The Allard Motor Company was founded in 1936 by one Sydney Allard, who quickly became known for his penchant for British sports cars. After World War II, Allards became quite well known on the racing circuit and soon expanded his offerings across the pond to the United States. But Allard was a Brit first, and come 1960 he saw that there was a serious dearth of decent drag racers in the Old World.
The Jalopy Journal outlines how in 1960, Allard and a team of engineers built Europe’s first dedicated dragster…using mostly American car parts, of course.
The Allard dragster was used extensively between 1961 and 1966 to promote drag racing on the British isles. Allard even went so far as to invite American heavyweights like Mickey Thompson to join him for drag racing exhibition matches. Using a Chrysler-sourced 354 cubic-inch HEMI V8 topped by a GMC 6-71 supercharger, Allard introduced England to the rip-roaring sounds of best American drag racing had to offer.
Sadly, in 1966, Allard succumbed to cancer, and his company offices burned down soon after. The Allard dragster’s best ¼ mile time was a 10.48. Today, the Allard dragster sits in the Beaulieu Motor Museum, southwest of London. Today Britain has many a drag strip and plenty of eager racers waiting to lineup. All of them have Allard to thank for bringing straight-line racing over from America.