The cars : Innocenti Regent development story

The Italian Allegro that, it seemed, no one wanted…


Short and not-so sweet

(Picture: Gaetano Zagra)
(Picture: Gaetano Zagra)

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 cease production, such was its lack of appeal. The ploy worked, because it was dropped so the company could concentrate on production of its successful Mini model.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why this most Italian of Allegros didn’t keep the Italianate-sounding name, it comes down to meaning – in Italian, the word ‘allegro’ can mean cheerful or bright as in music, but it can also mean merry or drunk…


Gallery

Not even the Italians were spared the indignity of the legendary Quartic steering wheel.
Not even the Italians were spared the indignity of the legendary Quartic steering wheel

Keith Adams

6 Comments

  1. I think the charcoal interior works well as opposed to the faux wood,perhaps product planners derived inspiration from a pre-production electrical fire damaged bolshie worker built example?

  2. The charcoal and black interior is smart with ther red exterior. ( It must have been designed by a CLAIRVOYANT – such an interior colour scheme would look pretty much up-to-date TODAY! Anybody who has one of these cars would have one that would be good to own TODAY!

  3. The black and charcoal interior colours are very nice, with the red exterior.
    These interior colours could have been chosen by a CLAIRVOYANT. The interior colours would look good in cars of TODAY. Anybody who owns one of these cars NOW is very lucky indeed!

  4. The slow-to-rust Allegro would not appeal to an Italian, Italians preferred to buy fast-to-rust cars

  5. It is surprising Innocenti did not have the same freedom to change the exterior to the same extent they previously enjoyed with ADO16, could they have gotten away with giving the Regent a pair of single round headlamps in place of the existing Allegro headlamps?

    • The big difference between early 60s (ADO16) and 70s (Regent) was the circumstances the Innocenti car factory was in: In the 60s it was a luxury a wealthy company – the car (and particular body) making facility was a good way to show off the more important products – e.g. body presses. When the Allegro came around Innocenti was owned by BL and we know how much cash they had at hand for modifications…

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