Blog : Why I love the Two Ronnies

Keith Adams

The Morris Ital : Perfectly matched with the Two Ronnies...

Just like washed out Bank Holiday weekends and warm beer, there’s something quintessentially English about the Two Ronnies. So who better to advertise that most English of car ranges, the Austin-Morris line-up from 1981. Would you be persuaded to jump into an Ital after watching this little advert? I probably would, but then I can be a little unhinged at times…


Keith Adams


  1. Am I alone in thinking that the Allegro was quite a good looking car, at least from some angles? The one with the twin headlights at the start of the Youtube video does’nt look bad at all. OK, so the production car was not as sleek as the early Harris Mann sketches, and it is not as neat as the 1100/1300 (I love 1100s), but the Allegro does not deserve all the cheap shots that get fired at it (and I do mean you, Mr Clarkson). Rather have an Allegro than the contemporary offerings from Renault, Fiat, etc. Someone is going to say that Mk I Golf was miles better (and I’d agree), but just imagine if they had made an Alfasud that did’nt rust…….

  2. Ital: So it’s “Goodnight” from me.

    Allegro: And it’s “Goodnight” from him.

    Both: Goodnight!

  3. You can guarantee that if The Two Ronnies were going today, Corbett would be Hammond and Barker would be Clarkson in a saucy spoof of Top Gear…

  4. “Can I look over your new Ital?……

    …Not with out a drum of Dinitrol as its rusted to bits”.

    And still none the wiser as to what you got under the Double Bonus deal….

  5. That was their 2nd commercial for Austin Morris, according to Wikipedia:

    ‘Barker and Corbett also made a number of advertisements that appeared on ITV, most notably for British Leyland (Austin/Morris) in 1979 where Corbett played a villain on the run and, “needing some wheels”, gets salesman Barker to show him round the Austin Morris range.’

    Anyone remember that one or better yet have a clip?

  6. Maybe I’m crazy, but that yellow Ital at the top of the page looks quite sharp to me. I always liked the beefed up rear light clusters of the Ital. The front end was a bit plain Jane though. What did you get with the double bonus? Did you have to buy two cars? A Princess for him and an Allegro for her lol.

  7. The JOB code looks like this was the Longbridge press fleet.

    Ronnie Corbett got to drive a green-brown Allegro in Sorry.

  8. Agree with PeterJ that the Ital looked pretty sharp from some angles.
    Reminded me of ARG’s Ital launch advert on TV featuring a black 1700
    saloon example being flung about the place in vaugely exciting fashion.

    Amongst all the waffle about it accelerating faster than a Mercedes 200,
    (but what 1600-plus saloon didn’t back then FPS?) I noted later they were
    very careful not to reveal any clear ‘Marina-esque’ views of the car.

    Even on the last crowning 3/4 frontal ‘money shot’ the angle was shallow
    enough to hide the shape of the doors, but did manage to reveal the shiny
    new modern-style door handles.

    Had me fooled for a while, as I didn’t know about this latest Marina
    facelift – but one glance in the local dealers showroom window the next
    week cruelly displayed those familiar Marina doors, (even though now sans
    front quaterlights) which it’s fancy new blue colour paint could not hide.

    Once the doors were noticed, other details like the roof pressing, C-pillar vents and gawky narrow track all screamed ‘Marina!’ at the young teenage me
    very quickly…

    My fault really – should have noticed the depressing Leyland signiture LHD wipers on the TV ad car in the first place.

  9. The Ital was dated and only a light reskin of the Marina, but what else could British Leyland do at the time as the Montego and Maestro were still 3-4 years away? It was an attempt to update an aged, but still quite successful, range of cars and once the Acclaim arrived the following year, and probably stole some sales from the Ital, the Ital merely lived on as a budget family car. However, for your four grand in 1982 you could buy a fairly spacious and economical family car that was easy to maintain and acceptably reliable.

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