Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Foothill Allards

Karen and The Anteater in Sicily
         My J2 was not my first Allard, it was my third.  The first was an M2X my wife Karen called "The Anteater."  We bought it to drive it to Sicily and back to London.  Little boys in short pants in the mountain villages where they ran the Targa Florio ran alongside yelling "spydro, spydro."  Like spider, like exotic racer.  I had no idea how rare it was; only 25 were built.  We drove the wheels off it.

          The second Allard is another story.  It was a 1947 K-1, baby blue.  Perfect I thought for driving up to the Magnolia Country Club with Linda Darnell.  (In real life, Rheingold beer baron Philip Liebman wooed Linda D by dropping diamond trinkets on her lawn from a small plane.  She married him for a few weeks)

You have to admire Sydney Allard's exuberance.  In 1946, the year after WW ll ended, Britain was in ruins, exhausted and Sydney has this happy, perky room for you and me baby V-8 rolling out of his Brixton Garage. My '47 K-1 was rumoured to have had a part in Genevieve   "one of the best British comedies ever...cannot be missed" "Great wit and sly humor" The K1 had a bit part, it gets bashed from behind by another car.  Mine had a mildly crumped rear end so it may have been the same car.

I sold it to Ken Nichol, the aerodynamic physicist I'd met with his wife Sue on The France.  He made the lovely maple dash.

  And sold it back to me for 75 pounds.  Maybe to make up for the money he lost betting on our horse, Darling Lass. That's Ken and Sue, discussing their next bet at The Oaks where Darling Lass came in third in a four horse race.

Last I heard the K-1was in West Virginia. Restored, pampered, painted some other color, wearing shameless wire wheels.  Probably rolling up, on sunny weekends, to the Magnolia Country Club.  She never calls, never writes.

She was so much fun to play with


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