Gran Turismo Alleggerita?? 1987 Renault GTA

Here’s a car that had a promising future when it debuted in the US in late 1982 – the Renault 9/11, the best-selling Renault ever. And yet they just weren’t right for the US market, as was often the case for French cars. They were some of the least costly cars on the market, with great mileage ratings and some innovative comfort features, but actually came out as a decline in the small-car market was starting. Combined with poor longer-term quality ratings, this meant the Alliance, Encore, and GTA only lasted for 5 model years.

And that brings us to our specific car. Brought out in 1986 as a performance model to boost sales, it packed 95 hp, thicker anti-roll bars, body kit, sports exhaust, upgraded wheels, and a closer-ratio gearbox plus stiffer engine mounts. This package added up to something pretty fun to drive, but low cost and sporting intentions mean there aren’t that many left. I’ve been waiting to write about one for a while, so
now you can see one for sale, with bidding currently at $102.50 with only 4 days to go and no reserve.

1987 Renault GTA front

With 105K miles, the car has been sitting for the last 6 years. The seller says he bought it from someone who parked it because the battery kept “boiling over”, which suggests a broken regulator. But since the car’s been inactive for a while, you should expect some additional catch-up maintenance. That said, the car appears to be in good shape overall, with only minor damage from the battery issues. Assuming the engine is still free, changing out the fluids and adding a battery might be all you need to do for a test start.

1987 Renault GTA interior

The interior looks as complete and clean as the rest of the car. The seat bolsters might need some attention, but other than that, this probably lives up to the reputation of the comfortable French car, with a good dose of sport thrown in.

1987 Renault GTA rear

The GTA badge – I’m guessing they weren’t trying to reference the Alfa Romeo GTA of 20 years before. While they didn’t lighten it, the Alliance itself was the lightest car in its class, at about 2000 lbs. 95 hp doesn’t sound so bad now, actually – might make this a pretty fun toy on the back roads, and would give a period GTI or, uh, Escort EXP a run for its money.

1987 Renault GTA engine

Okay, so the engine’s not a pretty sight. But this part of the car looks to be just as complete as the rest of it. If you’re looking for a bit of French fun, your choices are between this and a Peugeot 405 Mi16, but if you think like me, the obscurity makes this car the winner! Throw some work at this one and you’ll have a fun little runabout.


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One Response to “Gran Turismo Alleggerita?? 1987 Renault GTA”

  1. rick Says:

    hey thanks for writing this article. im thinking of buying one and was looking for a decent review.

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