‘Le 911’: 1990 Renault Alpine GTA

“IT’S NOT GERMAN!!!”

I know. But since today is the conclusion of Le Mans and occasionally we like to take a look at other cars, let’s check this one out. Because, in many ways, I think it has a lot to offer.

The Renault GTA emerged out of the acquisition of independent boutique sports car maker Alpine by Renault. Renault immediately set upon making a rival to those pesky sports cars from Stuttgart and modernize Alpine’s 1970s A310 model. Let’s not forget, this was a period when Renault was quite active in Formula 1 and Le Mans, so a sporting car wasn’t entirely out of character for them (nor was the competition with Porsche, for that matter!). New lightweight plastic body-pieces were fit, and the 1.7 liter 4-cylinder in the back of the A310 was yanked in favor of the 2.5 liter PRV (Peugeot, Renault, Volvo) V6. In 1985, a turbocharger was bolted on and instantly the GTA was a 944 Turbo competitor with 200 horsepower on tap. However, the rear-drive, rear-engine layout and tricky driving dynamics were more akin to early 911s than the well-balanced transaxle Porsches. As a result, the Porsches continued to sell in droves, while the Alpine GTA remains just an interesting footnote in French automotive history.

But for about the same money as a very nice 944 Turbo these days (and significantly less than the price of a decent 911), you can get the Le Premier Absolutment GTA:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Renault Alpine GTA on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another Wednesday Wheels Roundup, and I have a few neat sets of wheels I stumbled across. First is the super rare and super awesome (but also super priced) Speedline 3-piece wheels for Porsche Turbos. Though they’re listed as 930 wheels, I more often associate them with the 993 Turbo model. They’re not exactly like the Supercup wheels, but they’re not far off. Next is a non-German set of wheels, but a pretty spectacular one – the Clio Williams is one of my favorite hot-hatches, and these would really suit a BMW or Volkswagen 4-lug well, in my opinion. How about the 7 1/4″ width? Next are some rare Carlsson and Abt wheels that need some work but are both hard to find, and we round out the review with some show-ready Style 29 BBS BMW wheels. What are your favorites and why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speedline 5×130 18×8/10 Wheels on eBay

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