..by Anura Guruge
Other car posts:
1. Restored 1974 Jensen-Healey in Alton — Aug. 28, 2012.
2. 1977 MGB in Pittsfield, NH — Oct. 8, 2012.
This beauty appeared by the Alton rotary earlier this week. I have always had a soft spot for the Allanté. The asking price was not outlandish given that I knew that that would never be the final price. I checked around. The price was middling. I don’t need a car and we hardly put any miles on the two we have. Plus I am known to go for 4 to 5 days without ever getting into a car. But, I miss not having a convertible especially when Summer beckons. For 30 years, since when I was 23, I have invariably owned a convertible or a T-Top. This is the longest I have gone in my adult life without a rag top. So, Devanee and I stopped by on Tuesday and had a look. Couple of small dings on the bodywork. Radio does not seem to work. The tires are new. It started without drama. But, I didn’t drive it. I spent 40 minutes ‘discussing’ price with the owner. We even reached a workable price. I even got an insurance quote. Then I started talking to mechanics. Maybe that was a mistake. One, who does all the work on our van, said categorically: “worst U.S. car ever built. Don’t get it at any price!”. That was bummer. There was a time many, many decades ago when I did use to change the oil and even brakes on cars. Not now, though recently I replaced the battery in the van. So if I had got this I would have to rely on others to maintain it for me. So this was not a good start. Went downhill from there. Was told that parts were expensive. Basically I was told to get anything else than this car. I wasn’t thrilled, but common sense prevailed.
Then later on in struck me. They talk about people who are fatally attracted to the wrong sort of partners. Well in my case this seems to be with cars. 30 years ago, I was totally, utterly infatuated (maybe even outright in love) with the Triumph Stag. I owned a Spitfire and was reaching a point when I could afford a Stag. I now remember, not that happily, that I had these exact same conversation with folks about the Stag, except then there was even family chipping in. Told that it was the worst car ever. And I really don’t deal well with unreliable cars, boats or computers. So, it is kind of important that I get cars that work 99.5% of the time. I still remember being told about the Stag: “If you really want to get one, get one but get somebody to put in a new 3L Ford engine into it”. That sounded way too much like hard work. So I never got a Stag. Instead went and bought a TR7. That TR7 served me well. So, I am in a bind. I have a feeling that I might just end up buying the next, reasonably price British convertible I see.
But, I want to pass the word out on this Allanté. It could be a good buy for somebody who can do some of the work on it. You shouldn’t have any problem finding it. It is on Rte 28 just before (or after) the rotary (depending where you are coming from (or going)).