Here’s one for you French car lovers and American car lovers. Not to mention you AMC lovers and Renault lovers! Confused? Me, too. This is a 1985 Renault Encore and it’s listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $350 and a Buy It Now price of $500! This Franco-American specialty is in Glenrock, Wyoming.
This car looks fantastic, condition-wise. I don’t really see a flaw anywhere on this frozen, frosted, French body. It looks like there are a couple of missing wheel covers, but I would fling those into the garbage anyway, I like the look of uncovered rims more than covering them up with plastic wheel covers. I’m funny that way. Renault introduced the Encore in 1984 as a companion to the Alliance (which was basically a rebadged Renault 9) that they introduced for the 1983 model year after “merging” with AMC in 1980. Actually, banks wouldn’t give AMC a loan because they held such a small share of the US car market, so they turned to Renault who loaned them a now-laughable amount of money: $90-million dollars. The company ended up grabbing a controlling ownership of AMC by the end of 1980. Here’s a 1985 Encore commercial on YouTube.
There are only two exterior photos of this car and it looks like it’s in great condition to me. Being made in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they know all about road salt, a lot of these cars have rusted into a pile of dust by now, that is if they weren’t forced off of the road by some mechanical issue. Luckily this one ended up in Wyoming where winter roads are friendlier to sheet metal. Speaking of mechanical issues, this car doesn’t shift, it’s stuck between reverse and 1st gear for some reason. It rolls fine but that stuck shifter will have to be figured out. The interior looks as great as the exterior does, to me at least. There’s a cigarette burn on the driver’s seat and some probably-1980s “high-tech” thing stuck to the left side of the gauge cluster, (Alarm? Aftermarket cruise control? What is that?) but other than that it looks nice inside. The back seat looks like new and you can tell that they actually used this car, there’s a child seat back there! There are no photos of the 1.7L, 78 hp inline-four cylinder engine but supposedly it runs great. It’s just that dang stuck shifter. This would draw at least a small crowd at almost any gas station or car show. Do you think you could troubleshoot that stuck transmission, and if so, is this Encore worth saving given its nice condition?