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You’d have thought the “Allegro Joke” was utterly and totally played out circa 2002, but even today Alexandra Phillips of Gloucestershire still occasionally encounters a few remarks along the lines of ‘when I say I have classic cars “Oh, what have you got?” Austin Allegro. "Ha ha ha ha that's not a classic"’ plus ‘always you've got the “All Aggro" comments – I just block them out’.
Much-loved cheeky 80s runabout the Austin Mini Metro turns 40 this year. Often the butt of jokes for being on the rusty, dowdy, unreliable side, the Austin Metro is now achieving a cult following from a new, younger crowd.
As with many of my generation, I first encountered the Austin K2/Y via re-screenings of Ice Cold in Alex on television. It is a film that showcases the talents of John Mills and Anthony Quayle at their considerable best and one of the principal characters is the battered but indomitable ambulance, which was one of the key British military vehicles of the Second World War.
Of all the lost sights of post-war Britain – traffic lights on striped poles, teddy boys, 78 rpm Alma Cogan records, ten shilling notes, jumpers for goal posts, - one of the most evocative is possibly the Austin FX3 taxi.
As the Land Rover Defender has recently passed into motoring history, it is timely to remember one of the British pretenders to its crown. The Austin Champ now seems to belong to a black and white past of National Servicemen in Pathé Newsreels and low-budget science fictions films about alien beings invading Chobham Common. - Written by Andy Roberts