The J2 prototypes 888 & 1515

The idea of the of the J2 was first mooted in 1948 (possibly using the basic shape of JGP 473 which in the hands of Sydney’s brother Lesley was very successful in the sports car class at various hill climbs and sprints in the UK and in Europe) and according to the “Engineers Instructions” (as shown in the image at the end of the article) which are dated the 1st of December 1948 and was first run in 1949 being fitted with a bored and stroked Ford engine, 4375cc, with Allard Aluminium heads and an Allard unlet manifold with twin carbs.

There was a De Dion rear axle fitted ( invented in 1894 by the De Dion Bouton factory) and both front and rear axles utilised Coil Springs as per the P1 but with tubular front member..

A remote gear change was used and an L type handbrake was fitted .The wheels as on all Allards, apart form the L type were of similar construction and those used as per the P and M models, wire wheels being an extra.

The electrical system was a 6 volt with dynamo or may have a magneto fitted to one side ne- cessitating the water pipe to be bent round it.

One of the earliest test days was at Goodwood in July of 1949 where two cars were used, one driven by Sydney and the other by his Brother Leslie.

888 had been made road legal as can be seen on page 3 and four where side lights were fitted.

The second Prototype, chassis 1515 was also fitted with a bored out Ford engine.

Mainly Cadillacs were fitted in later models particularly those that went to the USA.

This car was sold to Arkus Duntov less engine and now resides in the USA. The cars were found to be very quick and orders were soon being received which enabled the company to obtain more metal for the export models

Surprisingly not many went to the USA (35) initially others being sold to 17 other countries including some 26 for the UK

Leslie and Sydney raced against each other on two occasions, Once at Gransden, Leslie be- ing 1st and Sydney 6th Silverstone in 1949 where Lesley was 8th and Sydney was 9th. In the Production car race Lesley passing Sydney went he went wide.

Photo 1

During July 1949 I was in the Goodwood paddock when Sydney Allard and Tom Lush with the Prototype J-type cars. Note the two works M types in the background.

In this picture you will Tom Lush on the far side of the M type with Sydney towards the front of the car , Alan May with his hands on his hips and Leslie inside the “M”. The fifth person cannot be identified. Also seen are the Mag alloy wheels which suffered from surface cracks and were not used again

Photo 2

The J-type was with a 4.4 litre version of the Mercury side-valve engine with aluminium cylinder heads and a special inley manifold to carry 2 twin choke carburettors. In its early form the J-type possessed a simple elegance and like so many good designs was later aesthetically ruined by a process of development which saw it fitted with bigger and more powerful engines through an outstandingly successful competition career.. This photo shows 888 which was road legal with lights. The second one,1515 driven by Leslie was still on trade plates and no lights fitted.. The bonnet (single strap) leaning against the chestnut fencing (same as today). Note the water pipe going round the Magneto. (Dynamo ?)

Photo 3

Here you see the simple Allard swing axle IFS by coil springs and separate tele- scopic dampers. The rear suspension was the relatively sophisticated De Dion type. I was very impressed by the manner in which the J-type literally shot away from the other cars practising on that day as it flew down the Lavant Straight. Photo 5 is at Silverstone.Alan May with a cigarette on the left of the car with Leslie leaning into the cockpit.Text and photos from Goodwood, a private view Cyril & Robin Read. Additional text Darell Allard