Amelia Island

9 March 2013

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Lot 130

1953 Allard K3 Roadster

  • Serial no. K33198

Sold for $110,000

Est. 250 bhp, 331 cu. in. overhead-valve Cadillac V-8 engine with dual four-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, split-axle independent front suspension with coil springs, de Dion rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100 in.

  • Sydney Allard’s rare British-American grand tourer
  • Equipped with a Cadillac V-8 and period speed equipment
  • Wonderfully evocative, largely original condition

Long before Carroll Shelby had the idea to force-feed oversized American V-8 power into lightweight British roadster bodywork, Sydney Allard was doing it in London. Allard's lightweight, frighteningly rapid sports and racing models cleaned up at tracks around the world until well into the 1950s.

Naturally, what races on Sunday sells on Monday, and the K3 was Allard’s attempt to offer a more civilized variant of the J2 and J2X models seen at the track. It featured a twin-tube steel chassis with semi-independent swing axle front suspension and a proper de Dion rear axle with inboard-mounted drum brakes, wrapped in full-width alloy bodywork that mimicked the new Austin-Healey 100/4. The single front bench seat could accommodate three adults on its 56-inch width, with clear floor space for the middle passenger provided by a clever off-set gear-change lever located to the left of the driver. Twin fuel tanks fitted into the rear fenders, creating more luggage room, and there was a real cloth-covered folding convertible top.

Some 57 of the 62 Allard K3s built were delivered to the United States, the majority without engines, so that the dealer or first owner could install a V-8 of the purchaser’s choice. Many were fitted with Cadillac power, and still more of those, regardless of Allard’s touring intentions, took to the track.

According to the Allard Registry, the car offered here was ordered on April 14, 1953, and it was delivered on May 20, 1953, to the Allard Motor Company, of New York City. It was shipped with modifications to allow fitment of a Cadillac V-8, disc wheels, and a 3.78 rear differential. Early owners included Mr. Karley, William Turner, and Jansen Parker Young, and the car was reportedly raced extensively in its early years. The Allard still wears its badges of honor, literally, reflecting display at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Concours d’Elegance in 1953, 1954, and 1955, as well as communications worker badges from 1955 and 1956, a communications worker badge from Bridgehampton in 1956, and another badge from Brynfan Tyddyn in the same period.

This wonderful K3 remains in largely original condition, aside from an older change of color to red and somewhat newer leather upholstery, and it still packs a vintage Cadillac V-8 with dual four-barrel carburetors and period speed equipment, such as a slightly hotter cam than standard, sure to provide thrilling performance. Copious accessories include period-correct seatbelts, gauges, Talbot mirrors, and Borrani wire wheels with two-bar knock-offs. Formerly displayed at the Larz Anderson Museum in Massachusetts, it remains very much “as it was” and provides an opportunity to return an original Allard to the snarling speeds of which it was once capable. It would be ideal for the Colorado Grand, and prospective tourers are happily invited to test-drive the car at Amelia.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more