1952 Allard J2X
Lot 859 | Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor | Estimate: $375,000 - $425,000
Chassis No. J2X 3048
Engine No. E5528106
British sports car manufacturer Allard's J2X was evolved from the earlier J2 with a major revision to the front end geometry, including radius arms moved to trail forward, allowing the firewall and engine to be moved forward 19 cm for more legroom, and improving handling. The car retained a de Dion rear end and inboard drum brakes.
Providing more room for what might be aptly termed 'American-sized' drivers as well as more dependable handling in the corners, the J2X was an exceptional competition machine that in the hands of the right driver was virtually unbeatable. The J2X offered here had the right driver.
According to the records of Allard historian Tom Lush, J2X no. 3048 was originally finished in white with black leather interior and top, as well as the costly options of wire wheels and a side mounted spare. The car was shipped across the Atlantic to the New York dealer in April 1952 without an engine, but with the chassis set up to accept a Chrysler powerplant with an adapter for a Ford gearbox.
As early as 1957 the car was in the care of M.H. “Tiny” Gould of Trucksville, Pennsylvania. Tiny Gould was a pioneer of the antique automobile hobby in its cradle on the East Coast, active as a wheeler and dealer in the greatest vintage cars. He was especially interested in Duesenbergs, having owned for many years the first Model J, J-101, and in vintage racing cars, of which he restored numerous significant examples. Indeed, he loved power, and 3048 ran in his ownership in numerous events in the East, equipped with a Cadillac V-8 and finished in his trademark livery – white, with a red hood. Among the achievements were victory in the Giants' Despair hillclimb at Wilkes-Barre in 1958, followed by achieving Best Time of Day at Fox Gap Spring and winning the NASCAR Eliminator drag races at Wilkes-Barre in 1959.
In 1966, Gould sold 3048 to Kirk F. White, who reportedly supplied it for a film made in Philadelphia. White passed the Allard in 1972 to Dr. Terry Bennett of New Hampshire, then building a large collection of significant performance cars. Australian enthusiast Terry Healy recalled later seeing the car at Dr. Bennett's in the late 1980s, finished in white with red trim, the Gould competition livery, and partially disassembled. Soon thereafter the automobiles remaining in the Bennett collection were damaged in a storage fire. The car was then sold to Mr. Healy, who undertook a bare-metal restoration with a correct Chrysler Hemi V-8, and converted the car to right-hand-drive while preserving the original left-hand-drive components.
Mr. Healy sold the Allard in 2000 to Michael Lee of Hong Kong, but it was eventually brokered back to the States and in 2014 acquired by Jim Taylor, a passionate longtime Allard enthusiast who has owned virtually every significant model built by the company. Mr. Taylor subsequently undertook a fresh restoration of the car with local specialists, returning it to its Tiny Gould livery. Much of the bodywork itself is the original, while a great deal of hardware was replaced, although the original chassis number plate remains intact.
The car is equipped with a correct Chrysler Hemi V-8 and four-speed gearbox, as well as a Brooklands banjo steering wheel mounted before a dashboard containing correct Smiths gauges, including an altimeter, and a Jaeger clock believed to have come from a V-16 Cadillac. Lucas King of the Road headlamps are fitted, along with 72-spoke, 16-inch wire wheels wrapped in period-correct Michelin Pilot X tires. The Allard is accompanied by a history file containing copies of letters and photographs, as well as a photo album from the present restoration.
Most importantly, this exceptional J2X is properly sorted, and runs like a bear – exactly as “Tiny” Gould would have expected it to.