The 1952 Cadillac Allard J2 Roadster raced by Carroll Shelby is on its way to the auction block at the 22nd annual Dana Mecum Original Spring Classic Auction taking place May 13-17, 2009, in Indianapolis.
Featuring a 331 cubic-inch Cadillac V-8 engine and 3-speed manual transmission, the Allard J2 has a storied race history, most notably as a vital player in the launch of Shelby’s career as a professional race car driver.
In March 1952, Shelby was hired by Louisiana businessman Charlie Brown to pilot the Cadillac Allard at the Sports Car Club of America-sanctioned Pottsboro hill climb. He won the hill climb and went on to capture two more SCCA regional wins, which brought Shelby to the attention of Aston Martin owner David Brown. Shelby went on to win the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans race in an Aston Martin DBR1 with co-driver Roy Salvadori.
Perhaps even more important than the wins in the Allard was Shelby’s experience with this race-proven platform, which inspired him to eventually create the legendary Cobra by mating a powerful American engine with a lightweight European chassis. With this combination and a lot of hard work, Shelby took GT World Manufacturer’s Championship in 1965.
“This 1952 Cad-Allard – serial number 179 and the last of 90 total roadster-bodied J2s built by English manufacturer Sydney Allard – features the popular and successful platform of a lightweight chassis and large-displacement engine developed to challenge European racing marques after World War II,” said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auction. “Competing and becoming one of the most successful sports cars in American racing in the early 1950s puts this Allard in a league of its own. We’re excited to keep this remarkable car’s history alive at our upcoming Original Spring Classic Auction.”
Restored to its original black with red leather upholstery color scheme, the Allard J2 also features what is believed to be the original Cadillac engine block No. 51 6233874. In addition it is equipped with:
* Correct Ford three-speed transmission
* Triple Stromberg 48 carbs on a vintage Weiand intake manifold
* Crane Competition camshaft
* Custom exhaust that was originally built and installed by a young Mickey Thompson.
In 1997, the Allard J2 was invited to the Monterey Historic Races as part of a special display celebrating honoree Carroll Shelby. It was also featured in the documentary “The Great Classic Cars” narrated by Sir Stirling Moss in 1979 as well as an episode of “Gotta Have It TV” in 2005.
Mecum Auction will offer the Allard J2 on live national TV on Friday, May 15, 2009. The event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, is open to the general public and tickets are available at the door for $10. For more information, visit www.Mecum.com.
[Source: Mecum Auctions]