Today, (17th June) we saw the unveiling of the Austin Allegro. Most readers of Motor Sport will have formed their own conclusions as to its merits and failings. I will reserve mine, having not examined the car closely myself, I would, however, like to pose a few questions on the subject of its immediately obvious features.
Consider the overall styling, the car is described as being “unique”, by the person who is responsible for it.
If this is true why does it have so many features strongly resembling those of other cars in production, be they of associate companies within British Leyland or those of rivals.
Did Renault have anything to do with the rear, or did we see it on the Marina?
Is style the “Achilles heel”, in these days of comfort and safety? Or is this the type of car the motoring fraternity really want? If not, why so many stereo-types?
Recognise the grille? Surely it did nothing but detract from the gracious looks of the “Rover”, when together with the gaudy chrome side strip it was introduced as part of the “new look”. Is this car to suffer yet another indecent blow by the grille of the Allegro looking similar to its own?
The new “Quartic” steering wheel is not a derivative of Fords slightly oval one, is it?
Moving on to the aspect of suspension, “Hydrogas”, is it radically different from Hydrolastic? From experience I know that Hydrolastic suspension leaves a lot to be desired. Will a suspension developed from Moulton’s bicycle principle prove to be sacrificing reliability for comfort?
Lastly it will be noticed that the car bears rectangular headlights, a controversial subject to say the least, but as Mr. J. B. Davey and Mr. D. J. Farrow (issue Vol. XLIX No. 5) point out, rectangular lights appear to be inferior to circular ones. Please, manufacturers, stop shelving designs and give Britain (including enthusiasts) cars to be proud of.
Philip Irving – Lancaster.