Allard Special "Mystery Car"

At first glance the car appears to be an Allard J2, but a closer look reveals it is in fact a Special of some kind, though it may be Allard based.  The car is clearly marked 192c, but it doesn't appear in the official program or in any published race results. (That would be too easy).

These photos were downloaded from a five minute film shot at the March 1955 Palm Springs Road Race.   The film can be viewed on the "Forgotten Fiberglass" website (Coming soon! TM) .  The car is on screen from 4 mins. 38 secs. to 4 mins. 42 secs. 

From Erich:   "Here's what I noticed about the car":

1.  The grille is larger and has a slightly different shape from an Allard J2.

2.  The car doesn't have "pontoons" fared into the nose to cover the front coil springs and split wishbones.  Only two pre-production J2's shared  this feature and car number 192c isn't either one of these.

3.  The front spring on 192c is transverse leaf, not coil spring like on a J2.

4.  The front shock absorbers mount above the axle by the spring perch, not at the king pin like on a J2.

More from Erich: 

"5.  Allard J2's have six vent holes, three on each side, just below the hood.  No. 192c has what looks like three vent holes on the driver's side only, but these are in fact air cleaners for an inline six, most likely a Chevy or GMC since both the intake and exhaust are on the driver's side.

6.  Almost all J2's have a hood scoop or bulge of some sort, car 192c doesn't."

From Erich:

"7.  All J2's have the rear fenders in unit with the rear of the body.  192c  has cycle type rear fenders.

8.  192c has no doors, J2's have two doors.

9.  The rear track looks wider on 192c than on a J2.

Having said all of this, car number 192c still looks virtually identical to a J2.  Could this Special be a home built or could it be an Allard Special?  Does anyone recognize this car?"

If you have info on this car: Please email me!

(6-26-12)  From Erich Schultz:

Hey Everyone,

This is what I have found out so far.  The Ed Dempsey Special ran in four races in 1955.  It was driven by Albert Bellavance in all four races. (This information is compiled from the Racing Sports Cars website, Road & Track Magazine, and original official race programs)  Those races were:

1.  The 8th Palm Springs Road Race, March 26th & 27th, 1955
2.  The Los Angeles Sports Car Road Race at Hansen Dam, June 18th &19th, 1955
3.  The Santa Barbara Road Race, September 3rd & 4th, 1955
4.  The 9th Palm Springs Road Race, December 3rd &4th, 1955

The Ed Dempsey Special is listed in the official program for The Santa Barbara Road Race as car #189

The Ed Dempsey Special is listed in the official program for The 9th Palm Springs Road Race as car #180

The Ed Dempsey Special is not listed in the official program for either The 8th Palm Springs Road race or The Los Angeles Sports Car Road Race.

However,  The Chicane vintage race movie for The 8th Palm Springs Road Race clearly shows a white Special similar in design to an Allard bearing the number 192c, which is not listed in the program.  Since we know the Ed Dempsey Special ran that race, I think it is almost certain that car 192c is the Ed Dempsey Special.

Furthermore, the same white car is pictured in the December 1955 issue of Road & Track story on The Santa Barbara Road Race.  It is the only C-modified Special which is not a well known Special (like the Troutman and Barnes Special for example) or a factory built C modified like a C-type Jag or a Ferrari.  The only C-modified Special in the program that is remaining is the Ed Dempsey Special.

Personally, I am satisfied with concluding that the mystery car identity I have been searching for from the 8th Palm Springs Road Race is in fact the Ed Dempsey Special.

What remains is to gather incontrovertible evidence such as a picture of this car bearing the number 189 from The Santa Barbara Road Race or the number 180 from the 9th Palm Springs Road Race.  Is there anyone that you can think to ask who may have pictures from these races?

A final word, I emailed this information to Peter Boyd who was at these races.  He either worked as a corner man at these races or pitted for his friend, Harrison Evans.  He said he "vaguely remembers" the Dempsey Special and the 270 Jimmy "sounds right" as far as he can remember. "

(Note: Erich is referring to the white car on (our) left in the 2nd row at the Sept. 3-4, 1955 Santa Barbara race below.  TM)     

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