Introduced in 1952, the Allard P2 'Safari' Estate Car was designed to accommodate six people and 45 cubic feet of luggage (or 95 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down). The work of Dudley Hume, David Hooper, Sydney Allard and Reg Canham, its tubular chassis frame was equipped with J2X-type independent front suspension, a De Dion back axle, Marles cam gear steering and Lockheed 12-inch drum brakes. Available with a choice of Ford, Cadillac or Chrysler V8 engines allied to three-speed manual transmission, the newcomer's performance belied its generous dimensions. Bodied in aluminium and steel over an ash frame with natural wood framing, the Allard featured a novel one-piece bonnet assembly that was raised / lowered hydraulically via a cockpit-located hand pump. Although, the prototype boasted a fold-down tailgate and opening rear window most of its production siblings made do with just two vertical doors. Perhaps fittingly given its exotic moniker, the model found buyers in Nairobi, Mexico, Canada, Rhodesia and the USA. However, only 10 'Safari' Estate Cars were ever made with Dennis and Sydney Allard accounting for two of the five UK orders (interestingly, the former used his to transport competition motorcycles).
According to a handwritten letter on file from former Allard employee and marque historian Tom Lush, he was involved in the sale of this particular example - chassis number P2 4009 - to two elderly ladies from Birmingham who "only gave a cursory look over the car, their main concern being the possibility of carrying a sheep or goat in the back!" Despatched from the Works on January 28th 1954, the 'Safari' Estate Car reputedly spent the next four years commuting to a sheep farm in Cumberland before passing through the hands of Mrs J Crossley of Shrewsbury, Mr Laurence Keating of Manchester and Captain D.G. Wixon of Yelverton. Still finished in its original bronze livery when the latter acquired it in 1988, the Allard was subsequently treated to an extensive 'chassis up' restoration by the Tamar Valley Motoring Centre between 1990 and 1992. Though, specialist tasks such as overhauling the Ford 3622cc 'Flathead' V8 engine and refurbishing the woodwork were outsourced to Wally Wheatley of Nordian Garages and a retired but highly talented woodwork teacher respectively. Refinished in White with Brown Connolly hide upholstery, 'OUE 79' pleasingly retains its unusual three-piece tailgate and engine-turned dashboard.
Featured in the December 1992 issue of Classic Cars magazine not to mention David Fetherston's book 'Woodys', chassis P2 4009 participated in the 40th Anniversary Sydney Allard Monte Carlo Rally, the Randonnée de Trios Vallées, several Norwich Union Classic Car events (including a Euro Classic) and the Allard Owners Club's 2007 Pyrenean Run. Treated to five new radial tyres during 2006 and new rear shock absorbers two years later, the 'Safari' Estate Car is understood to have covered some 22,000 post-restoration miles. Kept garaged since entering the current ownership in 2009, this year has seen 'OUE 79' benefit from attention to its distributor, kingpins, front / rear brakes and track rod ends plus a bottom-end engine overhaul (crankshaft reground, new main / big-end bearings etc). Invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on more than one occasion, this magnificent Allard is offered for sale with correspondence from Tom Lush, Dudley Hume and Laurence Keating, five photo albums detailing the restoration, numerous invoices and current MOT certificate.