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Health Forces Sale: 1985 Renault Alliance Convertible

One of the sadder aspects of many Barn Finds write-ups is that sickness and/or death is the reason that many of these vintage, classic, and collectible vehicles are on the market.  We all have projects that we want to finish, but sometimes life has other plans.  Take for example this 1985 Renault Alliance convertible for sale on Craigslist in Winchester, Ohio.  While we are sad to report that the seller is dealing with health issues and wants to pass this project along, the ad and the pictures reveal a car that can be back on the road with a little work.  The asking price of $2,000 also leaves a lot in the budget to cover repairs and replacement parts.  Is this a cheap convertible project you would like to complete?  Thanks to Rocco B. for the tip!

The seller of this car is the third owner.  It was originally sold at Montgomery AMC Jeep Renault and was treated to a thorough dousing of Waxoyl before leaving the dealership.  While the name may not ring a bell with most of us, the product was one of the spray-on rust inhibitors that were popular in years past.  While rust can still be an issue, it was much more rampant and harder to fight for previous generations.  Given that this is an Ohio car with 78,945 miles on the odometer, the seller’s claim that the car is rust-free is glowing testimony for the product.

The second owner was said to be a collector.  That owner was primarily responsible for this car’s stellar condition.  It was stored covered in a basement until the third owner found it.  That storage was begun in the early nineties, and it seems that the car has not run since.  The seller intended to return the car to the road and had begun the process when disaster struck.  They had removed the fuel tank, purchased a new fuel pump, replaced the convertible top, and slapped in a new battery.  Fortunately, fresh electricity allowed the seller to test the power top and it worked flawlessly.  Seeing the fuel tank in the passenger floorboard lets us know that the fuel system bugs have a way to go before being worked out.

After adding the fresh battery, the seller also tried hitting the starter to see what happened.  The car did not turn over, but the seller thinks that the starter is somehow “engaged to the flywheel.”  That sounds like the starter drive is locked in constant contact with the flywheel for whatever reason, but this is not clear.  Other parts will need to be tended to, such as the rack and pinion for the steering, power steering fluid is leaking from the car, and the fuel system will need to be reassembled.

As you can see from the picture above, the seller has documentation to go with the car and a clear title in their possession.  We are also advised to be considerate of the seller’s time and situation.  Someone going through the struggle that they need not be bothered by the problem children of our hobby.  The price is sufficiently low on this interesting and relatively rare example of Renault’s last gasp in America.  Seeing this car returned to the road would probably be a good elixir for the seller.  It is good to see projects reach completion, even if everything is not to plan.


  1. Steve

    “Health Forces Sale”
    The owner is sick of looking at it.

    Like 14
    • Mike Hawke

      I’d be ill if I had to own this car.

      Like 6
      • Bill

        This may be the best one left in the western hemisphere? Or not

        Like 4
    • Jim

      Have some class and compassion. He has lung cancer. Read the ad.

      Like 32
    • Stan

      Automatique renault 🥴 ?
      Je ne sais pas. 🤷‍♂️

      Like 3
    • CCFisher

      Moderators – can you remove these ugly, tasteless comments? I’d hate for the seller to come here and see juvenile comments making light of his situation.

      Like 6
    • Mark Member

      Steve, if I were you, I would the ad before hitting enter. But maybe, it wouldn’t make any difference the guy has lung cancer.

      Like 1
  2. TomP

    Very cool car. The high performance version of this car was the GTA. It came in hardtop or convertible versions, in red, white, silver, or black.

    Like 15
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    A friend of mine told me that there was one of these that
    a guy shipped to France.He said there they were worth a lot,
    as they never were sold there.

    Like 4
  4. Claudio

    As a young montrealer , these renaults were everywhere but not for long …

    Like 3
  5. Ted Turner

    I had a Renault Alliance. Bought one new in 1983 for my wife in Virginia Beach after having seen them in Europe. Ours was red 2 door with a tan interior. We had the absolute base model. It didn’t even have a radio. It was actually a terrific little car. Fun to drive, it was comfortable – even at highway speed – and it got great gas mileage. It was very well made by AMC in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I have very fond memories of that car.

    Like 13
  6. Roy Marson

    I have 2 Alliance converts.. one as a parts car and one a nice running machine.

    Main caviet : The 1500 cc. engine is great but is a “interference engine”, meaning if the timing belt breaks, all hell breaks loose.

    Buyer needs to change timing belt before starting, even for the first time.
    Great enjoyable car.

    Like 8
  7. Steveo

    Everyone dies. I rather go and leave a car I liked behind than be on my way out and have the car precede me. I don’t think the idea of being buried or cremated in it would make me feel better about going.

    Like 2
  8. ramblergarage

    I have a beautiful 87 Renault conv. have had it for years. It has 160,000 miles on it and still going strong. Tons of fun car. They really got a bad rap in the US.

    Like 6
  9. Troy

    Not bad for the money, owner states he thinks the starter is stuck on the fly wheel but looking at the pictures I think it’s the Nutrual safety switch 2100+/- miles away to go get it or have it shipped eats to much into potential flip proffit. But for someone closer they should get it.

    Like 3
    • TomP

      it’s all about money.

      Like 2
      • Troy

        When you flip cars as a side hustle, yes it is

        Like 2
  10. Big C

    Perhaps the “interference” with the engine parts has already happened? These were as exciting as a slice of Wonder Bread.

    Like 4
  11. TomP

    I just watched James Bond last night. He stole one of these cars from a taxi driver in France, drove it sideways down a stairs, ripped the roof off under an entry gate, got hit by another car and ripped in half, and he still drove the front half of the car to his destination. Pretty cool car..

    Like 6
    • Daymo

      That was a Renault 11 that JB was in. The 9/11 range (9 was a four-door saloon (sedan) whilst the 11 was a 3- or 5-door hatch and is what this one is based on but built in US rather than France. We never got convertible versions here in the UK – don’t know if other European countries got them.

      Like 3
  12. John b

    Id love to own this vehicle. Its rare, in decent shape and is priced fair. Yes, renault was not known to be a great car- but nor was the BMW isetta. Yet people shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars for a crusty isetta. I should know- im restoring 2 of them.
    Lets face it- in practicality, this car would run circles around most junk cars that bring high price tags. If this was just another boring 70 chevelle or an olds 442, the comments above about a man with lung cancer would be quite different.

    Like 6
  13. Tom Goodhall

    Had a silver 2 door, red interior, stick shift. Would get 38 -40 mpg on the open road all day long. Wish I still had it. My thoughts and prayers to the owner and his family.

    Like 2
  14. JGD

    IMO, the AMC/Renault Alliance & Encore models haven’t gotten the respect they deserve. The seller’s drop top is worthwhile restoring. You won’t see one at every cars & coffee.

    In 1986, a family member got a good deal on a leftover 1985 Encore S (Renault 11) with the 1721 cc engine, A/T, A/C, PB and AM/FM stereo. The car was kept for 10 years with only routine service, one battery and one brake job. It was economical to own, operate and service. Despite North East winters and salted roads, no tin worm problems. The car had decent performance and handling with a supple ride. The decision to sell was based on Chryslers acquisition of AMC and their trashing of replacement parts and resultant shortage of same. The car was sold to a mechanic friend who, in turn, sold it to another friend’s daughter. The daughter kept it for several years before buying her 1st new car.

    I believe the AMC/Renault Alliance &Encore models were and continue to be grossly underrated.

    Like 5

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