1953 Allard Le Mans expected to make $450,000 in Phoenix

A 1953 Allard JR Roadster that was entered into the 1953 24 hours of Le Mans is expected to draw racing fans at RM Auctions' January 18 auction in Phoenix, Arizona.

1953 Allard JR Le Mans Roadster
The car was originally raced by the "father of the Corvette"

The magnificent British car, which was one of only two Allard factory entries in the race, is expected to bring $350,000-450,000 when it crosses the block. It was originally raced by Zora Arkus-Duntov, who would go on to become the first chief engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette and was dubbed the "father of the Corvette".

As well as being one of just two entered into the race, the car is also one of just seven Allard JR Roadsters ever built. Fitted with a 365-cubic-inch Cadillac V8, dual four-barrel carburettors and a four-speed manual gearbox, it was recorded at 145 mph down Le Mans' Mulsanne Straight before engine issues forced it to retire.

Its partner in the race was driven by owner and designer Sidney Allard, who dropped out after just 45 minutes due to a cracked brake drum.

1952 Allard JR Le Mans Roadster
The car's racing potential was demonstrated at a meet 1998, when it beat Lister Chevrolets, Lotus' and Porsches at

The two Allards were only re-united in 1990 as part of the Allard gathering at Monterey, after which both completed trouble-free runs on the Colorado Grand. The current owner purchased the example at auction in 2007, and it is now offered with a comprehensive selection of racing spares, including its original bonnet and roll bars for vintage racing.

See more previews of cars featuring in the 2013 Arizona auctions in our Classic Cars news section. For more of the latest news and some exclusive investment advice, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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