The Allard J2X isn’t a well-known car model, outside of those who followed racing in the early 1950s. But a resurrection of the brand could change that. Just looking at the car, you know that it’s something special. And, this new J2X, the MkII, is one of those rare boutique cars that perfectly marries tradition with modern engineering. Even the Allard Registry, which tracks the brand’s cars, recognizes it as an official Allard.
The first reason you should take notice of this car is the looks. The J2X MkII rests on a tubular steel frame that has double roll bars protecting the cowl and the fuel tank. The body that sits on that frame is a work of art, painstakingly recreated from the original Allards but with modern materials mixed with vintage touches. And you aren’t imagining things; the hood really is secured by leather straps. Much classier than hood pins (though probably a lot harder to clean…). The interior is much the same story. The dashboard is a single piece of milled aluminum. Each gauge is hand-fitted and crafted for the car. In fact, those gauges and instruments are so faithful to the originals, that they can actually serve as replacement parts for original models. Add in the custom stitching on the seats, and you’ve got one of the prettiest things on four wheels.
And the adherence to history is not solely a cosmetic choice. It also affects the power train. Back when the original Allards were being produced in Great Britain, most race cars adhered to a rather simple formula: European sports car body + big American V8 = racing success. Racers weren’t necessarily picky about what sort of big American V8 got put under the hood, however. As a result, vintage Allards, even some made in the same month, could have a G.M., Chrysler, or Ford engine. And the new Allards are no different. The G.M. motors are represented by the classic 350 cubic inch V8 and the Cadillac Northstar V8. The Ford engine is a 351. But perhaps the most exciting offerings are from Chrysler. There’s a 500 horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that is outfitted with an outsized throttle body to boost the power. And, the 5.7’s big brother, the 6.1-liter Hemi V8, which with Allard’s tuning, pumps out 600 horses. Allard puts the average 0-to-60 mph time at about 4.5 seconds, but that will vary a bit depending on the engine, obviously.
The Allard J2X MkII is now rolling off the lines from the Allard factories in upstate New York and Montreal, Canada, with a limit of only 100 cars per year. Surprisingly, about one quarter of the models are already slated to head to Australia, with the rest presumably to be spread between North America and Europe. The Allard J2X MkII has a starting price of $138,500, which features the G.M. 350 engine and a 5-speed Tremec manual transmission.