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THE BRITS AND FRENCH SHOWED UP AS WELL

THE BRITS AND FRENCH SHOWED UP AS WELL

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs chef and restaurateur Bernard Dervieux, whose popular Cuistot eatery hosted many of the cars and their drivers in a "Tour Classique" held the day before the Concours, cooked-up a winner with one of the three cars he brought to the Desert Classic. Though the Allard (l) dominates the photo, the smaller blue car to the right, was Dervieux's prize-winner, placing second in the "European Sports Racing, 1946-1974" category. The car is a Deutsch Bonnet (the last names of the founding partners of the company), known popularly as a "DB". The company was in business since just before WWII to 1961, when the partners had an acrimonious and very public split which involved Renault. The lightweight and aerodynamic cars had great success in European endurance racing, especially at the world-famous "24 Hours of LeMans". DBs have a small but loyal following worldwide. Its engines were made by another French car company with a deep history in that country's automotive culture, Panhard.

The Allard, on the other hand, was a big, heavy car and used brute force to speed many of them to wins in various racing classes and series around the world from 1936 through 1966, and about 1,900 of the cars were produced; the company was always located in London, though at several different locations in that city. Many Allards overcame their inherent weight and size problems by shoe-horning the biggest V8 they could find, often an engine made by Cadillac, into the car. Allards continue to be popular through the many "vintage racing" events around the globe. Carroll Shelby raced an Allard in the 1950s, and no doubt is where he "invented" the idea for his Cobra --- Wherein he dropped the biggest Ford V8 he could find into a small and lightweight chassis and body, made by the UK's AC.

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