Blog: Picked up an Allegro

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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I’m beginning to feel a little smug now. After spending a bit of time with ‘Molly the beige babe’ – AKA a 1975 Allegro 1500 Special – our Staples2Naples transport, I now understand why it managed to worm its way into the affections of its previous owner, Richard Gunn…

Okay, it’s never going to win any beauty contests thanks to it coming in a most amazing combination of Harvest Gold, black vinyl and purple, but it has to be said that this car oozes character from every single one of its rather wide panel gaps. Yes, despite my long running love/hate relationship with the Austin Allegro, I found myself grinning from ear to ear as I drove down the A605 in the heat of a summer’s evening.

It manages to squeal like a stuck pig when taken round any bends at anything more than walking pace, but if you forget this amusing character flaw, it is actually a rather competent machine to cruise the highways and byways of Britain in. Change up early, enjoy the torque, marvel in the superior ride quality and watch the world go by as you listen to another Seventies song on the LW/MW radio casette player. You’ll be enjoying yourself so much, you’ll not realise you’re bowling along at way above the legal limit…

So, we’ll not be breaking any speed records for ageing BL products (like we did in the 216GTi last year), on our way down to Naples this September, but we will make good progress, and in a good deal of comfort. I fancy Alexander feels we’re in with a chance of winning this year’s (more relaxed) challenge…

So why the smugness?

Well… the car has 33,000 miles on the clock and feels reasonably tight and rattle free. And although it has one or two laughter lines you’d associate with BL cars of this era, I reckon Molly is one heck of a solid old bus… So, I’ll whack in a service, put some better tyres on it, and Alexander and I will enjoy the drive back from Naples… via the Nurburgring…

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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