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.

Not Sold Here: 1961 Mistral Roadster

One of my favorite local car events to attend is the Concours in the Hills car show, held each year in February in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Concours in the Hills is not a formal concours with judges in straw hats and white gloves awarding points. It is a more casual, informal event. The 2020 event was the largest ever, with more than 1,000 vehicles wrapping all the way around the perimeter of the lake and its namesake fountain. It was a stroke of good fortune that this event was able to be held in 2020 and not cancelled like so many others due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the first cars I saw at this year’s show was a unique little two-seater that caught my eye. Looking a bit like a Shelby Cobra or a Scarab, the car had the name “MISTRAL” in gold lettering on each side. Also, it was a right hand drive car – which are not commonly seen in the U.S.

A cheery couple was camped out next to the car in folding chairs. They had a large sign next to the car that told the history of the vehicle, which I will provide below:

“The Mistral body was designed by Bill Ashton in England during the early 1950s. Constructed out of a new material called fibre glass, it was developed to be used on Buckler and Lotus chassis in the 750 Motor Club’s 1174 Formula class. A few years after introduction it was sold to Weltex in Christchurch, New Zealand and a year later to coach builders Elmslie and Flockton in Dunedin.

Production records are gone, but there were approximately 200 total. Mistrals were sold as “rollers” ready to install the engine and transmission, which the customer specified. Because you could specify a Corvette engine and transmission (and consequently a finished weight of 1900 lbs), several were road racing in the USA during the 1958-62 era.

Although various cars like Austin and Toyotas were assembled in New Zealand, Mistral was probably the only New Zealand car company. The map of New Zealand can be seen on the insignia.”

“This 1961 Mistral has evolved since it’s birth as most did. For about the last 35 years it has had a Rover V8, Toyota 5 spd., Mazda LSD, and Vauxhall front end. It raced in street legal class in New Zealand and more recently, to remain legal, had to have a taller roll bar and 3 piece wheels to accept modern tires.”

It is a very cool little car, and one that I was delighted to have seen at the car show. Thanks to the owners for bringing it out!

1993 Besasie Auto Co. Neoclassic Roadster

The market for Neoclassic cars has always been a small corner of the automotive market, going back to the industry’s roots in the 1970s. However, that did not deter former employees of Excalibur from starting their own company in the 1990s.

The Besasie Auto Company, Inc. (or BACI) was formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with the purpose of producing a neoclassic automobile. The company produced a total of 14 vehicles between 1993 and 1996. I believe all of them were based on the Ford Thunderbird platform. Most of them used the 5.0L V8 engine with an automatic transmission, though I did find one listing online which said the car had the 4.6L V8, which debuted in 1994. While I could not find much on the history of the company, I suspect they ran into financial troubles. If you know any details about the Besasie family, please post a comment below!

I saw this particular BACI roadster for sale at a collector car dealership in Arizona. One thing that sets this car apart from other neoclassics is the angle of the front grille. While most neoclassics use a waterfall-style grille that is perpendicular to the ground, the BACI’s grille is sharply angled and sort of resembles a 1934 Ford, though less pointy at the bottom.

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Barrett-Jackson 2016: 1951 Cadillac Custom Roadster

1951-cadillac-deville-custom-roadster-rearThis car caught my eye while I was walking around the tents at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale this past January. The window sticker revealed frustratingly few details about this cool custom roadster.

From what I could tell, this car began life as a 1951 Cadillac DeVille and was at some point turned into a chop-top roadster. The engine has been swapped out for a Chevrolet LS V8 power plant with a 4L60E automatic transmission. The interior has been redone in tan leather while the exterior has been resprayed a laser red metallic color. Continue reading

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster

aston-martin-db-ar1-profileIt used to be that owning a supercar was special, no matter which one you had. But in today’s world, exclusivity is the name of the game. Now it’s not enough to have any old Lamborghini or Ferrari – you’ve got to have the rare, limited-production model in order to really be somebody.

For example, Ferrari limited production of the Enzo to just 400 units. The Bugatti Veyron was limited to 450 cars. The Lexus LFA was a limited run of just 500 cars. Lamborghini is building just 200 “50th Anniversary” edition Aventadors. Not to be outdone by the competition, Aston Martin raised the stakes with their One-77 supercar – a super special vehicle with a $1,000,000 price tag and only 77 copies built.

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Burton Car: Citroen 2CV Kit Car

burton-car-rearKit cars are a particularly interesting niche of the automotive world, and we write about them often here on Generation High Output. At a local car show, I spotted a car that I’d never seen before – a Burton!

A quick Internet search revealed that Burton is an automobile manufacturer in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1993 by Dimitri and Iwan Göbel – brothers with a shared passion for automobiles. Their main product is a two-seat, two-door roadster based on the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is one of the most-produced cars of all time and is renowned and beloved for its utter simplicity and reliability.

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2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario

2014 is a very special year because it is the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini. To celebrate the occasion, the company has produced a limited run of “50th Anniversary” Aventador models. Just 200 cars are to be produced – 100 coupes and 100 roadsters. This particular car is #47 of 100.

The Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario edition has the same 6.5L V12 engine as the standard Aventador, though power has been bumped up from 690 to 710 HP thanks to a new engine calibration.

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