If you’re familiar with the Allard Motor Company, it’s likely from the British brand’s sports cars in the 1940s and 1950s, most notably the J2 and J2X. In the late 1980s, F1-designer Chris Humberstone licensed the name to return it to compete in the Group C endurance racing class. As a bizarre outgrowth of this effort, the company modified the contemporary Lexus LS400 to create a new road-going model. Now, one of them has come up for auction in the UK.
Allard thought it could create a low-volume version of the LS400, and showed these cars to Toyota in hopes of getting support for the project, which also would have funded the racing effort. Things didn’t work out, though.
The effort didn’t do much to the LS400. There’s a new front end with circular headlights behind a rounded bezel. Similarly, there are a pair of round taillights on each side of the rear. Inside, there’s burgundy and black two-tone leather with a lightning bolt stitched onto the seatbacks. The material quality for the new pieces of the cabin doesn’t seem to match the original fittings from Lexus.
The powertrain seems to remain stock, meaning you get the famously stout 4.0-liter 1UZ-FE V8. According to the seller, the engine runs but misfires after warming up because of sitting unused for two years.
This car was previously for sale on eBay in 2017, and Bring a Trailer covered it. At the time, the vehicle’s condition looked a whole lot better than in this auction. One of the commenters claimed to have worked on the project and indicated that the Allard’s new panels were carbon fiber. If you look at the photo of the car with the hood open, then the carbon weave for the front bodywork is slightly visible.
Allard allegedly built three of these revised LS400s. Crashes reportedly claimed two of them. Although, a 2020 forum post hinted that the damage to one of them wasn’t so extensive that it was still savable.