Allegro

THE CRAYFORD ALLEGRO CONVERTIBLE

  • BMC_ALLEGRO_1
  • BMC_ALLEGRO_2

When the much loved BMC 1300 range was killed of in its prime, it had outsold the Cortina five years in a row, it was replaced by two cars the Allegro and the Marina, built by what was now British Leyland. UK car production was about to enter its darkest days.

Crayford announced the Allegro convertible in Autocar June 1975. The body shell, once decapitated, was found to be one of the weakest Crayford had ever encountered. In fact too weak to be converted into a fully open car so Crayford went for the extended sunshine roof option. Even after the most extensive strengthening procedures the shell still lacked rigidity, it was rumoured Jeff Smith at Crayford threatened to fill the sills with concrete.

The Allegro Convertible was unusually launched, not at Earls Court but at the Barcelona Motor Show, maybe they where uncertain about public reaction in the UK.

Spikins of Twickenham, a Leyland dealer, paid the development cost and took on the sole franchise, listing the convertible at £2,099.

Crayford received £480 for each conversion, nearly every car had quality control problems, often the brand new saloons had rust and wet carpets, broken glass was found under one saloons carpet, it was obvious some had wintered in fields. After only 17 cars had been converted, a very unhappy Crayford pulled the plug on the whole project.

Marina had not faired any better, together they marked the end of Crayford’s relationship with BMC / Leyland and the company switched to all Ford products. Nine surviving cars are known to the clubs Allegro register.

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