1951 Allard J2 Cadillac Le Mans Race Car

A tech inspector looked at the front suspension of a J2X and said, “Wow! Where’s the ‘crimes against nature’ checkbox on this form?”

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During the mid-1980s, Glenn Shaffer began a search for an Allard J2 with racing heritage. He found this Allard J2 in Lima, Peru, suspecting it was the “missing” #2 Le Mans race car that had been driven by Peter Reece and Alfred Hitchings in 1951. The car on offer here has been subsequently confirmed and documented by Allard experts to be that car.

When discovered, the Allard was complete and had the correct 1951 Cadillac OHV V8 engine, but the chassis was in need of a full restoration. The car included features not commonly found on other J2s, like a 55-gallon fuel cell, aluminum-reinforced body, and vented front fenders.

After completing the restoration, Shaffer competed in some of the top vintage races in North America with the Allard, including the prestigious Monterey Historic Car Races at Laguna Seca, and was invited to the Pebble Beach Concours in 1994.

Only 90 J2s were originally built and only a handful are “competition only” models. With a 390-ci, 300-plus-horsepower Cadillac V8, fed through a four-speed manual transmission, this J2 is brutally fast, a real favorite with race fans on the West Coast vintage circuit.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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