Voiture Bon Marché: $500 1986 Renault Alliance

This Voiture bon marché, or cheap car, is a 1986 Renault Alliance and it’s in Elk Rapids, Michigan. It can be found on craigslist with an asking price of just $500 or best offer! Cela semble être un bon prix…

The Alliance was just that, the car that was born from the AMC-Renault alliance. By 1979, AMC was majority-owned by Renault and the cars were either a rebadged Renault 9 or 11, depending on if they were a sedan or a hatchback.

This car looks like it’s in at least good condition if not very good condition. The seller said that it needs both CV axle boots, which means, at the very least, that it needs an extensive cleaning and re-greasing of the CV joints and new boots, unless the next owner wanted to change the CV joints. The seller says that the axles are available online for around $100. I’m having an impossible time (literally) finding CV joints for a 1986 car along with other literally impossible to find suspension parts. So, make sure that you check on the parts actually being available before jumping on it.

There are no engine photos but this one would have either a 1.4L or an optional 1.7L inline-four with either 65 or 78 hp. The manual transmission will help to dig into as much of that limited horsepower as possible. The seller says that this car “runs reliably” and is a great around town car. And, speaking of very good condition, the interior looks like it’s in excellent condition. The back seat looks perfect and quite comfortable. If a person were handy and could change a couple of CV joints, this could be an interesting commuter, or a good first car for a teen driver. Get them started on something that has a clutch and needs work every now and then and you’ll create a car guy or gal for life.

Fast Finds


  1. rdc

    Hope the heater does not explode and spray hot water everywhere.

    • AMCFAN

      The heater core issues were with the 1.4. This is a 1.7. The only issue with it is the timing belt. Then it is happy. If you don’t you will end up with bent valves. Manual trans is a plus. These are great little drivers. Well worth the price.

  2. Joe Defelice

    Rebuilt shafts are available on Ebay for about 49.50 each + about 13.50 shipping if anyone is interested.

    • Exdamyankee

      New ones on Rockauto.com for under 50 bucks too.

  3. John

    I had a hand me down Renault alliance, I drove it in 1987. Loved it. Comfortable, reliable and I remember getting crazy gas mileage. It had a top speed slower than a tectonic plate.

  4. Steve65

    “having an impossible time (literally) finding CV joints for a 1986 car”

    RockAuto. Fifty buck a side.

    • Scotty Staff

      Steve65, that’s for my ’86 car, not this particular car. Mine are not available anywhere on the globe, unfortunately.

      • Steve65

        Ah. I thought you meant you’d checked and couldn’t find parts for this car.

        What do you need?

      • Joel Milhazes

        the european version whit a very resembled bodyshell that was sold here in europe was the renault 9 , the top trim and engine level was the turbo, it used the same engine has the renault super 5 turbo, regarding parts they still can be found, easelly in france, my sugestion see what these 2 versions share in comum besides the overall body shape, it was comum for renault to share engines, trims , and other parts between there models… do a pic search to see what apears….

      • Scotty Staff

        Steve65: Rear struts and front CV joints for a 1986 Nissan Stanza 4WD wagon. FWD ones are different, apparently.

  5. Mark

    Worked at a gas station that rented hertz cars out, they had like 10 of these. I tried to blow them up Brake stands with oil. Pulling parking brake instead of regular brake, but could not kill them. People loved renting them all had ac that worked. Felt like a Plymouth horizon /omni inside.

  6. Steve65

    If only it wasn’t 2500 miles away…

  7. JimmyJ

    Cv joints are easy I don’t know how many cheap cars I bought because people are terrified of clutches and cvs on fwd cars

  8. mds

    Four dudes, full trunk, rooftop box, road trip from MN to Big Bend National Park and back in one of these in 1994. The car performed flawlessly the entire way, and was super plush and comfy in a way that only the French can do. Five stars, would do it again.

  9. grant

    Um, no? Yes. No.

  10. Danny K.

    My dad had a two-door, then my brother drove it. I liked the car and I agree with the comment above about the how the car felt more plush than similar sized cars.

    The CV boot did go bad and the axle broke at about on my brother at about 10 pm coming home from The Ohio State University. Fortunately, he wasn’t on the freeway. But ever since that moment, I have always been a little bit paranoid about the CV boots going bad on my cars.

    I liked the car for what it was, but am very surprised to see one still around and drivable 30 years later. I assumed that these had all fallen apart by now.

  11. XMA0891

    Tough to find “this much” car in this price range. I agree with the above: In spite of their reputation to the contrary, these cars were, by-in-large, reliable and well-built. If I needed, I’d certainly entertain purchasing. Vive le AMC!

  12. Howard A Member

    Can’t keep my big mouth shut on this one either. My brother had an Alliance ( the only car I ever saw with an oil LEVEL gauge) It was a good car and served him well. There was a lot of controversy about these cars. Some say, disgruntled workers in Kenosha purposely sabotaged these, as they knew the end was near. French make great cars, and American’s just weren’t ready for interglobal mergers, and this fell apart, like a Chinese motorcycle. Too bad, they were just what America needed at the time.( the Omni wasn’t really that much different) I think their biggest downfall, is they didn’t offer a wagon.

    • RayT Member

      Howard A, Renault was really into oil level gauges for a while…the Fuego and 18i (remember those?) had ’em, too. Even if you knew how things worked, it always seemed a bit strange to see the needle drop to zero when the engine was started. I wished they had put an oil pressure gauge in instead….

      I remember these — even the 1.7 cars — as being really, really slow. But they were more comfortable than any other small cars I drove back in the day. What they weren’t, at least as far as I was concerned, was as stylish, quirky and fun as my R5s, so I wasn’t tempted to buy. Didn’t want a Transportation Unit, which is what the Alliance was.

      • Bill W

        Owned a Renault Fuego with EFI and turbo in the early 1990’s. A blast to drive, although to fit everything under the hood the battery was moved to the rear and the windshield wiper bottle was in the left front fender.

        It also had an oil level gauge, which doubled as an oil pressure gauge. It switched from pressure to level and back during the time the engine was running. Neat to watch the needle jump from one to the other.

  13. Bob S

    Take a door panel off, have a look. Tell me they are well built. An 83 Accord is well built. Junk.

  14. Don H

    That boring ugly thing should be put in a barn with the doors locked for ever .

    • Tim Rusling

      Not very nice or insightful, Don. But you’re the expert in such matters.

  15. Tim Rusling

    We had a pair of new ’83 Alliances, a silver 4-door and a gold 2-door, both 5-speeds. Loved them very much.

  16. JimmyJ

    I agree with bob the japanese forgot more about building a reliable car than anybody else rememberd!

  17. Bob C.

    These were jokingly called Franco American cars. If I can remember, they were Motor Trends car of the year in 1984, until issues with indifferent workmanship began to surface.

  18. Keith

    Howard A brought up what I was going to mention…I’d heard these were sabotaged on the production line and as a result most of them were terrible cars. Would be interesting to take one to a car show and see what the reaction is like.

  19. Mitch Ross Member

    The reason they failed is that they sold it as a Reenawlt in stead of an AMC. Renault’s reputation, if people even knew about it in Kansas, was not great. AMC had a small but steady customer base but needed modern FWD cars. Renault wanted to increase their market share in the US . Perfect for this car, just leave the French part out. The Horizon was based on the Simca 1301 platform, but to us it was an all American small car and it sold like crazy. They could have called it the Concord, the LeCar, the Gremlin, the Fuego the Javelin.

    • Bill W

      1987 was the last year for the US-built Renault. When Chrysler purchased AMC they killed the Alliance and replaced the Alliance at the FWD assembly plant with the Horizon and Omni.

  20. Davis Jones

    They were not bad cars at the time

  21. Tim Rusling

    They were Motor Trend’s 1983 Car of the Year. This was a big boost to Kenosha, with spillover to the rest of the AMC line.

  22. David A. Carlson

    Mmmm, loved my parents five speed 1.7, but the 4 speed manual transmiissions on the 1.4 had a bad tendency to grenade (they had one of those also and yes it did grenade) rumour was the parts were slightly warped but instead of getting a new run of trannies, they just wrenched them down. They ran the 1.7 over 160k, with three kids beating the hell out of it it was fun to toss around

  23. P Wentzell

    A friend bought a new 1984 Renault Alliance with an automatic. Fun car, slow but comfortable. With the car in ‘Park’, you could not remove the tape cassette from stereo unit, the shifter blocked the tape from being fully ejected.

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