We need more cars restored and on the road to tell the tale of building your own sports car in the 1950’s – and thanks to the efforts of Bob O’Meara and his terrific crew we have another special one to celebrate.
Back in late 1952, Bill Burke, Mickey Thompson, and Roy Kinch hit the ground running with a new body on the market – one based exactly on the 1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe. This first car retained the exact dimensions of the original Cisitalia Coupe and fit cars with a 94 inch wheelbase perfectly – like the MG. It became available in the fall/winter of ’52. By early 1953 a roadster became available too.
But how many roadsters did they build?
The answer – not many.
In talking with Bill Burke in 2009, he estimated that fewer than 10 were built for or on the 94” wheelbase. He couldn’t recall how many were built for the larger Falcon style Allied sports cars which were fitted for a 100” wheelbase.
So, it was with great pleasure that late in 2006 we found our first Allied roadster – for sale on eBay in Illinois. Here’s what the unrestored car looked like at that time:
That car and a pristine Allied Swallow coupe body was bought by Dick Knutsen who retained it in his collection for several years. Ultimately, he decided to sell it to Bob O’Meara – who enthusiastically embraced the restoration of the car like none other. His Allied Coupe body found a new home with another collector – more about that in a future story here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Over the past year or so, I knew Bob was making progress. However, nothing could have surprised me more this past weekend than when I heard from great friend and LaDawri owner Jeff Brown.
Here’s the e-mail I received from Jeff last Saturday:
We are at the Watkins Glen Vintage Festival this weekend, and I just accidentally stumbled upon Bob O’Meara and his Allied at the Downtown Festival yesterday. I thought you’d want to see how it turned out – just absolutely breathtaking! Photos attached.
Then, before I could write to Bob O’Meara and ask for more information on his car, I heard from him via e-mail:
I have just returned from Watkins Glen International where I attended the Vintage Festival and raced my “MG/Cisitalia Special”. It was an unbelievable event and the time of my life!
The Special drew crowds all week long of people who knew MG’s and just couldn’t believe it! It really came out beautifully, and as soon as I get some pictures from people (I was driving, couldn’t take any) I will send you some. Also have many of the restoration process to send to you.
I have yet to fit the Healey 100 windshield – soon….
It occurs to me having gone thru this process, that I was EXTREMELY fortunate to find a body shop that could actually do fiberglass work well, a chassis person who could build my roll bars and interior (of aluminum) and a mechanic so close to my home in Dudley, MA, south of Worcester, MA – actually within 15 miles – it doesn’t get any better than that.
I would think we could all benefit by listing shops that have done good work for us on the website for others to use – no bad recommendations, just good ones, with contact info. It would have saved me months of researching. I’d be happy to suppply the first of them if you’d like.
Will be in touch soon. I understand Jeff Brown of the SVRA has already sent you some pictures, eh?
Bob has promised to send more photos of the car in restoration and the finished product. And his idea of sharing excellent shops with each of us who could do the work is superb. Great suggestion Bob!
And…as soon as I receive more photos of his Allied roadster, we will surely share them so everyone can enjoy here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…