Who Remembers .......

Started by: tonker (23048) 

.... back in the 70's .....

..... wait for it .....

........ the Austin Allegro, which had a square steering wheel !

I bet someone on here actually bought one?

Started: 10th Jan 2021 at 22:43

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

Yes I did

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 22:49

Posted by: PeterP (8306)

If you were posh you bought the Allegro vandan plas

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 22:55

Posted by: Pewfall (103) 

reminded me of tanks

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 23:00

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

Mine was a 1750 HLS

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 23:01

Posted by: Pewfall (103) 

had a curious look on interweb TTS for the HLS, dont remember any wiv 4 round headlights

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 23:20

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

Mine didn't have 4 round headlights, just the usual square one's. but it defenitly was a 1750 HLS and it went like shit off a shovel

Replied: 10th Jan 2021 at 23:44

Posted by: tonker (23048) 

" it went like shit off a shovel "

I'll bet it did! With it's Seventy-odd horsepower and it's square steering wheel?

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 01:29
Last edited by tonker: 11th Jan 2021 at 01:31:26

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

It had ninety horses.

I remember it having twin carbs, and google says they were SU's, but I could swear the bugger I had were Stromberg's.

I had a Triumph Dolomite, the 1850 and that had twin Stromberg's

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 11:55

Posted by: tomplum (7122) 

Tommy 2 stroke, you must have had the later model because
the wheels fell off the first ones

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 12:57

Posted by: sonlyme (2786)

My first car was a 1954 ford prefect three speed.The wipers worked of the manifold so the faster you drove the slower the wipers went.Occasionall one wiper worked loose and had a feyt with the other in the middle of the windscreen.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 15:41

Posted by: momac (11307) 

My first car was a little Morris Minor which I hated at the time,but I wish I had one now...finished up with Ford Cortina Estate which was really a dream to drive,but still love the little moggy.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 15:56

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

It was an Allegro 2 and I bought it from a banger sale at the BL dealers, who were on Leigh Road just near to the junction of Bickershaw Lane, it was either Hindley Green or Westleigh.

I was short of a car, and extremely broke, and looking around this car lot of bangers, they belonged in a scrapyard, so as I was walking out I was walking past this Allegro, and I hated them, because everyone hated them, but just on a whim I decided to have a look at this piece of shit.
So with a smirk on me face I opened the drivers door, and the door was quite stiff, and so the first thing I would check on a banger, would be the mileage, and see if the mileage matched the condition of the vehicle, and first check was to see how much the door had dropped, which is to check for up and down play in the door hinges, and on this car there was none, and I looked at the door hinges, and there was grease on them.
The mileage was almost on 50,000 and the car was 10 years old, which was quite low mileage, and a careful eye on the odometer, suggested that the car had not been 'clocked' the numbers were lined up perfectly, and there were no finger marks on the black speedo panel.
I then noticed the smell of the car, it smelt like a car, and not like a banger, not damp, not oily and no tobacco, stale cigarette smells.
So intrigued I carefully examined the interior, and the back seats looked like they had never been sat on, and there was hardly any signs of wear on the front seats, the carpets were not worn, and the pedal rubbers looked almost new.

I then said one word "clean" ,,, and then "very clean" and so I shut the door and stepped back, and I was just thinking of walking off and continuing on me way, and I looked at the outside of the car, and it looked awful, in complete contrast to the interior which looked 'mint' and it was that contrast which intrigued me, that eccentricity in me which makes me look at things in a different way, that part of me which will stick up for the underdog

As I said the car looked awful, it was that orrible, olive green colour with black trim, and it made me feel like puking, because it was the colour of puke

It always looked dirty, even when it was clean

So I then said out loud "what a piece of shit" and thought why am I even looking at it ?

As I turned away I then looked back and thought 'where do these rust' because I was very familiar with ford cars of the same mid 1970s vintage, and I knew where they rusted, and it was mainly fords which I had been looking at in this car banger lot, Cortina's, Escorts a Capri, and a Granada, and they were all riddled with rust

So one last look for maybe future reference, and why the car is in front of me with full access to it, so I looked at the bodywork closely, for rust spots, this was on the drivers side, I couldn't see any, so I opened the driver's door,and knelt down to examine the 'sill' because all sills on cars of that age have some degree of rust in them, but there was none on top of the sill, so I felt underneath the sill at the same time as bending down to look underneath the sill, and see what I could see of the underneath of the car, but the sill was solid, so I thought it was a new sill, but when I looked under the car it was obvious that it was the original sill, there was no sign of welding and it being painted over, so I was puzzled, and then I reached under car and bashed the driver's footwell panel, with me hand, and it was solid, and the underseal was solid, it wasn't even flaking off, never mind the metal rusting, so to cut the story short I could not find any rust on this vehicle what so ever, and I looked everywhere, and there was no sign of rustproofing which had been done, Waxoyle or Ziebart type treatments, the bodyshell of that Allegro at ten years old, was like the interior, it was in 'mint' condition.

In the boot the spare wheel had never been used, and all four tyres on the car looked to have very little wear on them, and in the engine bay, the engine and engine bay was clean, all the fluids were topped up and, there was no gunge on the inside of the oil filler cap, the coolant was clean, and stunk of unclefreeze, the battery was new, the colour of the oil on the dipstick, and the very clean condition of the oil filter suggested a very recent oil change, the air filter looked to be new, and the white on the spark plugs, suggested they had not been in the engine very long, and I had already noticed when looking for rust, that the car had a new exhaust system, which only looked to have been fitted in recent months.

One final check in the engine bay was on the condition of the radiator, which showed it to be OK, so I then stepped back from the vehicle and said out loud "bloody hell" but then I thought 'hang on, these have that stupid suspension system fitted' so I then to the best of my ability and knowing bugger all about 'Hydragas' Suspension Systems, I checked the suspension of the car, which seemed to be OK

So I then went to the portakabin, and asked for the key so I could listen to the engine, and wide boy in the portakabin, asked me if I wanted any other keys, for any of the other cars, to which I said "no" just that Allegro, and it fired up straight away, and the engine sounded as sweet as a nut, but saying that, I don't know what sweet nuts are supposed to sound like

The car was hemmed in on all sides by other vehicles, but there was an approximately 10ft long space in front of the vehicle, so it was a very short test drive

So apart from the fact that it was almost impossible to get a gear, I found that this was because the hydraulic clutch slave cylinder was leaking fluid, but reversing backwards and forwards, as best I could, I conclooded that the drive trained seemed to be OK, but proper testing was impossible, so that was a risk in buying that car, the clutch, gearbox, driveshafts, and wheel bearings and brakes etc could have been gooosed .... but they weren't

So I thought 'wot doo I doo here' ,, 'doo I want one of them' ?

Because most people I knew would have said that they would rather have caught a bus, than drive an Allegro. and I was one of them, so the prospect of buying an Allegro seemed to be barmy

So I took the keys back to wide boy in the portakabin, and as I gave the keys back to him, I noticed that all the documents for the bangers were on his desk in front of him, and these consisted of just the log books, and an MOT certificate stapled to the log book if the vehicle had one, they had taken the tax off all the vehicles, because they were sold as seen for spares or repair, that was a legal thing.

So I have asked "what is the mileage on the MOT for that Allegro" which was my way of asking if it had an MOT on it, and if it did how long did it have to run for, and had it been 'clocked' since the MOT, so he found the document and said "49000 and whatever it was, and it's got six months left on it" so that was reet, so then I said "what are you looking at for it" he hummed a bit and tutted, and blew a little bit and then said very clearly "that is low mileage, if that is what's on it I am looking for 95 pounds" so I replied "yep that is reet mileage for what's on it, but clutch is knackered" so he looked surprised and said "Oh" and looked across at
this chap in overalls who was sat at the side of the portakabin, this chap piped up straight away "yea that's right I couldn't get a gear in it, I had to start it on the key and reverse it straight in" he then looked at me and continued "I don't know how you have had it moving" that was referring to me driving it backwards and forwards in that 10ft space, wide boy then said "yea you got it moving" and he had a grin on his face, but I don't know what was funny about it.

Wide Boy then said cheekily "if your handy you could have a crack at the clutch yourself, so make us an offer" so without thinking about it, because if I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done it, and sometimes in this life folk say that you have just got to make the call, and roll the dice, but every time I did that I always bloody lost, and to this day me luck as never changed

So I replied "forty quid" he said "forty five" I said "done" and then I thought what have I DONE

So why his lads were shifting cars to get it out, and I was paying him, and he was writing the receipt, and he reminded me that it was sold as seen, and for spares and repairs, and that was that I said "I hope it doesn't conk out" and he said "and I hope it doesn't conk out"

So to cut the story short (and I bet yoo are glad) I was still insured for driving other cars on me old car insurance, which was still active, I drove it home, and after insuring it, and receiving the cover note, I taxed it and tried it out for proper, it needed a bit of blowing out, and the brakes needed to be worked loose, because they were that stiff they weren't balancing properly but some speedy cornering and braking did the trick and it was perfect, apart from it looking so bloody awful, and from hoping it wouldn't conk out on the way home from that garage, I ended up driving over to Yorkshire several times, and it never missed a beat, without any adjustments from me at all, it had obviously been well looked after and serviced regularly, it had two previous owners, and it looked to me that the previous owner to me, had spent some money on it, and had decided to get rid of the car because it was 10 years old, it looked awful, and it was starting to cost money.

I used it four months and then I got a job and I was using company vehicles, so I did not need a car of my own, and the Allegro was just parked up and its MOT was due, as was its tax, because I had only taxed it for six months, so although I am certain that it would have sailed through an MOT, the only value in the vehicle, was the value it was to me, which was nothing, and the company vehicles I were driving were brand new, so I scrapped it, but say what you like about Allegro's but mine was alright

And Tonker,,, it did go like shit off a shovel


I forgot to mention that on the way home I called at Wyndens in Hindley Green (remember them) and bought a large tin of hydraulic flooid, and when I got home I used me self bleeding kit for the clutch cyclinder, which was a £1 piece of tubing with a one way valve at one end of it and a corona pop bottle with the long neck, I bled the clutch system from the slave cylinder and replaced all of the hydrauli fluid, they didn't have a lot of fluid in them anyway, and the clutch pedal was rock solid, and worked perfectly, I meant to get round to replacing the slave cylinder, but I never did, because the leak was only very small requiring the fluid to be topped up every three weeeks of so.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 17:30
Last edited by Tommy Two Stroke: 11th Jan 2021 at 20:54:01

Posted by: peebee (531) 

Phew, what a great story.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 18:00

Posted by: tonker (23048) 

"the BL dealers, who were on Leigh Road just near to the junction of Bickershaw Lane, it was either Hindley Green or Westleigh."

Bickershaw Lane doesn't join Leigh Road.
Was it Tamar Motors?

0 to 60 in over 10 seconds? Shit off a shovel my arse!

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 18:44

Posted by: sonlyme (2786)

I used to live next door to the Mechanics or "maniacs" as it was affectionately called.I bought a polo coupe off tamar motors in the late eighties.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 18:56

Posted by: raymyjamie (6778)

Great story TTS, glad we got the shortened version !!!!!!!! LOL
When they first came out they were in great demand.
I went to the main Austin dealers on Manchester Rd in Westhoughton.
The Salesman was a right smug b*gger, he could sell every car he had in stock,.
There was no discounting, no special deals, and he offered me next to nothing for my car, so I simply walked away.
It’s amazing how technology has moved on, 90 odd horsepower from a 1750 cc engine.
My 1.2 litre petrol engined Skoda delivers 110 bhp.
The new Skoda Karoq which replaced mine is a 1.0 litre petrol engine and delivers 116 bhp.
Makes you wonder if they are pushing the engines to their limits and they won’t last.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 18:56

Posted by: basil brush (16183)

Hahahaha@ ray

We would have been here all night

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 19:09

Posted by: raymyjamie (6778)

"We would have been here all night"

LOL, don't think I've ever seen a post as long as that BB !!!!!!!

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 19:15

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

Yoo can thank Tonker for introducing the subject

Smiths Lane, and I remember now that the garage was next door to Hindley Green Labour Club, and I think it was Tamar Motors.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 19:48

Posted by: sonlyme (2786)

correct tommy

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 20:11

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 20:37

Posted by: broady (16573) 

Where was Melson Motors? Maybe opposite Marsh playing fields.

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 20:48

Posted by: broady (16573) 

In 1981 I bought a brand new Toyota Carina from a garage opposite the Red Cat. Would that have been Tamar Motors?

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 20:50

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (6581)


That was the garage, opposite the Red Pussy

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 21:01

Posted by: tomplum (7122) 

Buying a car is now a completely different experience, My lad saw this car in Evan Halshaw, a 2016 Ford ecosports priced at £7690.
So because of Covid-19, the showroom is shut but, you can look at the car if its not in the showroom but there is no test drive, they want you to pay for it and drive it away and you have 7 days or 250 miles to try it out and. if you don't like it they refund your money but, if you've done a trade in, it gets complicated,
We went to look at the car tonight, we could not go in but we had to talk to this salesmon in the rain in the car park, not good, I walked away, that is no way to deal with customers,,,,,

Replied: 11th Jan 2021 at 22:14

Posted by: GOLDEN BEAR (3327) 

Hi Broady Melson motors was down by marsh playing fields i recall i bought a jaguar from them very good motor .

Replied: 13th Jan 2021 at 15:36

Posted by: broady (16573) 

Thanks for that GB. I bought a car from there around 1974. A Triumph 1500 that had a dicky gear box. They eventually replaced it.

Replied: 13th Jan 2021 at 15:45

Posted by: WN1 Standisher (139)

I remember Bill Farrimond from Standish, who along with his wife Mary, had Farrimonds Chippy in Church Street, bought a silver Allegro Vanden Plas, complete mintball. Never saw any rot on that car and he had it a while.

Replied: 14th Jan 2021 at 10:12


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