By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

Since you clicked the link, we’ll assume you’re well aware of the exploits of Sydney Allard and his V8-powered English roadsters. But for those who just saw a quirky toboggan-shaped car and nothing more, here’s your cliffnotes cheat sheet.

Pioneering racer and Ford dealer Sydney Allard proves Ford products in European hill climb and trials events, and soon, customizes and constructs his own racers with Ford Flathead power. Allard continues to tweak his race car designs through the ’40s and ’50s, eventually utilizing Chrysler and Cadillac V8s. He begins exporting his cars across the world, including to the U.S. as turnkey-minus rollers. The J-series roadsters remained successful beyond Allard’s days in the business, and remain highly collectable to this day.

Allard’s quirky J2X roadsters have been replicated a few times since Allard quit manufacturing in 1959, but they’re still a pretty rare sight on the secondhand market. This J2X body on Craigslist is therefore a pretty interesting find, and surely the cheapest (albeit most labor intensive) entry into the J-car scene.

This kit was produced by a company called Elite Enterprises from 1982 to 1986 with licensed use of the Allard name. It was based on a ladder-type frame, employing VW suspension and steering up front, with a solid axle out back. The kit on Craigslist does not include a chassis, but this isn’t a big loss, as the Elite chassis would be simple to replicate — or better yet, redesign all together. The seller has included a Jaguar 3.55:1 differential and rear suspension unit, which should be a solid option for the rear.

Other items included in the sale are fenders, an interior (sans gauges), lights, hardware, Brooklands-style windscreens and some form of instructions. It’s nice to see some of these auxiliary items, like latches and hinges included, but there’s no mention of grills, or some of the Allard’s other unique trim.

To honor Allard heritage and all its (lets say) uniqueness, I think this car should be completed with a custom chassis that includes an original-style split-beam front suspension. It was this that made the Allard front end so unique, and lead to the fantastic black-and-white photos of V8 Allards rounding corners with an inside wheel hung in the air. The positive-camber stance (with the tops of the wheels out) can be seen on many original cars, and may give your J2X replica some additional credit in the community.

The seller is asking $7,500 for everything, which seems like a decent deal for a clean, unused kit. I'd imagine a well-finished Elite J2X could fetch decent money, but lesser Elite builds go for pretty cheap — take this somewhat sketchy version sold for $12,500 on BringaTrailer.com for instance.

But with some haggling, creative parts sourcing and a whole lotta shop time, you could have a fun and interesting tribute to the Allard legacy in your garage.

See the seller’s ad here on Reno Craigslist.

Elite J2 X 3