Would it be overdoing it if I did another automotive related post so soon? Not trying to change the face of the Spill or anything like that but I thought this was interesting.
Well, what the hell. Back in about 1971-2-3 I was working at the university and whenever a meeting was required in the administration building I’d usually bump into my friend Mary T, she was secretary to one of the VP’s. We both drove Porsches to school so right there was a common bond and we’d usually chat about car stuff.
One day she told me the story of her late husband, he’d been an amateur racing driver but had been killed in an accident a year or so earlier. She told me of his racing career in Europe and how he’d bought the 1953 Allard factory entry into Le Mans and had shipped it home to the US, since his death it had been sitting in a rental garage in Long Beach and she was now interested in selling it. I asked her how much and she replied ‘Somewhere around $1800′, I asked if we could take a look at it and she said OK so we set a date for later that week. We met at the rental garage and when she swung the door open there it was, a very well used race car, no paint, just a plain aluminum body with several dings, no padding on the seat, just a battered aluminum frame and some oil leaks under the engine. I said OK, I’m interested, I’ll buy it but I’ve just separated from my wife, I’m temporarily living in a rental apartment with no garage and I’ll need a little time. I saw her again a few weeks later and when I mentioned the Allard she said “Oh, I’ve already sold it, I didn’t realize that you were that serious!, another friend bought it.’ God Damn!
Time went by and when it was mentioned again she said that the new owner had restored it, I asked if she was in regular touch with him and would it be possible to see it? She called me a few days later and said that we could go that weekend. The guy was a cop, full of stories about driving it like a maniac and always evading tickets because of his job, I hated him immediately. I was not impressed by his ‘restoration’ either, it was painted British Racing Green and had overstuffed seats and looked like something from a Hollywood sales catalog, very overdone. I just read an article in a a magazine devoted to cars as financial investments, not my style at all but it was about MY car.The gist of the article was that it had sold at auction for $605,000, but they did mention that it was driven at Le Mans by Sidney Allard and came in 3rd. As they say, So it goes!
Here’s the article.