Roadster: Allard J2X MkII

    This jewellike roadster is just the ticket for jaded, I’ve-driven-everything types who long for something off the hoof-beaten path of Italian supercars, popular Porsches, and common Corvettes. Much admired by collectors and vintage racers, the original Allard J2X was one of the first Anglo-American hybrids—British designs powered by big American engines—and a track legend throughout the 1950s. Today the J2X is extremely rare: Only 83 were made between 1951 and 1954, and fewer still have survived.

    However, like a handful of other worthy marques whose names have been resurrected by new owners, Allard has recently been brought back to life. Though no relation of Sydney Allard—the engineer who founded the company in 1936 and ceased manufacturing in 1959—its rescuer, Roger Allard, has nevertheless taken pains to preserve the J2X tradition established by his predecessor while, at the same time, introducing 21st-century refinements to this next generation of roadster.

    Engineered and built to standards of performance, safety, and fit and finish unthinkable during its first life, the reincarnated Allard, which has a base price of $138,500, is an exquisite and accurate re-creation of the 1950s-?era original. Weighing a mere 2,750 pounds, the MkII has an enviable power-to-weight ratio, which translates to instant acceleration, thanks to a potent V-8 engine. (Our test model was powered by Chrysler’s current 5.7-liter Hemi.) Modern suspension and brakes provide capable handling and stopping power to complement this speed, making for a thrilling driving experience. Despite a dachshund-like shape and monstrous hood, this long MkII exhibits elegant road manners: Its light steering and smooth ride are downright luxurious in comparison with those of hair-shirt roadsters such as the lovable but bone-rattling Morgan. Clearly the builder has lavished attention on the quality of materials: The leather, carpets, and machined metal are worthy of any custom hot rod. The engine-turned aluminum dash is a work of art, as are the many surprising details that remind the driver that this car is definitely a handbuilt labor of love. Do you need an Allard in your garage? If you want to enjoy honest, open-air driving unencumbered by the idiosyncrasies of vintage vehicles—and if fun is on your driving dance card—then the answer is yes.

     

    Allard Motor Works, www.allardj2x.com, www.allardwest.com

    Read Next Article >>
    Photo by James Lipman
    Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
    This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
    Porsche 918 Spyder
    See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
    Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
    The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
    Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
    The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
    Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
    Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
    Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
    Photo by Max Earey
    The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
    Photo by Yakima Products Inc
    The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…