Allard J2X & IDers

I think this is one of the coolest sports car prototypes I’ve ever seen and it has an ID tie in:

"The Australian Burvill became Chief Designer for the J2X: his background was Industrial Design. Burvill: “ID people bring depth of conceptualization, relative freedom from initial technical or material hurdles, a can-do attitude and confidence towards the creation of ground breaking solutions. Ultimately the real strength of the J2X project was the ability to move forward without hefty pre-conceptions.”

Burvill’s ID background would play from strength to strength, given the wide-open nature of the Allard’s design brief."

Read more at:

http://www.mulsannescorner.com/allardj2x.html

Thanks for bringing that link up. I’d been looking for more photos of that car. I agree… it’s one of my favorite designs. But it was, alas, slow. I believe it didn’t even qualify for Le Mans the year it was unveiled. I wish more cars were kept in bare carbon fiber like that.

There is quite a bit written on that site about the history of the car. You are right, it was dog slow, especially at Le Mans…but the car wasn’t designed for Le Mans, it was designed for shorter higher downforce tracks like those in the US. During a test session with a weak engine at Mid-Ohio, the car was quite close to the times set by other prototypes the same year. The plan was to make a low downforce Le Mans set up, but they ran out of the money.

The year the Allard went to LeMans it went as a customer car. The new owner simply dialed out as much downforce as he could, but it was still WAY more than a normal LM prototype would have. To give you an idea…the Allard did 172 mph down Mulsanne…for those not into Le Mans, the other prototypes of the day did 220 mph! It did not make it into Le Mans because the owner pulled out, although it is doubtful they would have qualified. The only race it did enter it ran quite well. It qualified 9th at Laguna Seca and finished 7th.

Back to IMSA just for a moment. The Allard data says it produced about 9700 lbs of downforce at 200 mph. That is slightly better than the best the Toyota Eagle ever made at 9200 lbs at 200 mph in its last revision. The Allard made the downforce very evenly though meaning it could likely have run more downforce in race set up than the Toyotas. This would have made it the chassis to beat…if it had gotten a decent engine.