The Austin Allegro represents the point at which – to the outsider – British Leyland lost the will to live. It was so much less appealing 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.
And that reputation for failure stuck with the Allegro for many, many years after it ceased production in 1982. And for many older car fans, it still holds true to this day. It’s marked out by its strange looks, lack of build quality, reliability issues and that infamous quartic steering wheel. But the good points such as a wide choice of engines from 1.0-litre through to 1750cc, compliant Hydragas suspension, five gears and a distinctive character are well worth noting.
Some cult appeal nowadays as the ideal starter classic for the impecunious. The 1979 Equipe special edition is worth double the money of its standard counterpart, and all are slowly rising in value as numbers thin.