic. The majority of K3s were shipped without engines to American dealers who would then install a V8 of the purchaser’s choice. Most were fitted with Cadillac engines, and many also received period speed equipment to further enhance their prowess.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
331 cu. in. overhead-valve Chrysler Hemi V8 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, semi-independent swing axle front and DeDion type rear axle suspension, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100"
Source: RM Auctions