Okay – an old feature momentarily resurrected, because when a mate pointed this out to me I had to share my incredulity…
I can’t decide if it’s the price, the car or the fact that someone decided to do a full nut and bolt job on a Doom Blue Allegro Estate that astounds me the most, so here it is for your delight and delectation. And before anyone accuses me of being an Allegro knocker, allow me to steer you very quickly away from that notion – I’ve owned as many Allegros as I’ve owned Rover 800s (nine apiece) and have loved them all in their own quirky, trying-as-hard-as-they-possibly-could kind of way. I also acknowledge – and as a motoring journalist have been laughed at multiple times for insisting as much – that the Allegro was one of the best made cars of the 1970s. Seriously… They were far more corrosion resistant than any of their European or Japanese peers and, if you opted for the venerable A-Series under the bathtub-shaped bonnet, then nothing serious ever went wrong, because there was nothing serious to go wrong.
My first Allegro was bought for me by my dad. £200, and chosen specifically because I wouldn’t show off in front of my mates in it. Being a two-door in Vermillion, it quickly earned the nickname ‘General Lee’, and as for showing off, let’s just say I once drove past the science labs at Sixth Form College with a mate ‘windsurfing’ on the roof…. It was harpooned by a Ford Fiesta in 1994 and replaced by another Allegro, this time costing all of £280. My cheapest Allegro was free, most of the next five cost me between £50 and £300 and the one I paid ‘proper money’ for (£750) actually turned out to be the most rotten of the lot.
So, £5,250? Maybe for an ultra-rare Crayford convertible, a mint Equipe or a concours Series I 1750 Sport Special, but a Series 3 1.3L Estate? I absolutely doff my cap to the brave soul who took it upon themselves to restore it to such a high standard, and the detail is beautiful. I’ll also make no secret of the fact that I love a lowly trim level that gets restored and/or preserved as these are the cars that often disappear for good, hence why I was so sorely tempted by the mushroom-coloured Rover 820e at Anglia Car Auctions the other week.
But no matter how lovely the Allegro (in a relative sense, of course), surely they can’t be worth this much?
Judge for yourself at this link…
Oh, and while we’re at it, not BLARG, but check this one out as well, not least because I fell in love with it…
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