Allard J2X MkIII: The British Roadster Reimagined

Following the end of World War II, the Allard Motor Company of London began producing high performance cars. The company made several models of cars from coupes to cabriolets to an 8-passenger estate, but they found their greatest success with light weight cars optimized for racing.

These two-seat roadsters ran in competitions throughout Europe and North America in the early 1950s. Though the company had some successful models, they were cash-strapped and were bankrupt by 1958, having produced approximately 1,900 vehicles in total.

In 1999, Roger Allard revived the Allard brand under the name Allard Motor Works. The company’s signature product is the J2X MkIII, a high-performance sports car with beautiful vintage styling. The car is a faithful replica of the original Allard J2X, but with modern (and more reliable) powertrain options.

The cars are hand-crafted in Southern California to the owner’s specifications. Due to this unique and exclusive build process, production is limited to no more than 100 vehicles per year. There are several crate engine options available from both General Motors and MOPAR, depending on the buyer’s preference.

I caught up with this sharp red Allard J2X MkIII roadster at Highline Autos Cars and Coffee in Arizona on August 6, 2022.

The two-seater car features a long hood, short rear deck, and no roof or top whatsoever. The large, flared wheel arches stick out from the car’s slender body.

The car has no heater, radio, or glove box – just a couple of gauges mounted to a beautiful engine-turned dashboard. It is finished in red with a black leather interior. This one is equipped with an automatic transmission, though I was not able to determine which engine it has.

The price of a J2X MkIII depends on options, with a base model build costing around $150,000 to $180,000. Again, keep in mind that these cars are hand-built to order, not mass-produced.

For my money, I would rather have a Superformance MkIII roadster as I prefer the look of those cars over the Allard. But the Allard certainly has its place, especially for those fans of British roadsters who have the means to enjoy it.

1974 Jensen Interceptor III

Walking around the SEMA show last year, I happened upon this cool ride in a parking lot near the convention center. It’s a 1974 Jensen Interceptor III, a rare British car that you don’t often see.

Between 1966 and 1976, just 6,400 of these cars were built  – which is an extremely small number for a production car. I have to wonder how many of them were left-hand drive and how many are in the United States? Probably not very many, which makes this car all the more special.

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1966 Lotus Cortina MkI

Bentley. Aston Martin. Jaguar. Lotus.

They’re all British car companies, but more importanly, they all have factory-sponsored racing teams. For decades, these companies have battled it out on the racetrack in everything from Formula 1 racing to grand touring to group racing.

What these companies would typically do is take one of their production cars and modify it to compete in a specific class of racing. There is one catch, though. Auto manufacturers are required to build a minimum number of vehicles and sell them to the public in order to classify as a production car. This practice, known as homologation, means that a small number of factory-built race cars will make it out into the real world – completely road legal. This is exactly what happened in the 1960s with the Lotus Cortina.

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1989-91 Sterling 827 Vitesse Fastback (Acura Legend)

Back in the 1980’s Honda determined that if they were going to have a luxury division (Acura) they would need a ‘full size’ car to compete. With the midsized Accord as their only option for badge engineering they looked elsewhere. They ended up collaborating with the British company Rover. This resulted in two cars that were very similar, one for each company. Continue reading