・One of 458 factory Alconi Renault 10's
・South African import, now in the UK with all import paperwork completed.
・Performance enhancements developed for motorsport
The Renault Alconi was a performance version of the Renault 8 and 10 sold by Renault (Africa) Ltd, a subsidiary of the French Regie Renault Factory.
They were sold new through the Renault dealer network in South Africa between 1965 and 1970, and came with a full factory warranty.
The concept was intended to increase car sales to a racing mad South African public by taking advantage of their race-track successes in local "Sprint" and "Endurance" races.
A total of 458 factory Alconis were made, along with hundreds of conversion kits to allow owners to modify their existing cars, but only the official cars were supplied with ‘Alconi’ badges on the front wing.
The car was developed specifically for the motorsport-mad South African market and was the brainchild of John Conchie and Eric 'Puddles' Adler, who traded as "Alconi Developments" – a mixture of their surnames. It helped Renault increase its sales in SA and also market a whole range of Alconi performance upgrades, making the car something of a legend in its home market where R10 Touring Cars had won a series of production car championships.
Production of the Alconi started in batches of 50 R10s. Standard R10s were marketed with the Renault 1108cc Caravelle engine, with slightly better performance from a twin-choke weber carburettor. The production Alconis used their same upgrade kit on the newer R10 1108cc engine, but retained the production carburettor, and the vehicle was slightly lower (1 inch) than its standard brother. Colour choices were initiated: Alconi blue with white flashes down the sides, Red with white flashes and white with red flashes. Production continued through 1967 and 1968 and possibly 1969.
Interesting to note, Jody Scheckter, South Africa's only World Formula 1 racing champion, started his blossoming career in sprint races with a 1300cc Renault R8 with Gordini and Alconi modifications.
This example is a 1968 car and is a genuine Alconi rather than an aftermarket conversion, with all the relevant paperwork. It is largely unrestored and original.
This is a factory Alconi from 1968 and comes with provenance, having previously been owned by the chairman of the South African Renault Owners Club.
It has recently arrived in the UK from South Africa, where the vendor sources a few cars a year from. A British national, he worked in the country for over a decade in the motor trade before returning to the UK and now sources a range of quirky and interesting right-hand-drive cars via his contacts in Cape Town.
The seller has completed all of the import and duty paperwork relative to the car so there are no additional taxes to pay, while the DVLA NOVA notification and original South African registration document are included.
It will also be supplied with a full UK MOT, as although the car is exempt from testing the vendor wants to reassure the buyer that it is roadworthy. He is also happy to help the buyer register the car in the UK if that’s where it remains upon sale.
Additionally, there is a fair amount of paperwork with the car showing service and repair bills over the years.
The blue and white colour scheme is classic Renault Motorsport and matches that of the original Gordini models sold in Europe, though instead of twin white bonnet stripes the Alconi has a thick white go-faster stripe on each side.
The body and underside are exceptional with no signs of rust, typical of a good dry climate car. It’s mostly original, but the car has seen some attention over the years to keep it looking its best, including a partial respray.
The car has been fully undersealed ready for the UK climate and is show with nearly new tyres all-round, fitted on smart period-correct alloy wheels. All of the chrome is in good order and those chunky front driving lamps are in working order.
It also has the correct Alconi badges.
The cabin is that of a standard Renault 10, with tan vinyl seats and door cards which, on this example, have been retrimmed are in excellent condition.
There are a few hints that this is a bit more than your average R10, though, with an additional rev counter mounted to the right of the steering wheel.
The wheel itself is a three-spoke sports-feel one with Renault centre boss and further adds to the feeling of sportiness.
Up front, the boot is clean and neatly detailed, with a new carpet. It’s all in fine order.
At the back of the car, the 1,108cc engine produces 68bhp – a useful improvement over the 49bhp offered by a standard Renault 10.
It was enough to give the Alconi a top speed of 97mph and the ability to sprint from 0-60mph in 11.9 seconds, making this a 53-year old car that is more than capable of holding its own in modern traffic.
The vendor reports that that car is in fine order, runs well and is great fun to drive, while the steering, brakes and suspension are all in good order.
Die-hard Renault enthusiasts will know exactly what an Alconi is will relish the opportunity to get their hands on an example that is already in the UK with the relevant import paperwork completed. The vendor will also help the buyer register it if needed.
It is in fine condition throughout, has a good pedigree and has exceptionally good bodywork, as well as being in strong mechanical order.
If you want a classic with racing kudos, curiosity value and something that’s bound to be a talking point at retro motorsport events as much as it is at car shows, this is one that will truly take some beating. It’s a great way to be cool and different at the same time…
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