Bad Ideas Made Worse™ with Renault!

Viva Mexico!

Beautiful Mexico! Land of beaches, tiny shivering dogs in teacups, and horrific drug-related violence. It’s also where the VW Type 1 went to die, and where the full-size two door SUV lives an Elvis-in-Vegas afterlife among the agave and smog. You’ll be happy to know that it’s also the home of this particular fiberglass enchilada topped with a zesty sauce of license-built local production and garnished with a healthy dose of internet-scam potential. If that unmistakable fascia, almost totally obscured by comically stereotypical imagery, caused you to lurch towards the “buy it now” button like a habanero eater sprints for a cool glass of milk, then check yourself before you wreck yourself, holmes, and read on.

“Ah!” you exclaim, spilling some Corona on your sombrero. “That’s a Renault-Alpine A110, just like that Alex Kierstein always goes on and on about like they’re the best cars ever made!” Clearly that Mr. Kierstein is off his meds. It’s just a fancy R8, powered by a tiny Renault-Gordini inline four! It only won tons of rallies in the late 1970s because all the competitors felt sorry for it. You fail to understand why I get my piñata in a knot over the Berlinetta.
You don’t know the half of it, amigo. This isn’t even the A110 Berlinetta it appears to be, although if you know what an A110 is then the name “Dinalpin” should mean something to you. This is that. Which is to say, a fiberglass sports coupe built upon Renault engineering, and license-produced by Diesel Nacional of Mexico (DINA) in ciudad Hidalgo on an assembly line that was previously in business with Satan selling Dauphines to unsuspecting Mexicans producing several Renault models locally. Perhaps things were different then in the late ’60s, when Mexico was just a place to get a sunburn and some finger-lickin’-good heroin. Now the heroin comes with a side of beheading, and the only sunburn you get is from digging your own grave in the high desert. At least, that’s the perception nowdays, what with all the Fox News a-blarin’ and the tourism a-tankin’.
Well, you’re going to have to set your BS-dar on stun, because this here Dinalpine Berlinetta is in Saltillo, in Coahuila State in northeastern Mexico. Does that mean you’re going to end up on the wrong end of a La Familia Cartel semi-automatic? Or that your PayPal monies will have a permanent Acapulco vacation, leaving you high and dry? Dude, I have no idea. Maybe it’s the deal of the century! Maybe it’s a fiberglass riddle wrapped in a French enigma wrapped in a crispy taco shell. As those books that always ridiculed me for making the wrong decision promised, choose your own adventure!
eBay Motors

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  1. mad_science Avatar

    The question is: which is the worse idea: Saltillo Mexico or a Renault?

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Saltillo (via the suburb of Ramos Arizpe) is partially responsible for the Chevrolet Cavalier. Renault had nothing to do with that sin. As that is a completely accurate and valid comparison, Renault>Saltillo.

  2. Mr_Biggles Avatar

    The description in the add almost made my head asplode.
    Do you think the part where he says the car "…works and walks alone…" is some kind of that foreshadowing my prof was talking about in English Lit class? As in "He who drives Alpine shall ultimately walk alone down side of lonely country road"?

    1. Maymar Avatar

      I view it as a statement on this car's individuality. You could drive something more common – on a Mustang, you will work with leagues of peers, using a vast network of knowledge and parts, with a Corvette, you will walk, and drive (but only between extended detailing sessions) as one of many. With an obscure Mexican-market French rally car, you are on your own. It is enriching, it builds character, but it can be a lonely road.

  3. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    i don't think those dogs shiver when in mexico… i don't know from personal experience…. but my guess is that the climate is why they lost their coat…….

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Much of Mexico is fairly mountainous and it can get pretty chilly when you get up above a mile in elevation. I remember having to wear a sweater in San Luis Potosi (elevation 6,070 ft.) even in July.

      1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

        shhhhh…. you're intimidating my shivering puppies with knowledge.. and that is rude…

    2. zsm Avatar

      I think they shiver so much because they are so small. That has bad surface area to volume ratio as well as not allowing for various organs to be large enough. For example regulating blood sugar becomes a concern and a symptom is shaking.

      1. Deartháir Avatar

        Also, with their comically-large heads, a further concern is that they fall over forwards and leave their rear legs kicking in the air.
        It's true, I saw it on the Internets.

  4. Alff Avatar

    What is the car in the background in the ad? No time to research and I'm sure someone here knows it by sight.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      The grey one? An Alpine A110 GT4 (Dinalpin). I only know because someone asked the seller at the bottom. I also sight a Renault Megane and possibly a Citroen outside the fence.

      1. Syrax Avatar

        They're both Renaults, but there's not enough detail to make out the other one. Could be a Scenic.

        1. Balestra Avatar

          Correct. 2nd gen Megáne and first gen (post face-lift) Scénic

  5. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Obviously, we have to organize a rescue mission to go down there and liberate that poor, incarcerated rallye car.

  6. manchowder440 Avatar

    Is this car really worse than a cobra or ferrari replica turnkyey car from the 70s? I beleive kit cars could only be sold through factory dealers… dont beleive me? check out the "TOPORSHE" a topaz based 924 kit car sold by ford dealers in the 80s… check it out…
    now that's bad, but it was the only lwgal way to get a brand new Porsche-like car (aside from a vw bug) back in '85

    1. CJinSD Avatar

      Oh my. They only thing I can make out for certain, other than the Tempo/Topaz engine, is that they want $7,000 for this awkward, FWD, 944 clone. In a country where people are starving to death so we can add ethanol to our gas. Inexplicable.

  7. JacobDFriedman Avatar

    Kierstein, seriously, what the hell is that picture…

  8. Feds_II Avatar

    I don't think you'll have any problems picking the car up. I have my suspicions that the dogs at the border are going to be very interested in it though.
    Should you manage to get it home, I think your REAL problems will start when La Familia comes to get their merchandise back out of the car.

  9. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    You can guess what made me buy this record on sight:-
    <img src=""&gt;
    Fortunately, it turned out to be superb.

  10. Manic_King Avatar

    Two observations:
    – this place is high in the mountains in the middle of nowhere (google maps satellite view)
    – this place is for some reason quite well covered by the Street View. wtf.
    That is all.
    PS. I would by seventies Alfa 2000 GTV instead

  11. coupeZ600 Avatar

    Hey, I've traveled all over Mexico for many years now, and the most dangerous situations I've ever gotten in are the times you're talking to a cop, fed, narco, whatever, when after they've asked you if you've got any guns or drugs, and you answer "No", they ask you if you want to buy any.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      In resort areas and beach towns, narcs are everywhere. One common trick is to force tourists arrested for drugs to go out in the streets and trap other tourists with the prospects of cheap dope. It's either that or they rot in a Mexican prison. We had American young people come up to us on the streets and beaches in places like Acapulco and Mazatlan offering us Oaxacan gold or coke at "great" prices.

  12. Balestra Avatar

    Oh how I love that car! my first classic love, even before Pumas! Read a review on one recently on a Brazilian edition of Car and Driver, I believe. Silver…Gorgeous!