All Aggro? Absolutely not!
When Jason went looking for a classic Range Rover as his first classic vehicle, little did he know that his quest would end up in Halifax, with a Vanden Plas…
Jason Dennis hails from Surrey, but has lived in Coventry for 12 years. ‘I studied at Coventry University and simply never left! It’s a great city, I love it here!’ Jason explains. His classic car story begins in the summer of 2021, when his dad lent him a classic Range Rover for a few months.
‘My dad has owned Range Rovers for years and I loved driving them, so I started to look for one of my own.’ Although Jason had been on the road for many years as a motorcyclist, he didn’t take his vehicle driving test until three years ago. ‘I wanted to get a classic car and be able to do what my parents did while I can still get petrol easily!’ says Jason.
‘Then this Vanden Plas popped up on eBay and I thought it would probably do a bit better than the 17mpg I was getting from my dad’s Range Rover, so I drove up after work one evening to Halifax to view the car. I didn’t get home until gone 11pm!’
Jason had always liked the style of the Allegro, as well as the whole irony that surrounds them.
‘I think the looks have aged quite well’ he says. ‘My everyday car is a City Rover, so you can see that I have a sense of humour! My friends all love the VDP too.’ Jason recalls speaking to Allegro owners a few years ago at a car show and being told that they make great starter classics. ‘They are simple to work on, parts were cheap, and back then you could pick up a decent one for £500. Not any more though, this one cost me £3,000!’
This Vanden Plas is the perfect first classic for Jason. It’s had a body restoration so there’s no rust or paint required and although it didn’t come with any history, the previous owner informed him that the original 1500cc engine had been replaced by a 1750cc. ‘It’s pretty nippy really and has a five-speed gearbox, but the brakes still aren’t the best, even though I’ve rebuilt the calipers.’
Also on Jason’s ‘to do’ list is the suspension which requires an overhaul, the gears are sometimes hard to select and none of the dials work properly. ‘The speedo reads too slow also, perhaps a by product of the engine swap, but that suits me as I’m new to classic car ownership and want to learn as I go along,’ says Jason. ‘I have a garage but I work outside on the car. My garage is full of motorcycles you see – I’m a bike person at heart and always will be!’