Austin Allegro

What’s left to be said about the Allegro – it never met sales predictions, earned a terrible reputation in the press and with buyers, and its fame far exceeded its influence in the automotive industry.

The cars : Austin Allegro development history

ado67story_02

What’s left to be said about the Allegro – it never met sales predictions, earned a terrible reputation in the press and with buyers, and its fame far exceeded its influence in the automotive industry. British Leyland threw everything into making it a success, and yet failed dismally… Goodbye market share WHAT is so very […]

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Allegro

ado67dev_04

Some photos taken during the Allegro’s development… Alternative frontal treatment for the Allegro GT model. Did the 1750 version (with a single carb) deserve the “GT” badge? Austin obviously thought not The grille on this 1970 mock-up was solid because the intention was for the Allegro to have its radiator side mounted, like the Mini […]

Essay : Overture to the Allegro

Allegro Equipe

On the eve of its 40th birthday, Ian Nicholls digs into the archives to discuss the Austin Allegro from the perspectives of British Leyland’s movers and shakers at the time Britain in May 1973 was a different country to what it is now. This was a world where the most desirable consumer item was a […]

Concepts and prototypes : Allegro Equipe

Allegro Equipe (1)

Keith Adams, photography, Stephen Harper In the lead-up to the launch of the series 3 Austin Allegro, newly-recruited Austin Apprentice Stephen Harper joined the team of young stylists tasked with raising the appeal of the Longbridge-built mid-liner. Harper had already come up with the LE limited edition, and the Equipe was a development of this […]

Blog : Making the Allegro cool

Stephen Harper Allegro sketches

Keith Adams I’ve already blogged about the 40th birthday of the Allegro, and how they really do make great classic cars – and that 2013 will be its big year – but few people will argue with the fact that it’s challengingly styled. If you read the development story of the Allegro, you’ll see that […]

Technical : Hydragas explained

allegro_07

Hydragas suspension was one of the quiet achievements pioneered and refined by British Leyland – and yet, it never received the praise it deserved. KEITH ADAMS briefly explains how the system works. Pioneer that led nowhere… SINCE the introduction of the Mini in 1959, BL’s predecessor, the British Motor Corporation (BMC), had been right at […]

Tested : Kadett vs Allegro vs Lancer

Opel Kadett vs Austin Allegro vs Colt Lancer

We’re moving towards the 1980s, and the hottest new ticket in town is GM’s exciting new front-wheel drive Opel Kadett/Vauxhall Astra. To see how good it was, What Car? magazine pitched a saloon version against the Austin Allegro and Colt Lancer. The result was pretty clear then – but would it be the case now? […]

Engines : E-Series

Designed and specially built to become the Corporation’s new mid-sized engine, the E-Series had a troubled early life, but eventually matured into something very worthwhile indeed. New engine, new factory; new start? By the mid-1960s, it had become clear to BMC’s management, that in order to maintain sales volumes, the company would have to produce […]

Engines : A-Series

The A-series engine did service in a variety of cars for almost 50 years, during which time it was available in a bewildering variety of capacities and states of tune. A hard act to follow The A-Series engine was certainly a case of the ‘British Curate’s egg’ – good in places. In fact, that is […]

Picture gallery : Austin Allegro

A few images from Allegro sales brochures…