Not Your Average Ten – Alconi


I am a fan of the Renault R 10. I owned one – it was my first car. 4-wheel independent suspension, 4wheel disc brakes, fabulously comfortable seats, and four doors. Good luggage boot in front, rear engine, and enough Gallic styling quirks to pickle a goose. Its one fault seemed to be an underpowered 1100cc engine. Flat chat was 90 MPH and you had to work up to that for miles. It made for some exciting times circling the city block, I can tell you.


I can also tell you I was delighted to see this yellow R10 at the Whiteman park show. It was entirely new to me, but piercingly familiar…and I had to google like mad at home to see what it actually is.


It’s from South Africa…sorry, that’s South Efrica…and it is the Alconi. It was made as a variant to provide a faster and more sporty Renault for the country. They apparently did it as kits of go-faster manifolds and exhausts , and added other touches. I see a different set of dash instruments, upholstery, and a grab bar on the left pillar. Quite different wheels and tyres as well, though these may be local Australian additions. And the distinctive Alconi badge. Very much an Abarth-style venture, but on a smaller scale.


I noted the improvement in the driving position with the metal-spoke racing wheel, but the same old Renault gear shift lever and insipid shift knob. I changed mine for a big chrome one with a Renault badge set inside it as soon as I could get to a motor accessory catalog – and got surprisingly good with what other people thought of as a very sloppy gear box. I was a precise person in those days .


2 thoughts on “Not Your Average Ten – Alconi

  1. Hi There
    My name is Harry Thiart and I am the proud owner of this 1968 R10 Alconi
    You are so right it is a South African model that I ‘ve owned it for about 35 years.It had colour change from dark green to this VW yellow called Primrose Yellow
    It had a engine change from a 1100 Alconi motor to a VERY acceptable 1480 cc Gordini engine.
    And yes it is a South Afican car spent 13 years in New Zealand and now 3 years in Perth
    Thank for the kind comments
    Harry Thiart


    1. Good for you, Harry. That’s just the sort of background information I need for my reports. I’ll send it out in another column about Renaults. I do wish I still had my R 10 but it was sold in 1972 and the fool who bought it wrapped it round a tree. I was out of the country and so did not have to see the sad sight…


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