Robb Design Portfolio: Allied Forces

1950 Allard J2
When British racer and automaker Sydney Allard put a big American V-8 into a lithe English roadster and created the Allard J2, he could not have imagined he was setting the stage for a succession of similarly hybrid sports cars that have included the Shelby AC Cobra, the TVR Griffith V8, and the Morgan Plus 8. Allard followed this hair shirt of a vehicle with the J2X, a car built for the American market and often equipped with a Cadillac V-8 or a Chrysler Hemi, engines that were superior to the English-built Ford-Mercury flathead V-8 that powered the J2.

Prewar-style cycle fenders and a snub-nosed fuselage adorned the J2, a purpose-built competition machine that Carroll Shelby and other racing luminaries piloted successfully. Allard built about 180 examples of the J2 and its variants from 1949 to 1955.

Today the car takes its rightful place as the patriarch of Anglo-American champions that can humble European purebreds and be driven home afterward.

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Photo by Mercedes-Benz USA
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Photo by David Dewhurst Photography
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Photo by 2014 Infiniti
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Photo by Barry Hathaway
Robb Report takes a ride and speaks with the actor, whose passion for motorcycles fueled the fire...