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  Allard J2X-C
 

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1992 - 1993
Numbers built:one-off
Designed by:John Iley
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:February 22, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLittle over two years after the project commenced, the first Allard J2X-C was completed. It was shaken down in Wales during July of 1992 and further tested across the pond in the following months. It was obvious that the quest for downforce had been successful, but the car produced more drag than the under-powered Cosworth engine could overcome. Another problem was the full length monocoque, which made maintenance to the engine and gearbox difficult. At the time Allard had taken a controlling stake in Spice and one of the company's backers, Costas Los, raced a Honda engined Spice in the American GTP championship. Honda showed interest in the Allard J2X-C program and Humberstone hoped he could convince them in supplying their V10 Formula 1 engine. Unfortunately the Japanese manufacturer opted to branch out into Indy racing.

Early in 1993, it quickly became apparent that the project had been too ambitious for Humberstone's small team and before the J2X-C was ever raced, Allard went into receivership. For an absolute bargain of £76,000 all assets were bought by (historic) racer Robs Lamplough. He had former Allard employee Gordon Friend prepare the car in time for the official test at Le Mans. He was faced with a few problems. Some were small and others, for example the tub having never been crash tested, were pretty major. A detailed explanation to the FIA as to how the car was built fortunately proved to be sufficient to get a certificate. The final hurdle was the lack of any lights, which Friend solved by fitting four BMW headlights under a Perspex cover in the front fender.

Still in bare carbon fibre, the J2X-C made its official debut at the Le Mans test. Considering the car's high downforce and drag body, it was no surprise that the Allard was off the pace considerably. Compared to the Peugeot 905, which was built to the same specifications, the J2X-C was 50 mph too slow down the Mulsanne straight. Instead of entering the race, Lamplough decided to take the car to the United States. The twistier tracks would suit the car much better. It was entered in a race only once; the GTP round at Laguna Seca. Lamplough qualified the car in twelfth position and finished the race in ninth. After the race, the Allard was shipped back to England and retired from racing. It was also the last season for Group C; sports car racing would never be the same.

The Allard J2X-C remains as one of the very last Group C racing cars built and one of the very few raced without the support of a major manufacturer. More importantly, it inspired designers in the years to come and its influence can in particular be seen in the most recent generation of sports racing cars. In the last few years, the car saved from oblivion by its current owner, who brought it back to full running order and also by Mike Fuller, who published a detailed account of the Allard's design and history in Race Car Engineering magazine and on his fabulous Mulsanne's Corner website. Fully restored to the red livery, Allard had originally intended to run the car in, the sole J2X-C is shown above during the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed where Group C's 25th anniversary was celebrated.

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  Article Image gallery (13) Specifications User Comments (1)