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Whatever happened to this Allard?


Whatever happened to this Allard P1?
Last week, we had a discussion about scrapyards. Old fashioned scrappies, like you don’t find much anymore nowadays. And then suddenly we recalled that great old yard in Lincolnshire that we passed by coincidentally one dark and cold winter day back in the mid-1990s. Did the beams of our headlights really strike over a rusty old A35 there? They did. We slammed the brakes and chose reverse. That’s about when a dog started barking and the owner of the place came out. “Sorry, we’re closed mate”, were his words. “I’ll come back later”, said I.

And although it took me over a year, I did. And then it was a sunny day in spring, so much more comfortable, and things were a lot better visible. The man recognised us, even if it was only for two minutes that we'd spoken through the fence. He even remembered the car we’d been driving, and yes he’d had a few of those, too. There was no way not to take his word for it, as his yard turned out to contain hundreds and hundreds of vehicles dating back to the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s mostly. We saw many, many Jaguars. Plus Austins and Morrisses, Wolseleys and Rileys, Hillmans and Reliants, Triumphs, Singers and Rovers, a sole Humber Imperial Estate and a massive Austin ambulance.

But the one that stuck most was this rhinoceros of an Allard. A P1 model, once cream. It had a Mercury V8 under its bonnet and certainly seemed salvagable. What happened to the car? I found back the photographs I took on that fine day back in the mid-1990s and there it was. ‘MFJ 604’ was last taxed in 1984, the DVLA tells us now. I’d love to learn that it survives.

(Words and picture Jeroen Booij)

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