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THE CARS WE LOVE TO HATE; Allegro named worst-ever motor.

Byline: By Ruki Sayid

THE Austin Allegro was branded Britain's worst-ever car yesterday in a nationwide poll.

It may have been named after a brisk piece of music but the British Leylandbuilt motor hit a dud note with motorists.

Nearly one in four of the 4000 people polled by internet magazine iMotormag named the Allegro as the car they would least like to be seen driving.

It beat other much-hated UK models such as the Morris Ital and Rover 200, not fogetting Scottish contender the Hillman Imp, built at Linwood, Renfrewshire.

A classic Allegro fault was that the rear window would come loose and cause an alarming thump when braking.

Yet the 1970s car had starring roles in TV classics such as The Professionals, The New Avengers and The Sweeney.

Despite all the negative publicity, the rust-prone Allegro became an icon of 70s motoring.

During 10 years in production, 642,350 of them were sold.

At its peak, the Allegro was the fifth-best selling car in Britain. But in the face of better-built models from Europe and the Far East, it and other shoddy models soon jolted off into history.

It is 25 years since the last Allegro rolled off the production line but official DVLA figures show there are still more than 1000 registered in the UK.

Second on the list of shame was the Morris Ital which, surprisingly, had its style roots in the original VW Golf.

Third was the Talbot Sunbeam with 11 per cent of votes. Despite rallying successes, it was a sales flop.

Fourth place went to the Austin Princess, with the Hillman Imp fifth.

Mat Watson, editor of iMotormag, said: "House prices are falling, inflation rates are soaring and with the looming threat of a recession, it's starting to feel a lot like the gloom of the 70s.

"So perhaps it is only right that the Allegro tops our poll."

THE TOP 10 WORST CARS

Austin Allegro 24.2%

Morris Ital 23.4%

Talbot Sunbeam 11.4%

Austin Princess 10.7%

Hillman Imp 10.6%

Rover 200 5.8%

Triumph Acclaim 4.4%

Rover 800 3.8%

Morr is 1800 2.6%

Triumph TR7 3%

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ALL-AGGRO: The unpopular Allegro
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 17, 2008
Words:367
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