19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 55

1953 Allard Palm Beach MkI
Driven in competition by Sydney Allard when new

Sold for £41,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: NYO 66
Chassis No: 21Z5104
MOT: Exempt

  • Used as the Palm Beach demonstrator, road test, and display car when new
  • Driven in competition by Sydney Allard and other members of the Allard family
  • ‘Matching’ numbers example with factory fitted 2553cc Ford Zodiac 6-cylinder engine and H&A overdrive
  • 1 of just 80 Allard Palm Beach examples manufactured in total
  • Subject to significant mechanical improvement upon purchase by the vendor in 2018

"Only a few men have designed, built, and then put into production, cars bearing their own name. Even fewer, if any, have gone on to build their own racing cars and compete in them, with such great achievements in such a wide range of motor sport competitions. From mud-plugging trials to hill climb champion, Monte Carlo winner, and Le Mans 24 hours third overall, to building and driving the first dragster outside the USA. Sydney Allard was that rare and outstanding personality..."

Racing driver Sydney Allard's post-war cars combined the same virtues of lightweight, independent front suspension and an abundance of American V8 power, which had been features of his first trials special of the mid-1930s. These favourable characteristics enabled Allard cars to establish a formidable competition record in the immediate post-war years; Allard himself finishing 3rd at Le Mans in a J2 two-seater and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in a P2 saloon. Introduced in 1952, the pretty, alloy-bodied Palm Beach was Sydney Allard's final sports car design, employing a K3-type tubular chassis and his trademark independently suspended swing axles at the front with a coil-sprung live axle at the rear. Approximately 80 of all types were built up to 1958.

Chassis ‘21Z5104’ was manufactured in 1953 and was registered as ‘NYO 66’ by the factory in August of that year. Used as a demonstrator, road test car, and display car when new, it was driven in competition by Sydney Allard. The Palm Beach also competed at the hands of other members of the Allard family, being driven at the 1953 Daily Express Rally at Goodwood Sprints by Mrs Eleanor Allard and her sister, as well as at the Welsh Rally of 1956. Competed furthermore in the hands of Tom Lush (Sydney’s right-hand man) and Reg Canham, amongst others, ‘NYO 66’ was the Autocar road test car in 1956. The first known private owner was Richard Stanley Baxter Esq of Rochester, Kent., before the ‘5104’ passed through a subsequent two keepers during the 1960s, and thereafter was exported to the sunnier shores of Australia in 1972.

Provided with a comprehensive restoration to factory specifications in 1999, the Palm Beach has been driven less than 7,000 miles since the restoration's completion. A ‘matching’ numbers example, the factory fitted 2553cc six-cylinder Zodiac engine was fully overhauled in the restoration, with its original Raymond Mays 12-port cylinder head and twin SU carburettors. The three-speed Ford gearbox has its original H&A overdrive, and ‘NYO 66’ also boasts wire wheels, Marles high ratio steering box, twin fuel tanks, and Lockheed drum brakes front and rear. Behind the bench seat (which according to original sales literature should seat three people!) there is a storage area for the hood frame and tonneau cover. Winning numerous awards in Australia including two-time winning its class at the prestigious RAVC Rally, before the Allard was repatriated in 2018 by the vendor. Thereafter provided with comprehensive mechanical improvements that included approximately £1,600 worth of expenditure with Zodiac Motor Service in 2018-2019, the work completed included full brake renewal and a gearbox overhaul.

More recently, ‘21Z5104’ received a new brake master cylinder in 2022 (costing £155), the clutch was overhauled in 2022 (c.£420), and the rev-counter was restored, also in 2022. Starting readily upon our photography session, and running and driving well with good oil pressure, the Allard also boasts notably good panel gaps. Accompanied by copies of the period publications and images (including with Sydney at the wheel), copies of press cuttings, copies of the Allard factory records, original letters from Tom Lush confirming its early history, original handbook, original buff logbook, chassis diagrams and engine works manual, invoices from the vendor's ownership, and a current V5C document. Potentially a rarer alternative for an Austin-Healey buyer, the vendor, who has owned both, notes that the Palm Beach is a better drive, more nimble, and quieter car in his opinion. Extremely rare, and with a very interesting history, this Palm Beach is not to be missed and has much to recommend it!

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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