Sydney Herbert Allard (1910–1966) was the designer and manufacturer of a series of one-off competition cars produced between 1934 and 1939, the first of which was CLK 5. Twelve Specials were built before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Allard had exhibited a keen interest in motor cars from a young age, and had taught himself how to drive by the age of sixteen. On completing his secondary education Sydney was found a job at F. W. Lucas Ltd., a garage and motor dealership, at first as a helper and then as a motor mechanic. He attended evening classes at Battersea Polytechnic and took a correspondence course in engineering, eventually becoming a member of the Institute of Automobile Engineers. Recognising his son’s determination to pursue a career in motor engineering, Arthur Allard purchased a building in Keswick Road, Putney, and helped him to setup in business with Alf Brisco, who had been the head mechanic at F. W. Lucas.
Allard’s first competitive motor race had been with his brother Dennis at Brooklands in 1929, driving a Grand Prix Morgan three-wheeler in a three-lap handicap race, which they won. He subsequently converted the Morgan to four wheels in an attempt to increase its stability, but ultimately its low ground clearance made it unsuitable for trialling, one of Allard’s great interests. Adlards Motors,[a]The building bought by Arthur Allard had belonged to a building and roofing company called Robert Adlard, and it was decided to retain the name Adlards, hence Adlards Motors. The new company occupied the ground floor and there was a block of flats above. as the new business was called, provided the workshop space to allow Allard to begin serious work on his competition specials. But Sydney’s father disapproved of his son’s competition activities, regarding them as a distraction from Adlard’s regular garage work, so the specials sometimes had to be hidden from view under canvas at the back of the workshop.
Each of the Allard Specials is identified by its registration number.
CLK 5 was the first of Allard’s specials, built almost entirely from a damaged 1934 Model 40 Ford V8 except for the bodywork, which came from a two-seater Bugatti. The steering box and column, and the petrol tank, were also cannabilised from the Bugatti. With a ground clearance of more than 9 inches (23 cm) and plenty of low-speed torque from the 3.29-litre (201 cu in) Ford flathead V8 engine, CLK 5 was ideally suited for its role as a trials machine.
So successful was CLK 5 that two more similar Allards were built.
FGP 750 was the first of two CLK 5 copies. Like its sister car, it had the same – although slightly elongated – imitation Bugatti-type tail as CLK 5, and was fitted with Ford steel disc wheels. Holes were drilled in the car’s chassis to reduce its weight.