The Austin Allegro brings to mind Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky and his review of the German Hoffman car. In the video review, he concludes that every possible decision taken while designing the vehicle has been the absolute wrong one. That might not be the case with the Allegro, but it is difficult to follow the thought process where this design has been the end result. This was the best they could agree on.
But still, there’s something about the dumpy, wilfully ugly blob that I find endearing. It’s perfectly easy to liken it to a bulldog with some deeply regrettable genetic faults, but every dog has its day.
This image and the lede shot are some of the best pictures I’ve seen of the Allegro. They emphasise the square face in the round nose, the tall-tired stance, the somewhere-in-there panel gaps, the all-encompassing roundness. The tomato red Allegro really looks like it has been fashioned from a pumpkin.
And in the rear, no hatchback. That would have been too utilitarian for the Allegro, and it took until the 1975 estate version to rectify the loading capability dwarfed by the small opening.
In this X-ray image of the Innocenti Regent version, you see the tall engine that forbid the original design’s more sloping nose to be used. Yes, there was an Italian version manufactured for two years.
[youtube width=”720″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxYjCHGzXGs[/youtube]
Of course, the Allegro was also available as the Vanden Plas 1500 with an even taller grille.
Not all Allegros had the square “Quartic” steering wheel, and the Vanden Plas always came with the round one.
I might not be the first person to find the merits buried deep inside the Allegro’s amazingly misguided appearance, but I would drive one for a day, two, week or a fortnight. Ownership, however, would be a completely different proposition.