Amelia Island

9 March 2013

Lot 130

1953 Allard K3 Roadster

To be auctioned on Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sold for $110,000

  • Serial no. K33198
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


Est. 250 bhp, 331 cu. in. overhead-valve Cadillac V-8 engine with dual four-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, split-axle independent front suspension with coil springs, de Dion rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100 in.

  • Sydney Allard’s rare British-American grand tourer
  • Equipped with a Cadillac V-8 and period speed equipment
  • Wonderfully evocative, largely original condition


Long before Carroll Shelby had the idea to force-feed oversized American V-8 power into lightweight British roadster bodywork, Sydney Allard was doing it in London. Allard's lightweight, frighteningly rapid sports and racing models cleaned up at tracks around the world until well into the 1950s.

Naturally, what races on Sunday sells on Monday, and the K3 was Allard’s attempt to offer a more civilized variant of the J2 and J2X models seen at the track. It featured a twin-tube steel chassis with semi-independent swing axle front suspension and a proper de Dion rear axle with inboard-mounted drum brakes, wrapped in full-width alloy bodywork that mimicked the new Austin-Healey 100/4. The single front bench seat could accommodate three adults on its 56-inch width, with clear floor space for the middle passenger provided by a clever off-set gear-change lever located to the left of the driver. Twin fuel tanks fitted into the rear fenders, creating more luggage room, and there was a real cloth-covered folding convertible top.

Some 57 of the 62 Allard K3s built were delivered to the United States, the majority without engines, so that the dealer or first owner could install a V-8 of the purchaser’s choice. Many were fitted with Cadillac power, and still more of those, regardless of Allard’s touring intentions, took to the track.

According to the Allard Registry, the car offered here was ordered on April 14, 1953, and it was delivered on May 20, 1953, to the Allard Motor Company, of New York City. It was shipped with modifications to allow fitment of a Cadillac V-8, disc wheels, and a 3.78 rear differential. Early owners included Mr. Karley, William Turner, and Jansen Parker Young, and the car was reportedly raced extensively in its early years. The Allard still wears its badges of honor, literally, reflecting display at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Concours d’Elegance in 1953, 1954, and 1955, as well as communications worker badges from 1955 and 1956, a communications worker badge from Bridgehampton in 1956, and another badge from Brynfan Tyddyn in the same period.

This wonderful K3 remains in largely original condition, aside from an older change of color to red and somewhat newer leather upholstery, and it still packs a vintage Cadillac V-8 with dual four-barrel carburetors and period speed equipment, such as a slightly hotter cam than standard, sure to provide thrilling performance. Copious accessories include period-correct seatbelts, gauges, Talbot mirrors, and Borrani wire wheels with two-bar knock-offs. Formerly displayed at the Larz Anderson Museum in Massachusetts, it remains very much “as it was” and provides an opportunity to return an original Allard to the snarling speeds of which it was once capable. It would be ideal for the Colorado Grand, and prospective tourers are happily invited to test-drive the car at Amelia.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

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With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

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Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more