Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Getting Allegro Over


You don't see many Austin Allegros around these days. Ask anyone who had one and they'd probably give you a few good reasons why. I seem to remember they had a peculiar almost square steering wheel. But I couldn't resist this one, parked up at a local garage. It was an extremely rare convertible model (I think you had to do the conversion yourself with a chainsaw) in an impossibly bright shade of orange. But just look at the badge. Not just redolent of the age, anytime between 1973 and 1983 surprisingly, but of every Yes album cover, 70's boutique window and post-hippy designer's letterhead. In their absorbing book My Dad Had One of Those, Giles Chapman and Richard Porter come up with the astounding fact that the Allegro was 'supposedly more aerodynamic in reverse than going forwards'.

4 comments:

Ron Combo said...

Could be a myth but I heard once that if one was towing a caravan or boat with an Allegro and tried to reverse all the doors would burst open.

Justin Savage said...

That steering wheel was marketed as 'Quartic' by British Leyland. My mate Tony Sinclair (who now writes and restores Land-Rovers for 'Land-Rover World') used to service Allegros when they were all fresh and new. And yes, Ron Combo, the doors would fly open if you tried to tow a 'van with one.

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