Our Cars : Martin’s Austin Allegro – Back in the UK again

Molly is on her way to the big birthday party. Her first time back to the UK’s roads since she left for the 2005 Staples to Naples bash.

Photography : Gregor Ehresmann and Alexander Boucke


How minuscule an Allegro looks between the current crop of cars

After all the work was finished, Molly passed her test with flying colours. Martin and co-owner Gregor could finally start using her. It was actually quite uneventful, given the fact that the Allegro had a rest of nearly two decades. During their ever increasing journeys only two small hiccups needed mending.

The most significant was when the clutch slave cylinder started to leak, which meant a trip back to the workshop on a trailer. E-Series gearboxes are not known for the best gear change and using them without a working clutch is a rather unpleasant exercise – to be fair, though, the gear change quality in this particular Allegro is quite reasonable.

Slightly surprising was the oil pressure light coming on suddenly at all speeds below 1800rpm – surely, this could not be down to wear in the engine or oil pump? It turned out to be a sticking oil pressure relief valve. On close inspection, it was obviously faulty when it left the factory and someone had already tried to file down the edges of the bypass drilling in the past to keep it from sticking – it was pure luck that this had not happened to us during the rally back in 2005. Even more surprisingly, a local dealer had a new one in stock!

Before heading off to Gaydon, one longer journey was planned as the last shake-down test: a 400-mile round trip to the railway museum in Utrecht, Netherlands. The car performed absolutely faultless and Gregor, who had no personal experience with older cars before getting his hands on Molly’s square steering wheel, enjoyed the experience a lot.

Steering Molly through the streets of Utrecht

Yesterday, news reached us that Molly and her crew had made it across the English Channel and were continuing towards Gaydon for the 50th Anniversary party being organised by the Allegro Club International at Gaydon on Sunday, 14 May. Maybe some of our readers will spot her there…

Alexander Boucke

5 Comments

  1. Nice to see it on the road Sticking oil pressure relief valve was a very common fault when new

    • Interestingly I was not aware of regular problems with the oil pressure relief valve on E-series, despite driving E-series cars since more than 35 years now. So I thought this to be a rather un-common problem. I usually connect such kind of problems to the A-series.

  2. Loving the very seventies dashboard with all the fake wood, the chunky looking rocker switches and the hefty looking silver effect radio. Also the minimalism and simplicity is quite refreshing on the Allegro: a pod containing the speedo, the fuel and temperature gauges, and thw warning lights, is seventies style infotainment, along with the simple to use radio.

  3. A tidy looking little car. The photo of it next to two modern cars shows how characterless cars have become. Long may Molly survive.

  4. From a very young age I always Loved BMC cars looked good and different to the boring fords around then my last job was 36 years in a ford dealership supplying parts for cars still never liked them

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