League of Gentlemen Vanden Plas Allegro for sale with Brightwells
The Vanden Plas 1500 used by Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith in BBC cult comedy League of Gentlemen is up for sale on March 21 at Bicester Heritage
The fictional town of Royston Vasey may appear to have long been stranded in the 1970s with political correctness gone mad, but sometimes cars fit certain characters so perfectly that there is no point in looking beyond the decade that taste forgot.
In the case of Alvin Steele, portrayed by Mark Gatiss in the BBC comedy series The League of Gentlemen, his 1979 Oyster Metallic Beige Vanden Plas Allegro 1500 couldn’t serve him better. Employed as dark comic relief in episode four of season three, 'The Medusa Touch', the desperation of a posh Allegro fits perfectly within the disturbing world of Pemberton, Gatis and Shearsmith.
Used as daily transport to travel towards exiting places, such as the garden centre, and later escape after burying his wife and her friends after sexploitation had gone wrong – first time you’ve heard an Allegro in the midst of that, we could bet – the VdP Allegro even bags Alvin a new woman.
You may think the only female you could pull with an Allegro is Barbara the taxi driver, but in fact Alvin manages to woo Reece Shearsmith in drag. Again, a claim no other Allegro can boast...
Since being used by the BBC, the Allegro has enjoyed a complete restoration, finished to a high standard before ending up in the collection of Dr James Hull, but not before it was driven by Ken Morely in Coronation Street.
Having been based in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland before the restoration was finished in 2012, the drivetrain had covered a mere 33,000 miles before undergoing a rebuild, with the immaculate interior fabrics and exterior paint largely untouched. Sources suggest that the amount paid by Hull back in 2013 was £3250.
A very late Series II Vanden Plas 1500, this once-mocked gem is a serious rarity. With just 100 manuals in Oyster Metallic leaving the factory gates, only a few examples are thought to remain in existence.
After the car was purchased in a job lot from Dr Hull by Jaguar Land Rover back in 2014, JLR took custody and are now offering it for sale through the Brightwells ‘Affordable Classics’ auction at Bicester Heritage on March 21.
Offered with no reserve, this hidden gem makes for one of the most obscure yet widely seen TV cars you can buy. Get a closer look on the Brightwells lot listing.
You can read more about the James Hull collection with our in-depth feature.
If you are seriously looking to bid – have a read of our Austin Allegro buying guide first. After all, you don't want to be left stranded in a local place for local people...