"The British are back! And they're better than ever..." So reads RM Auction's tagline for its sequel to last year's successful The British Are Coming Sale. The upcoming sale will be held as part of Automobiles of Arizona on January 20.
Among the quintessentially British motors offered in the sale is this 1952 Allard J2X Roadster, brainchild of the legendary racer and automobile manufacturer Sydney Allard (1910-1966)
After building a number of Ford-spaced automobiles of British trails competitions in the 1930s and rebuilding Ford vehicles for British Forces during World War Two, the end of the company's government contracts lead to the Allard K1's first appearance in 1946.
This eventually developed into the J2, updated from the K1 with DeDion rear axle coil springs and radius arms. A works J2 finished third at Le Mans in 1950, after which a new chassis graced the J2X of 1952, along with stiffer tubular construction and its front radius rods relocated to the split axle.
This J2X has been with its current owner for most of its life, after being completed on March 25, 1952. Like its predecessor J2s, this car was initially shipped to the United States and was fitted with a Chrysler Hemi and three-speed Lincoln-Zephyr transmission.
It has gained various modifications since then, including conversion to Corvette power in the 1960s by Chuck Friedrich, who also raced it during the era. Beneath the car's bonnet is a 1960 Corvette powerplant with single four-barrel carburettor three-quarter race camshaft.
After the J2X enjoyed some success in the C-modified SCCA competition, the owner acquired it in 1961. He flew from the UK to the US, and drove the J2X back to the East coast in a brisk October journey.
The new owner had the car reconfigured for street use, removing its racing roll bar and braces and treating it to a full down-and-up restoration. This included a repaint of 14 coats by a local craftsman, and the installation of new seats for better driver and passenger comfort.
Since then, the J2X has enjoyed a more laid-back existence, including a number of classic car tours. That said, the car still possesses "the tremendous acceleration for which Allard J2s are famous", according to RM's lot notes.
This well-travelled and legendary piece of UK car history - with, of course, some US modifications - will undoubtedly turns heads when it accelerates into RM's Arizona sale, next year.
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