Our twice-weekly urban hike from our house to the top of Skinner Butte, which marks the geographic center of Eugene, affords some nice views. But not just from its peak, because along the way when we have to pass the Sports Car Shop. Owner Bob Macherione’s crew does superb restorations along with sales and service of exotics. But I make a point to keep my camera in the pocket as Stephanie and I ogle his current offerings, because that’s just straying too far from the CC ethos. But when I poked my head into the passenger compartment of this recently completed Allard K2, I just had to share this with you via an Outtake. First, feast on that delicious exterior; then, prepare yourself for the worlds most contorted shift stick:
Sidney Allard built an ever-changing array of cars, mostly sporting ones, from 1936 to 1966. The big years for Allard were the post-war era, when the combination of big American V8 engines stuffed into a small English roadster created the proto-Cobra. The Allard J2 had a superb racing career, including a third place at LeMans in 1950, and a win at the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally, driven by Sidney himself. Allards were the terror of the west coast sports racing scene well into the fifties. The K2 was a bit more civilized then the J2, and came with your choice of any Yank V8. This one sports a big Lincoln OHV engine, and a highly primitive solution to fitting the gear shift under the dash. Which direction is first?
The suspension is a pretty primitive affair too: the front has swing axles. It looks like someone cut a solid forged beam axle in two and mounted the two inner ends on pivots. The closest thing is Ford’s twin-beam truck suspension, but that minimized camber change by overlapping the two long beam halves. Not so here. The rear is a solid axle with a transverse spring; it looks suspiciously like a Ford product. In fact, the whole car has the air of a classic American hot rod, with a some nice English touches. That bent-over-a-stump stick shift definitely falls into the Yankee shade-tree category.