- Obsessively documented example raced by Carroll Shelby in 1953 and 1954
- Believed to be one of just 83 J2Xs built
- Restored to period-correct specification in 2019 at a cost of more than US$130,000
- Veteran of numerous vintage races and award winner at various events
- FIA Historic Passport, eligible for an impressive range of historic racing events worldwide, including the Mille Miglia
This 1952 Allard J2X, chassis number 3146, was ordered new by Texas oilman Roy Cherryhomes through Neil Kirk Motors of Hollywood, California on 6 November 1952, and fitted with a 331-cubic-inch Cadillac V-8 engine. Cherryhomes approached young upstart driver and chicken farmer Carroll Shelby to drive the car in Sports Car Club of America events in Texas and the plains states.
Shelby drove this J2X in five races in 1953, placing first overall in four of them and second in the fifth race. In January 1954, the car was shipped to Buenos Aires for an international 1000-kilometer race where Shelby and co-driver Dale Duncan competed against the world’s top teams and drivers. They finished 10th overall and won the Kimberly Cup as the top finishing U.S. team. Shelby later credited his experience with the Allard and its combination of a lightweight British chassis coupled with American V-8 power for inspiring him to build the AC Cobra.
Not much is known of the car’s history until 1970, when Dr. Richard McKee of Fort Worth, Texas acquired the car—by this time fitted with a modified Chevrolet V-8—and undertook a multi-year, frame-up restoration, enlisting the help the car’s former racing mechanic Jack Koerns and Shelby himself. Dr. McKee campaigned the car in four vintage races—sourcing a period-correct 331-cubic-inch Chrysler FirePower Hemi V-8 in 1975—and showed it at various events before selling it to Peter Booth of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1989. Booth had the car further refurbished and campaigned it in 29 vintage races from 1990 through 2010.
The next owner, August Grasis III of Kansas City, Missouri, acquired the car in 2013 and installed a correct, 331-cubic-inch Cadillac V-8 in 2015. He would claim several first-place finishes at vintage racing events.
Under current ownership since late 2017, the car has benefitted from perhaps the most thorough mechanical recommissioning of its life. Service invoices from Historic and Vintage Restorations in Blackburn, Victoria, Australia, dating from March through September 2018 total more than US$130,000. Fully restored to period-correct specifications, the car earned its FIA Historic Technical Passport, making it eligible to participate in any historic racing event in the world, including the Mille Miglia. Most recently, it won the 2019 Del Monte Trophy in Monterey, California.
This storied J2X is truly like no other and is accompanied by a trove of historical files and photos documenting its rich ownership, restoration, and racing history, to include copies of correspondence with Shelby discussing the car and a photograph of him behind the wheel at the 1990 Monterey Historic Automobile Races.