Wilhelm Burger

Austin Allegro 1500

The Allegro was made by British Leyland (nicknamed "British Elend" by local "experts") and basically was a larger version of the famous Austin Mini. Obviously, extra headlights were fashionable (and even considered indespensible) at the time. "The only car that comes with a square steering wheel from dealer!"

Here the Allegro parks in front of a Hungarian Csárda. I also drove the car to England, where people wondered why anybody outside the UK would ever buy such a car. Today, the Allegro is still being ridiculed as the ultimately ugly car in British comedy shows (see below). I don't think that's quite fair, though.

The Allegro had a hydro-pneumatic suspension which was much simpler than Citroen's famous system, but also less comfortable. The car was quick but noisy and difficult to handle on ice and snow because of it's overweight front. Interestingly, the car had a single, common oil sump for both the engine and the transmission. This never made a problem, but the engine eventually died by blowing the cylinder head gasket. Technically, these cars had no good reputation and it seems no incidence that they have all disappeared by now. I have not seen a single one in recent years.

The Austin Allegro is featured regularly in BBC's "Swiss Tony" comedy show (left).

The unofficial British Leyland home page says:
The Allegro is a rare example of a car which singularly failed to improve upon the model it was intended to replace...