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Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/18/21 5:45 p.m.

After years of dirt track stock car driving I am finally taking the leap into "high performance driving" and with what better choice than a former Renault Cup Alliance. Some of you have probably seen this car on facebook market place or locally in the greater LA area.

My first thoughts were to go road racing with VARA but reality is I wont have time for that this year. So next options are to attend HPDE track days here in California . I think Streets of Willow and Buttonwillow would be fun in this car even with what is probably 70hp. But will need a set of toyo proxes 888's or nankang ar1's

Next option is Rally Cross with the local series ? Being a dirt track guy I am leaning that way but am honestly concerned any major damage may result in months long searches for parts made of unobtanium. Cheap buy in on some dunlop wintermaxx tires is appealing. And I can easily fabricate a skid plate. Dont worry I wont rally with the restored original momo wheels I have another set of wheels for that.

Thoughts HPDE on the asphalt or bomb some rally cross ? 

 

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/21 5:52 p.m.

I would buy it just to get those wheels.

Depending on the rallycross site you probably won't break much that can't be sourced or adapted.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/18/21 5:53 p.m.

Track day is a good solution; I'm running my Datsun 1200 at PCA track events in addition to VARA. I'm usually one of the slowest cars in the intermediate group but it's a track day so who cares. the motor currently in the car is pumping out all of 80hp to the wheels.

As for VARA; they now run practice, qualifying & a race each day. Call the office and speak to Jeanette, I'm sure they'd figure a way to let you one day only. 

Check with tech on the bolt in cage; I don't know one way or the other wheter VARA would except it.

I've driven one of those, they're silly fun

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
5/18/21 5:58 p.m.

We had en Encore when I was a kid: same car, but in hatchback form. The suspension is very, VERY soft. Tons of body roll and squat/dive. I know they raced these things back in the day, but it's hard to imagine how they handled in corners with such a loosy-goosy suspension.

I think Rally Cross would be a better match for this platform.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
5/18/21 6:22 p.m.

Wow, we had an Alliance when I was a kid. I don’t think I’ve seen one since! 

My dad got t-boned in it when a teenager ran a stop sign. He saw her coming, but couldn’t get out of the way due to lack of power. When she hit him he did a 360 into the curb. Fortunately, he was unharmed. He swore off Renault after that. So did the est of the IS it seemed.

I like the way they look still!

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/18/21 6:32 p.m.

In reply to LanEvo :

This car has koni front struts and stiffer springs also lowered a bit..rear has beefy swing arm and I suspected heavyer torsion bar. Body roll not to much of an issue when compared to same era econo boxes...after its renault cup years it ran SCCA ITC

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/21 6:46 p.m.

By recollection, the suspension on those was really fragile.  Curbstrikes would wreck things quickly.  I wouldn't rallycross one unless it's a real low-intensity site.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
5/18/21 6:52 p.m.

I grew up around these, owned an Encore and a GTA myself. I would also say that you don't want to rallycross it, you will break stuff quickly, and a lot of parts are truly becoming hard to find. This car is likely best used for what it is already set up for, road courses and/or autocross.

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/18/21 9:37 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

They are pretty sweet

JimS
JimS Reader
5/19/21 12:16 a.m.

I remember going against one of these in 1987 at my SCCA driving school in my itc Fiesta at Summit Point. I always thought they were neat little cars. 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
5/19/21 6:29 a.m.

When Chrysler bought AMC from Renault they deep-discounted the Renault parts to get rid of them. I did an insurance claim on a Renault Appliance that needed a fender. $17 brand new.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/19/21 10:44 a.m.

Those wheels are sweet. Are they 4x98?

 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/19/21 10:46 a.m.

These were posted over in my bertone x1/9 build thread. Just sayin

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
5/19/21 11:11 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Renault not 98mm bolt circle. Even the French realized the absurdity.sad

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
5/19/21 11:17 a.m.

Been a while but I believe the R9-based cars are all 4x100 so wheel selection is one of the few things that's actually very easy.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i Dork
5/19/21 11:37 a.m.

The words "Renault" and "decision" are typed in a header on this board - like the software here that converts certain words, the brain of everyone who clicked in here saw "Great decision!  Renault content, come congratulate me!"  That's some cool E36 M3 right there. 

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/19/21 11:57 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

4x100 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
5/19/21 7:32 p.m.

I just saw this beauty in Port Huron Michigan, didn't realize there were two left

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/19/21 8:11 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

That's an Encore, not an Alliance.  smiley

 

My youngest aunt had an '85 Encore.  She loved that car.  It was her favorite car ever.  It was a good commuter and stone reliable and she was deeply saddened when it got totalled in a rearend collision after ten years.  I keep telling her that she got the good one.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
5/20/21 7:40 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I think in a lot of ways they were really better cars than they got credit for.

My Encore with the 1.4 and 4-speed happily survived some pretty aggressive abuse, including hours spent at the rev limiter despite a general lack of maintenance/giving a E36 M3. It had a whole 54HP and didn't have a tach so our practice was just to go flat out 100% of the time and shift when it wouldn't rev anymore. The interior was knockoff Tupperware quality, but the seats were legitimately comfortable and made all the difference. A few friends and I drove that car out to New York and down the east coast to Louisiana and back to Wisconsin and totally fell in love with it.

I read something to the effect that the R9/R11 were designed for European tastes which meant manual transmissions and no A/C, and the cars had a fine reputation on their side of the ocean. When AMC started cranking the Encore/Alliance out in Kenosha with 3-speed autos and air conditioning to "Americanize" them they were essentially crippled compared to the source vehicles. Couple that with a dealer network that wanted nothing to do with "damn foreign cars" and it all adds up...

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/20/21 9:07 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture :

This one still sports the original 1.4 pushrod motor with an Archer Cam and header along with a weber 32/36 on it.. I was honestly surprised by its willingness to rev. I had figured it would feel more like a tractor engine but I was totally wrong.

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/20/21 9:08 a.m.

My car in its original form and its original owner Tom Cleave #21

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/20/21 10:50 a.m.

Off on a tangent...............I was running a regional race (I think in my Showroom Stock Miata) and going up the main straight Tom Cleave came past in his 2002 just before turn 1 (taken flat), he sliced back in front of me with all of 2mm to spare....................a good hard racer if ever there were.

 

Jeff Shaffer
Jeff Shaffer New Reader
5/20/21 11:33 a.m.

So I been pricing me some tires 185 60 13. Toyo 888's and Nankang AR-1's figure ill be about $700 in . Since this car will probably only see track days for a year or so and no door to door competition whats your collective thoughts on going with Federal ss595's in a 185 55 14 on some cheapy stock miata wheels ? Overall diameter will only increase about .25 inch ? Total investment around the $300 mark. SS595's decent for a road course noob to get his feet wet ? 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/20/21 12:55 p.m.

Give JBracing tires (John Berget) a call, he sells used racing tires. Load of people on here, myself included, have bought tires from him.  

Before I started putting new Hoosiers on the Datsun I'd but sets from him.

As for the Nankangs, in the size you want they're $125 a tire so hard to argue with.

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