If you so happened to click on this article, you and I have something in common – an affinity for the oddballs. Let’s start with some history. In 1979 a partnership between AMC and Renault was established, with Renault holding a controlling interest. This resulted in the Alliance and its sibling, the Encore, being introduced to the American market in 1982. These cars, featuring an exterior designed by the director of styling at Renault, and an interior developed by Richard Teague, a longtime American auto exec, were built in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A total of 623,573 two door, four door, three door hatch, five door hatch and convertibles were built by the time production was discontinued in 1987. This 1985 Renault Alliance is listed on Craigslist outside Milwaukee, not far from where it was built, and is a first year model for the convertible. At only $5,200, and with seemingly little to do but hop in and cruise, this may be the perfect summertime ride.
Here’s where this gets really good – it’s a 5 speed! The seller doesn’t specify, but it may be attached to a 1.7 or 1.4 L four banger. I’m guessing its the bigger engine, which was also introduced for this model year and was fuel injected. Interestingly enough, the motor was designed to be either gas or diesel, this model says it is gas. Additionally, it was tested at high capacity, as Renault wanted it to be “the strongest four in the industry.” With a hair over 90K on the clock, I’d guess this motor has plenty of life in it, especially given how well cared for the rest of the car is.
The interior looks nearly new, aside from a bit of wear on the driver’s seat. The care this car has received over the years really adds to the wow factor of what would otherwise be a fairly plain automoble. Of course, that stripe give it a whole new look.
Only 150,000 Alliances and Encores were built in 1985, which includes all the available models. I was unable to locate convertible production numbers, but I’d guess they were very high. Sidenote, this was the first time AMC dealers offered a convertible since 1968! So, for a tad over five grand, could you see yourself cruising in this drop top?