1980s / French / Future classic / Renault

Is the Renault 11 / Encore a future classic?

renault-11-future-classic-2There are no two ways around it: The Renault 14 was a flop. Like all cars it had its flaws and its qualities, but its career was marred by an advertising campaign that compared its silhouette to that of a pear. Buyers discovered the 14’s bad tendency to rust by the time hoards of them reached used car lots so they were dubbed “the rotten pear.” The rest, as they say, is history.

The 14 occupied a very important spot in the Renault lineup so the automaker left no stone unturned when it developed its successor, a four-door sedan christened 9 that was introduced across Europe in 1981. The 9 spawned a hatchback dubbed 11 two years later.

Both models were designed to not be disliked by the greatest number of buyers; they were cars shoppers bought with their brain, not with their heart.

The 11’s career took two distinctly different paths: In Europe, it became a popular hatchback that offered enough room to take a family and their gear on vacation, a wide array of solid gas- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines and modern styling. Renault expanded the lineup with a potent turbocharged variant and a model called Electronique (offered with the TSE and TXE trims) that packed a digital dashboard and 19 pre-recorded voice messages that warned the driver when a door was left opened, when the gas tank was on reserve and so forth.

In the United States, the 11 was built in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by AMC and sold as the Encore alongside the Alliance, the American name given to 9. Offered as a five- and three-door hatchback, the Alliance joined the legions of disposable cars that briefly graced the New World’s wide avenues as they went through two or three owners and completely disappeared from the automotive landscape afterwards. The build quality was sub-par and the engines were unreliable at best.

Currently, non-Turbo Renault 11s are worth next to nothing and a non-running example can be picked up in exchange for a bottle of wine. An Encore is not worth much more, but it is considerably harder to find.

Will the 11 / Encore go back up in value, or will it only appeal to dyed-in-the-wool Renault enthusiasts?

4 thoughts on “Is the Renault 11 / Encore a future classic?

  1. In my opinion, the R11 can be considered as a future classic, maybe not worldwide but for certain countries such as Turkey. Here the base model (I mean the lowest equipped model that was available in Turkey) GTS costs between €1500 and €3500 which is a considerable value. Another thing is, as I said, the GTS was the lowest equipped version in Turkey and there are versions with 1.7 92 hp engines, air conditioning, electric front windows and even a vehicle phone, if you can find a fully equipped “R11 Flash S”. Therefore they are considerably popular here with more car enthisuasts turning their attention to aging renaults (R12’s are already a classic here!). The situation is valid only for Turkey as far as I know and I wonder if they are valued somewhere else in the world..

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