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 of one German’s extensive British car collection. And we couldn’t be more delighted to see Molly fall into the hands of such an enthusiastic new owner…

IF it hadn’t been for Alexander Boucke and Declan Berridge, this month’s CoTM may well have never happened. On day two of the Staples2Naples challenge, Keith Adams began to consider the future of the team’s Allegro 1500 Special. It wasn’t as if it had really put a foot majorly wrong on the drive down – because as you’ll have read in the event report, apart from a slight water leak, and a clonk from the suspension, it hadn’t. This re-consideration was down more to a clash of personalities between Molly and Keith…

In the end the suggestion was made – how about scrapping Molly in Naples and taking something else back? Unsurprisingly, both Declan and Alexander were up in arms about this proposal and railed against it. As they both reasoned, why kill a perfectly good car, that someone would dearly love to call their own. In fact, judging by the grin on Alexander’s face after one or two demanding drives, he actually developed a great deal of respect for Molly – if only he could get past her ugliness…

In the end, the discussion was short – Keith agreed, and Alexander took Molly back to Germany.

Alexander worked hard to make Molly gleam again after the indignity of wearing her rally decals on the Staples2Naples challenge…

As it transpired, Keith would probably have baulked at killing Molly, because although they didn’t see eye to eye, he did find Molly charming in the right circumstances. Aside from that, Molly did deliver the team to Naples, in an event that saw a lot of newer and more well-fancied cars falling by the wayside. That alone, made Molly something of a gentle heroine.

Keith did begin to warm to Molly on the drive back, but only from the vantage point of his ‘new’ car, a rather bland Volkswagen Polo. Why appreciate Molly from here? Well, it gave Declan and Keith the opportunity to watch Molly in action on some demanding roads, and it was obvious that in the right hands, she could be made to hussle through some of the most demanding roads in Europe in quite an elegant way.

And from the rear, she looked quite good on the road.

Quartic wheel and fake wood – should go down a bomb in Germany…

Once back in Aachen, Alexander contacted his BL-mad friend Martin Blum, to see if he would be interested in taking on Molly. After all, he already owned a 1979 Seneffe-built Allegro 1500 Special, so this would be the ideal opportunity to expand his collection to include the older equivalent of his beloved car. A deal was struck sight unseen, and Martin agreed to take on Molly – in fact, he was very enthusiastic about the prospect.

So, Molly now wears German plates, and is in the hands of an appreciative owner.

It is a genuinely good end to a great story. Somehow, we think that Martin and Molly will be very happy together.

Martin in between his two 1500 Specials. On the left, ‘Miss Marple’, and on the right, ‘Molly’… Somehow we think Molly will fit well in her new home in Cologne…

All pictures: Alexander Boucke.

Keith Adams
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