News : 1981 220-mile Austin Allegro goes up for sale

Austin Allegro

A 354km (220 mile), unregistered Austin Allegro Series 3 has come up for sale, some 41 years after leaving the production line at Longbridge… but there is a catch – you’ll need to get across to Denmark to get it bought.

We love how oddities like this continue to appear after all these years – and, for lovers of low-mileage cars, this one is a humdinger. The seller describes it as being a little careworn and, as can be seen from the photos, it looks honest enough without a trace of rust, that we can see.

But at a price of DKK 35,000, or around £3900, we can see this one finding a new home quite easily. The car is described as having just, ‘354km from new, and it really does drive like a new car.’ It’s a definite case of trying before you buy because the accompanying images aren’t exactly brilliant and there isn’t much in the way of description.

The seller is also offering the car tested and ready to go. For UK buyers, it will still need registering and MoT’ing for use here – but the idea of driving it away from Sæby in Vestsjalland on Danish plates for DKK 42,000 (or around £4700) is very appealing to us.

This Allegro is interesting because it looks like a base model Allegro 1.1 and sports quad headlights. Danish model cars had these as standard, sharpening up the look of the car.

And the story of the car? How did it survive with just 220 miles on the clock? It came from the Næstved Technical College, where students learned servicing on it. The Allegro was sold from there in 1991 and ended up in the hands of a collector – who has finally sold it on. It will be interesting to see where it ends up next –  with such a low mileage, it clearly deserves to be cherished.


Keith Adams


  1. I just read the headline about it only doing 220 miles to Annie at breakfast. Her response was “Gosh, the guy hated it that much?”
    Harsh, Very harsh.

  2. In fetching turd brown. 40 years on, and even the technical college students couldn’t make the passenger door fit properly. Good old BL. No wonder Zenvo haven’t managed to produce many cars if all their staff learned their skills on that heap of junk.

    • @ Lucy P, Vauxhall had a similar colour for base model Mark 2 Cavaliers, and the previous generation Cavalier and Chevette had a chicken soup yellow that was equally dismal, so poor paint colours weren’t always a Leyland thing. Mind you, the bottom must have been reached with Leyland Limeflower.

      • Absolutely. I had been under the impression that Limeflower was the shade I now know[thanks to this site) to be Citron. Limeflower is such an attractive sounding name, I was distressed to realise it actually denoted that disgusting snot green.

      • The Vaux colours Glenn mentions could have been Colorado Beige or Pastel Beige (perhaps Signal yellow on the Cavalier MK1?) I remember the orangey brown tone on Cav MK2

      • The similar colour offered by Vauxhall in the early eighties was called Brazil Brown. I’d assumed it was only available on lower trim levels. But I’ve just consulted my September ‘83 Vauxhall Opel catalogue 🙂 At that time this charming brown was actually available on the following: Nova Base, L and SR; Chevette L; Astra Base, L and GL; Cavalier Base, L, GL and GLS; Carlton L, GL and CD. I can’t imagine many (or any?) Brazil Brown Carlton CDs were sold. But a Brazil Brown Nova SR would perhaps look quite nice, especially with its grey lower body.

  3. An interesting car nonetheless. Is that colour the famous Russet brown? A two door version as well… I wonder what the UK list price for this model was in 1981.

    • @ Hilton D, if it was the base L model, I’d imagine somewhere around £ 3000. Also the 1.1 was replaced in 1981 by a 1 litre engine on base models, which was even slower and offered nothing over the 1.3. And yes, I think this is the famous Russet Brown, that most people associate with later Allegros. At least they’d dumped that pale blue paint shade that made Allegros look like Invacars.

  4. Am I alone in thinking that the four headlight Allegro looked like a Halfrauds after-market special? The original All-Aggro might have been a munter but at least its nose had some connection to the rest of the body and didn’t look like a bolt-on afterthought

    • You are not alone. The original is ever so Seventies but nowhere near as bad as many would have it. Allegro 3 is simply awful. The black bumpers and chin spoiler simply don’t belong, looking as you say like accessory shop add-ons. The quad headlights crammed in to the narrow grille are downright comical, giving the car a somewhat cross-eyed, peering expression. Garnish with Halfords-esque wheel trims and there you have it. A mess.

  5. I remember my local Technical College in the UK had a new Rover 216 SLi in the 1990s for students to practice on. The car was left hand drive and had been part of a consignment that had suffered flood damage between the factory and delivery to the dealers, although you couldn’t tell. Just looked like a brand new car. Rover gave them away to educational institutions rather than scrapping them. I remember seeing the bright red car gleaming one day then with a big sanded area of filler on the rear quarter the next. As well as mechanical training they would occasionally whack it with a sledge hammer to practice body repairs!

  6. Allegro was never much of a looker but I have to agree it looked ‘best’ in original form. By the time this one was made it just looked sad. Goes to show how far the company had fallen from the heady days of ‘Peak BL’ in 1971.

  7. I’m probably alone by saying the the Allegro 3 looked the best, especially as BL actually had some (but not all!) nice paint colours by the early 1980s & quality control was beginning to be taken seriously by them.

    Brown stopped being popular in the early 1980s, but I remember Vauxhall having a semi metallic brown well into the decade, the friend of my Dad had a B reg Cavalier in this shade.

    • In the early 80s I had an Opel Manta Coupe (almost a Cavalier Coupe) which was a dark metallic brown. It wasn’t too bad and I wasn’t embarrassed by it….helped by the fact that it was a great car to drive.

  8. I see everyone is mocking those oh so 70’s shades but how will we look in a few, well 20 years time. Grey is to common these days and with VW only offering shiney primer grey as its only std colour it will only get worse. Remember many company car drivers are not allowed to add extras or if they choose extras have to pay for them themselves. My employers policy is just that. Add up the price of extras divide by the length of the lease contract and pay for it monthly from your salary. Oh and if you leave you get a bill for the outstanding balance. So the complelty std car in the std grey it will be.

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