1981 Austin Allegro SaloonTFE 475W - 1981 Austin Allegro Saloon 1.5L

This vehicle was first registered on 10 November 1980, and was donated to the museum in 1998 by Mr J E Day of Newark.

Austin Morris Group, British Leyland UK, launched the Allegro at the Earls Court Motor Show in May 1973. It has front wheel drive, and engines from 1100 cc through to 1750cc were available. It had hydrogas suspension and a quirky 'quartic' steering wheel.

The early cars lacked build quality. They leaked and the rear screen popped out when they were jacked up in the wrong place or suspend towed. The Allegro was described by a Daily Mail columnist as “put together by communists who were usually on strike or asleep on the night shift.” This was a bad time for the car industry, with strikes, disruption, and labour relations at a low ebb. A three-day working week and power cuts for all. That was the 1970’s.

The Metropolitan Police ordered 657 Allegros to replace the Morris Minor as 'panda cars' and replaced the odd shaped steering wheel with a conventional one. Twelve months later a conventional steering wheel was fitted to all Allegros at the factory.

The Series 2 Allegro came out in 1975 but could not compete with the likes of the Golf or Alfa Sud. However, sales still went well and the Allegro continued in production through to the 1980’s, its styling remaining unchanged - over 600,000 were sold over its 10 years of production.

The Allegro 3 was launched in 1979, using the 'A Plus' version of the A-Series engine used on earlier Allegros, and a number of cosmetic changes. The Allegro was eventually replaced by the Maestro in 1983.

The Allegro is now a much sought after vehicle and has become a modern day classic. People are beginning to remember how roomy, economical and cheap to repair this vehicle was. With the help of a donation from Lincolnshire County Council we were able to carry out necessary repairs to this vehicle and display it at the 2007 Castle Rally.

April 2005 - The society's youngest Austin car has had a new battery fitted together with a battery isolator switch. It is hoped to have the rusty bodywork repaired then MOT'd ready for the Annual Rally at Lincoln Castle in June.

July 2005 - Unfortunately the work required to the body has not yet taken place. It is hoped that this will be carried out within the next few months.

April 2007 - After extensive bodywork attention the Allegro has passed its MOT test. (Yippee!!) More work will be carried out including taking the front screen out to repair the bodywork in that area. Brake repairs have been necessary - new cylinder bits and hoses. New front tyres. It is currently being repainted. It will need a replacement radiator and still requires a n/s door mirror.

July 2007 - The radiator had several bad leaks so a new core was required. This thankfully turned out a lot cheaper than the Chev’s radiator. The new radiator has been fitted by Carl, together with two door-mounted mirrors. The Allegro attended the Castle Rally.

October 2008 - The Allegro has received a replacement water pump - no more wet Museum floor!

July 2011 - New rubber seals have been fitted to the clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder together with a new connecting hose.

January 2017 - A start is being made on repairing the Allegro's suspension and cooling system.

page updated 3.2.18