1952 Allard J2R
Lot 839 | Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor | Estimate: $400,000 - $450,000
Chassis No. J2R 3406
Sydney Allard's most successful sports car, the J2 series, was based on simple modified Ford suspension components and a boxed chassis with even more simple torpedo-shaped bodywork, and was usually sold to the States sans engine and transmission. With a big Chrysler or Cadillac V-8 wedged under the hood, a J2 was a remarkable performer indeed, capable of beating virtually anything else another manufacturer could throw at it. Carroll Shelby, who had some of his earliest victories in one, called it 'a hairy brute,' while another period test described the vision of one at speed as 'a bucket of bolts, flying in all directions along a generally forward course.'
The J2 was eventually evolved into the J2X, with redesigned front suspension and an engine and firewall moved forward for better handling and more legroom, then as the J2X Le Mans, essentially the same car with envelope-style bodywork. The final variant of the design was the J2R, also known as the JR, which was extensively redesigned throughout with a strengthened tubular steel chassis, the J2X's split-axle front suspension, a 'front steer' steering box, and a beautiful slim-line aluminum body. It was specifically designed for the Cadillac V-8. Two of these cars ran at Le Mans, one of them driven by future “Father of the Corvette” Zora Arkus Duntov.
J2R chassis no. 3406 was the seventh and last built and, reportedly, the only original left-hand-drive example, as well as the only one built with doors on both sides – the other, right-hand-drive examples had a door on that side only. Sold new to Norman Moffat of Oshawa, Ontario, photos of whom with the car and his son are on file, it went on to campaign in various road races all over Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. Later owners included David Dubrul of Burlington, Vermont. The car was then acquired by the prolific South Florida collector Rick Carroll, then was traded to noted enthusiast Bill Lassiter of West Palm Beach.
Jim Taylor acquired the J2R in January 2002. Retaining its original chassis number plate, it is equipped with a Cadillac V-8, believed to have been bored out from a 331 cu. in. unit, with Holley four-barrel carburetor, Offenhauser finned aluminum valve covers, Vertex magneto, and screw-in freeze plugs. The engine's power is delivered through a Muncie M22 four-speed transmission and Halibrand quick-change differential; other mechanical features include a custom radiator with electric cooling fan and adjustable Koni shock absorbers. Body features include a Talbot racing mirror and the typical Allard quick-fill racing fuel cap. The interior is set up with more comfortable seats than original, as well as three-inch lap belts, Smiths gauges, and a removable tonneau cover. A fire suppression system is fitted, along with a 72-spoke Dunlop 16-in. chrome wire wheels.
Representing the ultimate final iteration of the famed J-series Allard, the J2R is the most modern and also among the most difficult to acquire, with almost all squirreled away into private long-term collections. This example would be a superb acquisition for driving on road or track; fully streetable, it is eligible for any number of historic rallies all over the globe, for which it would once again challenge all comers.