It was 1936 when Sydney Allard founded the Allard Motor Company in Putney, London. The company produced a number of automobiles in Putney until 1945 when the plant was then moved to Clapham, London. Once in Clapham, Allard Motor Company continued to produce more than 1,900 automobiles until 1966 when the factory was closed for good.
The popularity of the Allard automobiles had to do with the use of American V-8 engines in lightweight British sports cars that would result in high power to weight ratios in the car. Matter of fact, even Carroll Shelby was known to have driven an Allard back during the 1950’s prior to moving on to the AC Ace.
When the company first started producing cars, their main focus was creating cars that could compete in various trial events and as such they grew notoriety as high powered yet lightweight and agile competition cars. Since the first car was produced utilising the American Flathead V-8 in a Bugatti chassis, Allard quickly grew as a force to be reckoned with in the touring industry.
Each and every single Allard was custom built to order and all of them were fitted with some of the largest and most powerful engines available on the market at the time. At one point in time, Allards also came with an optional Lincoln-Zephyr engine which was a V-12 power plant.
When the war broke out, Allard jumped in on the war cause and started to produce Ford based trucks for the military. This led to a large build-up of surplus Ford parts following the war and as a result, most of the parts would find their way into the Allard vehicles.
Allard used the left over parts with their own body design and for the first time offered a car body that was completely designed and built in house. The use of almost all Ford components meant that maintenance was cheaper and easier and seeing as they made lines ranging from racing to passenger; sales of the Allard models J through to N were high.
From there, Allard made the choice to start making cars for sale in the United States seeing as though he felt that they lacked in quality sports cars. All of his cars produced for the US were shipped without an engine and had the engine fitted upon arriving in America so as to keep costs down. These were highly successful seeing as though the mechanics of the car were purely American which made working on them a breeze and the fact that they were a British exotic sports car only helped the sales.
Unfortunately, as time went on and competition started producing better and cheaper cars, the Allard Motor Company started to see its decline in popularity. The research and development department of the company just could not keep up with the world-wide competitive market and as such, the sales began to drop significantly. By the 1950’s in an attempt to regain its composure, Allard attempted to introduce a Palm Beach fitted with a Hemi engine only to be hit by a recession.
It was in 1966 when Sydney Allard, the company’s founder died. When he died, so too did the company. On a remarkable coincidence, the same night as Sydney Allard’s death, a fire broke out in the factory and set ablaze all of the company’s records. In an attempt to rekindle the name, the name was bought in 1991 with the production of an Allard replica being released in 1994, but this production ceased in 1997. However, there is still one Allard Replica still being produced today in Canada. Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 29/08/2008