FEB 14th 2014

Classified Combo: '51 Allard J2X and '51 Chevy Sedan Delivery

We’re going a bit Anglo-American with this week’s combo. Granted, there may be a tad more of the American about it than there is Anglo, but how about dubbing it a ‘special relationship… er… special?’

On many occasions the Brits and the Americans have combined in various ways to produce memorable cars. I’m thinking AC Cobra, Ford GT40, Gordon Keeble, Jensen Interceptor, Bristol 407, that sort of caper… However, predating all of those notable vehicles is the lead candidate of this week’s combo.

Conceived to help the great Sydney Allard prolong his company’s presence in the US market, the Allard J2X was an extended-wheelbase version of the J2, which was an updated version of the J model, which was a two-seater competition version of the K model… which itself was kind-of a two-seater version of the L. Simple, then!

Allards used American V8s and were renowned for their excellent power-to-weight ratio and strong performance; however by the time the J2X was built the ubiquitous Ford (or Mercury) sidevalve V8s Allard had preferred were no longer the motor of choice if big horsepower was the objective. The good ole’ Flathead V8 was still offered in the J2X, but those seeking some real snort opted instead for either the Cadillac or Chrysler V8s.

Not only is the J2X you see here one of the Cadillac-engined beasties, it was also the works factory prototype. Coys has the pleasure of offering it for sale at their famous London showroom.

The provenance appears to be very good, and is worth a read. It raced just about everywhere in the day – including Goodwood – however its most notable feat is that after its restoration was completed in 2007 it won its class at the Wiscombe Park hillclimb – a full fifty years after it first competed there!

It’s likely that if you owned this J2X you could expect an invite to most of the pre-eminent historic race meetings, which means that ideally you could do with something suitable to tow it with and carry tools and spares. Sadly commercial vehicles have never been Cadillac’s thing, but of course it was (and still is) part of General Motors and in 1951 GM happened to make a really cool workhorse…

This 1951 Chevy Sedan Delivery would do an able and oh-so-stylish job of carting the Allard around on a low-slung trailer. Now isn’t that just a magnificent piece of kit?

Clearly it’s been the subject of a full restoration, and judging by the pictures it was a quality job.  I’d even go as far as to say that this must be one of the best-looking panel vans ever made. Even more good news is that unlike Chevy pickups which used the ‘Stovebolt’ version of the hard-as-nails straight six motor, the Sedan Delivery was fitted with the higher-compression, higher-performance ‘Blue Flame’ edition of the same – a three-carburettor version of which was used in the early Corvettes –  so dragging the J2X up hills wouldn’t be an issue.

Dare I say it…best-looking combo ever?

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