Sydney Allard produced 7 cars over the short 13 year lifespan of the company, and it’s entirely possible that you’ve never heard of the Allard Motor Company Limited, but its influence has been hugely significant to the world of 20th and 21st century sports cars.
Sydney’s most important decision was to take a large American V8 and drop it into a lightweight British roadster, both Carroll Shelby and Zora Arkus-Duntov drove Allards in the early 1950s – and both men would go on to develop cars that had clearly been influenced by the work of Allard. In Shelby’s case it would be the iconic Shelby Cobra and in Arkus-Duntov’s case, it would be the Chevrolet Corvette.
The Allard K3 would be Sydney Allard’s greatest achievement, and sadly, his final hurrah.
The K3 was characterised by its obscenely powerful Chrysler 331 cubic inch V8 (5.4 litres), the engine produced approximately 325bhp and could rocket the lightweight body to speeds that were unheard of in the early 1950s.
The relatively small British roadster and its hefty American V8 bear more than a passing resemblance to the significantly more famous Shelby Cobra that would be launched a decade later – and some automotive historians believe that if it hadn’t been for the mild recession that affect the United States in the mid-1950s, the Allard K3 might have gone on to become an equal legend to the Cobra.
As it happened, only 63 Allard K3s were ever made. Sales were limited due to the high price tag and the lack of advertising, surviving K3s are now worth well over $200,000 – but they don’t match the values of their more famous, Shelby-built siblings.
The K3 you see here is a California-ordered original, it was discovered in a meadow in the 1960s and the new owner set about a 22 year restoration – including a new 392 cubic inch V8 and a tasteful British racing green over a black interior. Due to its non-original engine it’s now for sale at a significant discount over an all-original K3, with an estimated value of approximately $100,000 USD. If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit Bonhams.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.