Debunking the most common old wives’ tales
1 THE BACK WINDOW POPS OUT…
Yes, this happened. Its body engineering was questionable, and a lack of structural integrity caused the shell to twist if you jacked it up badly. But the Allegro only popped its screen if you jacked it up by not using the correct point. Bright tape hastily afixed to the jacking point cured that ill until the Series II facelift.
2 THE WHEELS CAN DROP-OFF
Again, this happened, and earned the Allegro (and Princess) considerable adverse publicity. But there was a reason for this. Its wheelbearings looked very similar to those fitted to its predecessor, the BMC 1100/1300. But the design was completely different, and mechanics who didn’t consult the manual would overtighten them, causing hub failure.
3 THEY SUFFER FROM TERMINAL RUST
Not true. Allegros are actually well above average on this score. This probably relates to a 1975 issue of a popular consumer magazine, which stated the Allegro suffered from rotting around the rear subframe! The writer asked a BLMC mechanic the problems, but it transpired that the engineer thought he was being asked about BMC 1100/1300. This made it into print, and the legend was established and perpetrated.
4 AERODYNAMICS ARE BACK TO FRONT
True! Ex-BL designer Stephen Harper confirms: ‘ This was proven when we turned down sponsorship for a Danish racing driver who was planning to compete in ‘backward’ racing on the beaches of Scheviningen…’ Most cars of that era are sleeker going backwards, anyway!
Time has been kind to the Allegro’s styling – not its reputation, though.