Austin Allegro (ADO67)

austin_allegro_3

The Austin Allegro represents the point at which – to the outsider – British Leyland lost the will to live. It was so much less apealing than the car it replaced – the 1100/1300 – it was laughable, but despite this, there were many positive points that were overlooked due to the car becoming a political hot potato during the 1970s.

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. Here’s its story…

The cars : Austin Allegro development history

The cars : Austin Allegro development history

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 […]

By 30 November 2015 65 Comments Read More →
Blog : Time heals old wounds

Blog : Time heals old wounds

I had a brief run in an Austin Allegro today. The car in question is owned by Calum Brown, and it has to be said that he was very keen to get my views on his pride and joy. He’s a nice chap – 24-years old, a car nutter, and owner of a very interesting and diverse range of cars. He’ll go far in our industry. Anyway, I digress – he handed me the keys to his 1979 Allegro 3 1.3L, and told me to enjoy myself.

Engines : The E-Series

Engines : The 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 […]

By 29 November 2015 52 Comments Read More →
Top 10 : BMC>MGR’s most successful cars 1952-2005

Top 10 : BMC>MGR’s most successful cars 1952-2005

With the number of BMC>MGR cars on our roads diminishing rapidly, we take stock of the successive companies’ 10 most popular cars during the post-war years. Some of these numbers are going to shock you, simply because the cars are so rare on the road now. In fact, even the latest car on this list is now proving to be a rather unusual spot.

By 10 November 2015 61 Comments Read More →
News : 4000-mile Allegro hits the market

News : 4000-mile Allegro hits the market

Craig Cheetham A 1974 Austin Allegro Super with just 4111 miles on the clock has appeared for sale at an MG dealership in Northern Ireland. Offered for sale by SS Logan and Son Limted of Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim, the 1974 Series 1 Super is finished in period Blaze Orange, with black vinyl interior and the Allegro’s celebrated […]

Blog : Never work with animals, children or Austin Allegros…

Blog : Never work with animals, children or Austin Allegros…

Craig Cheetham I’ve had a fair few Allegros over the years… Back when I passed my test, in 1994, my first car was a 1979 Allegro 1.1 and that was the very reason for me recently spending the day as the chief custodian of such a vehicle… In my day job, I work for a […]

Tech : Recharging Hydragas spheres

Tech : Recharging Hydragas spheres

The main problem with Hydragas is that, over time, the sealed units would lose gas and become less effective. Alexander Boucke describes the steps involved in getting your Hydragas suspended car back into rude health Update: More than 11 years after the initial work, the first units that were fitted to a Maxi in autumn […]

News : Fully Equipe-d… (and your chance to own a piece of Allegro history)

News : Fully Equipe-d… (and your chance to own a piece of Allegro history)

Craig Cheetham Allegro Equipes are like buses, then – and I’m not referring to the gearbox whine (even if my old Allegro 1750 did used to sound a lot like the Leyland National that took me to school every morning as a nipper). Three at once, though? According to Allegro Club Chairman Paul Vincent (left […]

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Allegro

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Allegro

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

Essay : Overture to the Allegro

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

Concepts and prototypes : Allegro Equipe

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 […]

Technical : Hydragas explained

Technical : Hydragas explained

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 […]

By 11 December 2012 15 Comments Read More →
Tested : Kadett vs Allegro vs Lancer

Tested : Kadett vs Allegro vs 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 : A-Series

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

Picture gallery : Austin Allegro

A few images from Allegro sales brochures…

Celebration : Allegro at 30

Celebration : Allegro at 30

For June 2003, we are doing something different for the Car of the Month feature…. In May 1973, the replacement for the seminal Austin 1100/1300 – for many years, the UK’s best selling car – was launched to the world’s press. For a long time, the car was known to many in automotive circles as […]

The converters : Crayford-Spikins Allegro

The converters : Crayford-Spikins Allegro

Soon after the Allegro was launched, Twickenham-based dealers Spikins saw the potential for a convertible version, and began to produce this Crayford-designed conversion. Tested by Mike McCarthy in MOTOR magazine shortly after its launch, he summed up that it was the logical, but expensive successor to the Minor Convertible. Alfresco Allegro SUMMER. Summer is lazing […]

The cars : Innocenti Regent

The cars : Innocenti Regent

THE Italian Allegro, that it seemed, no one wanted… Short and not-so sweet THERE’S not much to say really about the Innocenti Regent. This version of the Allegro was produced in Italy under licence during 1974 and 1975, and lasted a scant 18 months in production. The Italians allegedly begged British Leyland to let it […]

In-house designs : Vanden Plas

In-house designs : Vanden Plas

Vanden Plas prototypes The coachbuilding firm of Vanden Plas had been purchsed by Austin in 1946, and thus became part of the BMC empire that was created by the merger of Austin and Morris in 1952. Until the end of the 1950s, the factory at Kingsbury in north-west London was chiefly used for the production […]

Car of the Month : October 2005

Car of the Month : October 2005

YOU might know this car better as ‘Molly, the Beige Babe’ – the car that conveyed Keith Adams, Alexander Boucke and Declan Berridge to Naples in September 2005, but it has gone on to a new life in Germany. Now owned by Martin Blum, from Cologne, this very special Allegro 1500 will form the centrepiece […]