posted 3 years ago

Five cars you just don’t see any more

Have you spotted one?

They are some of our best-loved cars, but they've almost disappeared from view.  Check out our list of five cars you just don't see on the roads any more. 

1. The Austin Allegro

Austin Allegro

Manufactured by British Leyland, the Austin Allegro was one of the motors which arguably set the scene for today’s city cars. The Allegro remained in production between 1972 and 1983, when it was replaced by the Maestro. Once mainly seen in brown, gold or green, the Allegro is now hardly ever seen at all.


The Ford Sierra

Ford Sierra

Strange as it might now seem, the Sierra was seen as a quantum leap in car design when it replaced the iconic Cortina as the everyman Ford saloon. Not everyone approved, which is perhaps why it didn’t enjoy the same longevity as its predecessor. It remained in production between 1982 and 1993.


MG Maestro

MG Maestro

Placing an MG badge on what everyone knew to be an Austin Maestro was a deliberate attempt to inject a little bit of British motoring history into a relatively modest concept. Engineers complained that it wasn’t really up to the job of reviving the ailing British motor industry. Hstory tells us that they were right. The MG version of the Maestro was built between 1983 and 1991, with production of the standard Maestro halted in 1994.


Peugeot 205 GTI

Peugeot 205 GTI

Such is the warm feeling of nostalgia towards the sprightly Peugeot 205 GTI that it’s little wonder the French company attracted so much interest with the launch of the 208 GTI. While the VW Golf GTI gets much of the credit for creating the hot hatch market, there were many people who preferred the 205 GTI.


VW Golf Mark I

Volkswagen Golf Mark I

Modern cars really wouldn’t look the same without the success of the VW Golf Mark I, a vehicle which proved that the German car maker wasn’t only good for cute and cuddly Beetles. The VW Golf Mark I remains an icon, even if you never see them on the road these days. A direct replacement for the Beetle, the Mark I was produced between 1974 and 1983. Now in its seventh generation, the VW Golf is still winning fans today.


My first drive was my dad's Maestro van....You had to pull out the choke to make it go a little faster... but only a little....

My first drive was my dad's Maestro van....You had to pull out the choke to make it go a little faster... but only a little....

I live in rural south west France. There are literally 1000s of Peugeuot 205's here. Probably because they use no salt on the roads and therefore they don't rust.

All the British-made cars shown here were major contributors to the demise of the British car industry.

From 1971-77 I worked at a Ford Dealership & was on the Breakdown,Recovery crew. One day I had a call out via the RAC to recover an Allegro, the lady RAC dispatcher told me, "On no account should you suspend tow an Allegro as you will buckle the roof" such was the "Quality" of the build :-). I repaired many but never had the "pleasure" of owning one!!!

My mechanic owns a ford Sierra cosworth he's restored

I hired a car in South Africa a few years ago, the car turned out to be a brand new Mk1 Golf 1.4i It had done 80km hen I picked it up and several thousand when I returned it four weeks later. A bit basic compared to modern cars, but never missed a beat and quite comfortable.

All this decrying of the Allegro (Aggro) is largely justified. However, I owned a W reg emerald green example - which never let me down. In fact, it was a tough little thing. When I think of some heavy loads I carried in it . . . Mind you, when doing 70 you knew it! Still, it was a very 'willing horse'. Maybe mine was an exception which proved the rule. It tied my wife and I over till we started owning 2 litre Nissan's and have never looked back.

The MK 1 Golf was still being produced almost unchanged at VW South Africa until 2012. They exported a small number to Europe, mainly Germany

Back in the day I was a director of a large leasing company, so I have driven just about everything produced in the 80s and 90s. The only decent car on the list was the 205GTi, of which I had both versions, the 1.6 and the 1.8. I preferred the 1.6 for its lightness, chuckability, and more direct steering, though both had a tendency to scrabble their front wheels. My own daily driver for a while was a Renault 5 GTi, which I loved. There were three others that have disappeared now which stick in my mind as being excellent in their way:- the Rover 220 Turbo, the VW Scirocco, and the Vauxhall Calibra, which was crying out for more power and a stiffened suspension. The Rover Sterling Coupe was rather cool, and the 3.0l Senators were excellent for motorways. None of them, however, could command RVs like some of today's cars, and all the Fleet managers lost their shirts on the dross from British Leyland. Nowadays I'm afraid, it's a Mercedes E-class cabrio for me!

My wife owned a new Maestro Van Den Plas and it was fab luxury but sadly had an annoying electronic voice and less than perfect coachwork and electrics. It so went! I had an Allegro Estate with after fit sunroof and vinyl roof.Great load carrier ate oil so new engine!

I am from Bath and owned 2 MG Maestros (and an MG Montego)back in the day. Both the 1.6 and the 2.0 efi. The Maestro should have been a world beater being very spacious and practical and in 2 litre form a competent hot hatch, quicker than the Golf and XR3i competition. It handled well too. Poor engine reliability on the early 1.6 MG and tacky alloy wheels and talking dashboard made it a bit of a joke. Such a shame. Haven't seen one for years. I work in a petrol station in Cornwall theses days and still see Sierra's, Golf mk1 and Aggros from time to time. Pug GTi's are a rarity, most were killed by boy racers I guess.

I live in Leyland lancs.... I can assure you of the relatively high occurance of allegro, maestro, princess, maxi and original mini etc..... when leyland cars went broke they pulled leyland bus and truck (in leyland) with them.... all employees / ex employees were offered a new car at 40% off the gate price (about 1/3 of retail) almost all took the offer... hence many still around often with low mileages. biggest problem was hundreds of old men and women who got a licence in wwII and hadn't driven since.... 30miles to blackpool @ 15mph.... "its fast enough for me"

Cheers for the cool info Vernon Taylor. More posts should be like that!

There are car clubs for all this car so if you go round them you will see them I have own all this at some point

the Sierra was the most futuristic of motor's. It was far advanced in design.when it replaced my old Cortina I could not get over the swish design of bodywork and inside the upholstery was as good as you get at that time. Turned out to be my kids favourite

The allegro estate wasn't rare at the time I saw quite a few on the road although it always caused a bit of a "stare" when we travelled in Europe we bought the car from lex autos in Bury an ex demo model.

I have owned examples of all these cars at various times except the Peugeot. The MK1 Golf wasn't a Gti but the 1500 model went very nicely and was great fun to drive. I was working in an Austin agency when the Allegro was introduced and attended the factory course at Cowley. My colleague invented a new word to describe the car which looked so radically different from everything else at the time. Bubular was how he described it and the public had an immediate love-hate relationship with its quartic steering wheel which was soon changed for a conventional round one. Ford had approached the problem from a different direction and fitted the Mk3 Cortina with an oval wheel. The Sierra was another radical departure and was for the first time in the bread-and-butter market a truly aerodynamic body shape and was almost a Probe 3 look-alike; a Ford concept car from the 1960's. Ford unfortunately introduced the car after Vauxhall released the Mk2 Cavalier which for almost the first time in history outsold Ford so much that huge quantities of the new Fords laid idling in fields and after a year or so the concept of discounting new cars to the public and fitting a host of freebie accessories just to get rid of them became part of the British car buying culture. My Maestro wasn't the MG but the Austin and I loved it. A typically British car that was like driving a lounge and had room for a flask and sandwiches and a large road map and all could be reached without leaving the driving seat and it was possible to get into and out of a raincoat while sitting there. At the time jelly-mould cars were fashionable and the Maestro and its larger cousin stuck out like a sore thumb on our roads. The Maestro was the first bread-and-butter car to have some electronic engine management.

I meant Gti,not git,and Chevrolet chevette hatchback,not corvette,interfering spellchecker for you!5

Surely the Golf Mk I (0f which I had three) continued in South Africa as the Chico until quite recently - they are still one of the most common cars on the road there.

Can't remember ever seeing an Allegro estate Kevin. Were they rare?

I had an Allegro - Should have been called All Aggro :) Worst car I've ever owned

I don't think that the vs golf Git should get the credit for starting the hot hatchback concept off,that honour belongs to Chevrolet with the little known CRX model of 1976.Chevrolet also,in 1976,built the first corvette hatchback.our own version was styled differently and featured a smaller engine and,of course,a Vauxhall badge.

I learned to drive in an allegro. And loved driving it.

Owned an allegro estate for twelve years and had to replace the front ball joints as many times. Kept it till it eventually rotted away. Still got a Mk1 Golf sitting on my drive in Italy 106k miles on the clock. Still refusing to sell to golf fans to this day

I would contest the total disappearance of the VW Golf Mark 1, and suggest that the Austin Montego has made more of a disappearance from the scene, along with the Renault 4. I'd be interested to hear other comments.