1986 Renault Alliance Is Junkyard Treasure

American Motors was born from the merger of Hudson and Nash in 1954 and absorbed Jeep in 1970. By the late 1970s, the company was in deep trouble; when the United States government told AMC to drop dead, France—in the form of then-government-owned Renault—stepped in, provided many francs, and took over management of the company. The Renault Alliance, an Americanized Renault 9, began coming off the Kenosha assembly line for the 1983 model year, with production continuing until Chrysler bought AMC in 1987. These cars have become nearly extinct, but I found this ’86 in Denver last month.

In fact, I hadn’t been able to find a junkyard Alliance since 2012, though an Encore (the hatchback version based on the Renault 11) did appear in the very same yard in 2013.

The Alliance/Encore had to compete against stiff Japanese competition, and it arrived just in time for gasoline prices to crash. AMC was doomed, though Chrysler continued building the XJ Cherokee into our current century and the chassis design of the Renault-derived Eagle Premier found its way into the Chrysler LH.




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