By on November 20, 2009

delicious Allard

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:

which way is first?

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?

nice anglo-american rump

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.

hot rod Lincoln

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10 Comments on “Curbside Classic Outtake: 1954 Allard K2...”

  • avatar

    Wow.  A genuine Hot Rod Lincoln!  I had read a bit about the J2, but was unfamiliar with the K2.  Great car, and thanks for keeping your eyes open out there.

  • avatar

    Are you sure that shifter is supposed to be that way?  Your questioin about first gear could be the answer to why its so gnarly.  Very cool car though.  

  • avatar

    gnarly, indeed. I think he should have carved the stick out of a piece of wood from a large briar.

  • avatar

    The front suspension was probably a Ballamy  conversion, which was made by cutting a beam axle in half. As for the gearshift, I have no idea why they bent it down since there appears to be plenty of room to have it come up in a normal spot. FWIW forward control Land Rovers have some pretty bizarre gearshifts because the driver was so far ahead of the transmission.

  • avatar

    forward control Land Rovers have some pretty bizarre gearshifts because the driver was so far ahead of the transmission.
    Then there’s the Deux Chevaux with the transmission about two feet in front of the lever.

  • avatar

    I consider myself a shade-tree redneck mechanic, and I’m pretty sure I could have come up with a little better looking (and better working?) shift lever.     I’d have bent it back more closer to the floor and then up, something more like the shape of this one
    But I suppose that weeping-willow style is part of its charm, thanks for sharing this find with us.

  • avatar

    You know I never paid much attention to shifters and their positions within the vehicle until I started driving my girlfriend’s 5-speed Vibe.  I can see the advantages now of shifters that were connected directly to the transmission instead of having shift linkages, and why shift linkages are so important to transmission feel.  (I hate her shifter, it screams, I’M IN NO HURRY!)

  • avatar

    If the condition under the skin is as good as the bodywork this is first class restoration and it is great to see the high level of originality retained. The only two drawbacks being the sidepipes and that shiter.  Allards with topchange boxes have a fabricated remote floor shifter that comes back down the centreline of the car.  K2’s in UK were fitted with sidechange gearboxes and for them the factoryl shifter is a column shifter, cut and shut, laid on its side just in front of the driver’s seat with two rods acting directly on the levers of the gearbox. Hope this beuty finds a good home.

  • avatar

    Sidney Allard cut Ford axles in half simple as that these were hot rod fords mostly but with other engines fitted as requested

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