None This Nice: 1985 Renault Encore Spring Special Edition – SOLD!
December 10, 2020 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
The Renault Encore is a familiar yet distant face in the quintessential Radwood-era lineup, which makes it perfect for filling the economy car void in any collection. While the Alliance on which it was based sold pretty well when new, good luck finding a nice one today. This “Spring Special Edition” survivor originally listed in October 2020 on Craigslist in Danvers, Massachusetts, clearly belongs to a collector and has an asking price of $3,500. Both Hagerty and the NADA Pricing Guide neglect to track this model for valuation purposes, but the asking price seems fair to us for what is likely one of the only ones left in the hands of a collector.
AMC brought the Alliance to the United States as a means of survival. The company was in a tight spot financially, and competition from overseas in the small car market put many domestic manufacturers at a disadvantage. AMC sought support from Renault and the French government, receiving a loan and giving the company the right to sell its small cars in the country under the AMC flag. Kenosha, Wisconsin became ground zero for assembling the Alliance in a re-tooled AMC plant, beginning with well-equipped two- and four-door models that achieved impressive fuel economy. The two- and four-door hatchback model, dubbed the Encore, bowed in 1984, but consumer interest began to wane as fuel prices fell, which did nothing to help the fortunes of a small car with French origins.
While the LeCar still enjoys some level of a celebrity among car enthusiasts, the Alliance has all but faded away from memory except among the most die-hard of Renault fans. This limited production “Spring Special” edition is likely one of a handful left (if that many), and perhaps the best one of that limited pool. While information is limited, the package seemed to consist largely of cosmetic upgrades to the interior trim and color, but this seller has taken it one step further and swapped in the firmer suspension and larger wheels from a GTA model. Coupled with the preferred manual transmission, the seller likely isn’t too far off in his enthusiastic description of the car’s handling abilities. Other new parts include the clutch, shocks and struts, fuel pump, water pump, and more. You’ll be the only one at the next Radwood gathering with an Encore like this, and likely considered one of the top ten in the country by French car fans. Good luck with the purchase if you pick up this oddball hatchback!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“This rare model was only available in the spring of 1985 in red or blue. The car has 65K original miles and runs and drives like new. I have upgraded to the 15” wheels and front and rear suspension from an Alliance GTA model so the car handles like it’s on rails. It also has an aftermarket exhaust with Ansa style chrome tips and sounds amazing. It has a 1.4L engine and a 5 speed manual gearbox. The interior is in excellent condition besides the red piping in the seats has faded a bit so they don’t stick out like they did back in the day. In the 3 years I have owned it, I have replaced the fuel pump and coated the tank with POR15 product to keep it from rusting. I’ve replaced the clutch, shocks and struts, and water pump. I just replaced a front wheel bearing, the 2 front tires and had the front end aligned.
You won’t find any rust on this car. The clear coat on the roof and hood was burned off so I had them repainted. The rest of the car is original paint but it has a few dings and chips that need to be touched up. The right corner of the rear bumper is damaged and the rubber seals on the bottom of the door windows are cracked and need replacing. The car still has the original AM/FM radio that it came with from the factory and the original donut spare is in the trunk. Everything in the car works including the windows which is a common problem on these cars and the only issue with the car right now is the speedometer cable is noisy You can hear it spinning while you are driving and it is causing the speedometer to read 10 MPH less than the car is actually going.
You won’t find a nicer Renault Encore around and I will probably regret selling it someday but I need to make room for some of my other projects. $3500 takes it. “
Do you have a Renault Encore story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!