Now here’s a car you just don’t see anymore (unless you live in southern Wisconsin) as it comes from an oft forgotten chapter of our nation’s automotive history. Specifically, it’s the chapter where AMC needed a bailout from a French automaker, and as part of that alliance got to build an American version of the Renault 9 at the old Nash factory. This is the chapter that comes immediately after the one about Carter-era galleons that had a bigger footprint than a Ford Excursion, and right before the chapter about late Reagan-era galleons that had a bigger footprint than a Ford Excursion. Next was chapter 11, and that was a chapter about bankruptcy.
This example appeared to be in great condition for its age and rarity. Admittedly, it’s hard to find a well-used or beater example of an Alliance or any of its brethren, as many of them are either in an new or driver condition, or have permanently relocated to a junkyard. Over 623,000 Alliances were built at AMC’s plant in Kenosha between 1982 and 1987, which is a stupendous number any way you look at it. The annual production numbers easily eclipsed the total annual import numbers of several other European makes combined, including those of Peugeot.
It’s hard to say which one of the Alliance variants is the most “plentiful” now, but I honestly think the convertibles may enjoy a plurality because they tended to not be used year round, and because people tended to not treat them like disposable transportation. Which is, incidentally, why the Encore hatch and Alliance sedan are amazingly hard to find, as I’ve only seen one of each.
It really does appear that GTA models account for a lion’s share of surviving Alliances, despite the fact that it was available only in 1987, and only in coupe and convertible form. That probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, as these were the top of the line cars, and naturally were bought by customers who had a greater interest in keeping these cars running past their “use by” date than the average econobox purchaser at the time.
Given the high production numbers, I would imagine that these will continue to be found in garages throughout the northern midwest (mostly Wisconsin really) for many more years to come. After all, they made over half a million of these in just six years, which is sort of hard to wrap your mind around now due to the speed with which they disappeared. I don’t think anyone will dispute that AMC was going for quantity over quality with these, but this car did manage to give AMC a few more years of life.
When was the last time you saw any AMC-built Renault?