Alexander Boucke has reconnected with a car that had a place in the hearts of all the team on AROnline. It’s the Austin Allegro 1500 Special that took us to Italy in 2005 on a very enjoyable banger rally.
The car is now in the hands of Martin Blum from Germany, and he has finally promoted it to the front of his queue of classic cars to put on the road…
Ex-Staples2Naples Allegro: Barn finds are easy to create
Long time readers of AROnline will probably remember Molly, the 1975 Allegro 1500 Special, which Keith Adams, Declan Berridge and I took on for an adventure for the Staples2Naples banger rally in 2005. After returning to my hometown of Aachen in Germany and becoming Car of the Month in October 2005, it was sold to Allegro enthusiast Martin Blum.
Although he has not used the Allegro for many years, Martin has decided that it would be fun to join the big 50th anniversary bash for the Allegro next year using Molly on another pan-European adventure.
The car has been laid up for well over a decade in a barn not far away, collecting lots of dust and four additional square wheels in the process. She actually refused to leave her cosy resting place by locking up one rear wheel, making the effort to push her into daylight quite an effort for Martin and some of his friends.
It arrives, blinking in the sunlight
Markus La Tendresse from the RetroGarage in Stolberg, who sympathetically keeps my Citroën XM on the road (yes, it is still running!), was persuaded to take on the job of coaxing Molly back to life in this Austin Allegro recommission. At least there are Nitrogen spheres and some green liquid in the suspension department to allow it blend with the Citroëns that grace his workshop!
Even after a good wash the Allegro did not really look like the spotless classic, we have such good memories of from the Staples2Naples 2005 banger rally. Rose-tinted spectacles and all that… Markus, having no emotional attachment to Molly, was more rational in his expectations and was not expecting a rosy picture of Allegroness as he began his examination.
However, a first look around the car on the lift was actually quite positive and didn’t reveal many horrors at all, again bearing testament to the Allegro’s rustproofing. In fact, the underside looks pleasingly sound. The engine turns freely, the clutch seems to work (it should, it was new for the rally – Ed), apart from the inoperative right-hand indicators, all the electrics work too. With a bit of luck, the Allegro may be back on the road with ‘just’ a very extended service. New brakes, new fluids, new tyres, a new radiator…
To be continued.
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