The Renault / AMC years were interesting ones, and the offspring of this marriage are still spotted in the wild today. Unfortunately introduced just about the time competition from Japan was ramping up and fuel prices were trending down, the Alliance lineup seemed to feature “one of everything,” from sporty coupes and convertibles to the upmarket Encore hatchback. This example seen here on craigslist is $1,900 and look very clean.
Of course, condition may be irrelevant if the car isn’t something you’d actually want to drive. Saddled with an automatic transmission, this pre-1985 model likely sports the 1.4L four-cylinder lifted straight out of the Renault LeCar, which features a blistering 64 b.h.p. Listen, I own a van with about the same horsepower, but at least it’s a manual! The lack of thrills likely played a role in this Encore staying in nice shape.
Despite being an economy car in every sense of the word, AMC tried to give these French-American hybrids some level of creature comforts to attract young buyers. Remote locking and an “electronically tuned” sound system were included, along with a fully independent suspension up front. Say what you will about the driving experience, but I applaud the fact that this Encore was built in the USA, rolling off the assembly line in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Speaking of Wisconsin, that’s exactly where this Encore resides, which likely means it has not traveled far since the day it was driven off the dealer’s lot. This might also account for its survivor-grade condition, though I’d like to learn more about how this Encore has been maintained before deeming it a worthwhile project car. The Alliance and Encore sold well while it was here – I wonder what might’ve been if gas prices continued to climb.