1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

Win Our Vanden Plas

Our 1981 Austin Vanden Plas is now live on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website. On September 17, 1974, the Vanden Plas 1500, based on

Read More »

2 New Arrivals

Earlier today, we welcomed two more classics into the Bridge Classic Cars workshop – our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas and our 1986 Fiat X1/9.

Read More »

Working on our 1981 Austin Vanden Plas

The 1981 Austin Vanden Plas is in the workshops at our Suffolk HQ for the team to get a few jobs done on the classic hatchback. First up, Jon has been working on the lift pump which he noted was leaking so he made up some new gaskets and sealed them back onto the car.

Next up, Jon began working on getting the rear end of the car back into shape. He realigned the bumper to make it even and square to the body before removing the rear axle mounts for them to be cleaned and refurbished.

Win Our Vanden Plas

Our 1981 Austin Vanden Plas is now live on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website.

On September 17, 1974, the Vanden Plas 1500, based on the Austin Allegro, was released as the successor to the Princess 1300. It was equipped with British Leyland’s ‘E’ series 1485cc overhead camshaft engine, and had a single SU HS6 carburettor, producing 68bhp at 5500rpm.

Unlike the Princess 11/1300s, the Mark 1 model did not include the picnic tables on the back of the front seats, and it had slightly less rear legroom compared to its predecessor. However, it featured highly polished burr walnut on the uniquely designed fascia and door cards. The seats were upholstered in leather, with bound Wilton carpets over additional sound deadening covering the floor, and the cabin roof was trimmed in nylon cloth. A total of 3,640 Mark 1s were produced before the Mark 2 model was launched in October 1975.

The Mark 2 Vanden Plas 1500 had revised suspension settings, offering a much-improved ride, while the engine and transmission remained unchanged. Inside, the rear seats were adjusted and moved back to provide more legroom, and due to customer demand, picnic tables were added as a standard feature to the rear of the front seats. A total of 7,318 Mark 2s were produced before the introduction of the Mark 3 model in October 1979.

The Mark 3 models (like this one) underwent slight name changes. The manual transmission version retained the 1485cc engine but was now fitted with twin SU type H1F4 carburettors, increasing the power output to 77bhp at 5750rpm. This version was named the Vanden Plas 1.5.

Externally, the Mark 3 cars featured a flat boot lid, black surrounds for the front and rear windscreens, black door mirrors, and side indicator repeaters on each front wing. Internally, a radio and front seat headrests became standard features, and the interior door handles were changed from chrome to black.

The Vanden Plas factory at Kingsbury closed in July 1979, with all remaining cars finished at MG Abingdon. Production of the Mark 3 ended in August 1980, with a total production run of 752 manual and 232 automatic models.

Our 1981 Vanden Plas is one of those 752 manual models. It was actually built at the Austin factory at Longbridge before being finished and Trimmed at MG Abingdon. Originally leaving the factory finished in Silver Grey Metallic, it was repainted in the late 1980s in Rover Cashmere Gold over Vanden Plas Tan trim.

Since being in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop, it has undergone some paint repairs as well as having a new water pump fitted.

New washer pump on the 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

Steve has been working on our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas this afternoon, as part of his inspection of the classic he noted that the washer pump wasn’t working. So, he easily replaced the unit and cleaned out the washer bottle and checked everything worked correctly.

Inspecting our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

Our Steve has been working on our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas to inspect the classic family saloon.

To begin with, he resecured some of the trims on the B-pillar and then moved onto checking the other parts of the car. He discovered that the rear suspension pushes have perished as well as the rear brake wheel cylinders have leaked and contaminated the brake material and will also require replacement along with the suspension bushes.

Paint repair on the 1981 Austin Vanden Plas

The paint team here at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ have been working on repairing a small section of paint on our 1981 Austin Vanden Plas.

Alan, one of our painters, has carefully worked on the area to mask up, prime and respray the gold paintwork on the iconic 1980s British saloon car to get it looking as good as new.

2 New Arrivals

Earlier today, we welcomed two more classics into the Bridge Classic Cars workshop – our 1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas and our 1986 Fiat X1/9.

1981 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

Clearly a stunning car, our Allegro looks to be in fantastic condition. Once it has had a check over by the workshop team, it will be going live ready to be won through Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.


1986 Fiat X1/9

Formerly part of the Robert Furniss Riding collection, our 1986 Fiat X1/9 has now made its way to us here at Bridge Classic Cars.

This will also be available to win through Bridge Classic Cars Competitions in the very near future.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coming soon to Bridge Classic Cars

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll see lots of new classics arriving at our workshops, all believed to be in fantastic condition so we are not expecting to have to carry out much work on these…but I’m sure they’ll be something!

First up, we have a super impressive Fiat X1/9 Bertone. First registered in 1986 the car was once part of a very well known collection of classic cars. The Robert Furniss Riding collection was featured quite heavily in the national press after Robert sadly passed away leaving his collection to H&H classic auction for it to be sold off, with all proceeds going to the RNLI.

The entire collection made over £1.4 million.

Part of the collection was his 1986 Fiat X1/9 Bertone but instead of this being sold off in auction, it was gifted to his friend who has been looking after it ever since.

Believed to be the only Vanden Plas in this colour combination. We believe the car requires very little work but we will put it through the workshops to get her tip top and ready for competition.

Finally, our beautifully restored 1972 MG B Roadster. This will most certainly be a popular one in our competitions. We all love an MG B Roadster and being so wonderfully presented, coming in to the summer, this will be a perfect competition prize.