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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Rare Example of the Three-wheeled Allard Clipper, Once Dubbed the World’s Least Reliable Car, Surfaces

Posted December 31, 2021 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Allard

As best as fiberglass car expert Geoff Hacker can figure, the Allard Clipper became the first production British fiberglass-bodied car when it debuted in 1954. It also may very well be the last production car produced with a dickey seat. It's also the least likely vehicle to bear the famed Allard name and certainly the most poorly received, two prime reasons why the one that Hacker recently unearthed and intends to restore is only one of three known examples left of the odd little three-wheeler.

"It looks like it hasn't been touched in 40 years," Hacker said. "But it's certainly doable."

The Clipper's one of the least likely vehicles to be sold as an Allard because the design came not from Sydney Allard but from David Gottlieb, an inventor with questionable credentials who briefly marketed the Cymota, a friction-drive bicycle powered by an unlicensed copy of the French Velosolex engine and marketed in England as "the cheapest form of transport in the world." Despite a raft of advertising that Mark Daniels described as "bunkum," Gottlieb gave up on the Cymota in 1952 and instead turned his attention to microcars, which were just then starting to become popular in England and across Europe.

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Re: Rare Example of the Three-wheeled Allard Clipper, Once Dubbed the World’s Least Reliable Car, Surfaces

01/01/2022 3:26 PM

They might hold the world's ugliest sportscar title too....

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Re: Rare Example of the Three-wheeled Allard Clipper, Once Dubbed the World’s Least Reliable Car, Surfaces

01/03/2022 2:16 PM

I agree with that comment. Ive owned several high end sportscars, but that one truly is the ugliest!

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