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My Renault Alpine


"I used to roll my pedal car down our long driveway with my feet up because the pedals would go too fast for me," says the 46-year-old electrician.  I suppose that was the fun thing to do at that age."

He graduated from pedal cars to real cars when his father bought him a 1977 XC Falcon ex-taxi.  But what he really wanted was something more exotic.

A few years later he bought a 1979 Alfa GTV for $7700 at auction and even though it had "rust like you wouldn't believe on a three-year-old car", Moore had become hooked on Euro-exotica.

"My neighbour had a lot of Renaults at the time, he says.  "I liked the shape of his 15TS and the Alfa was sending me broke, so I decided to get one.  He wouldn't sell me his, but I got one for $1800."

The love affair with French cars, in particular Renaults, had begun Over the years he's owned a Peugeot 205 GTI, two Pug 405s, a 1973 BMW 2002 tii, a 1954 Renault 4CV, a 1989 Renault Alpine GTA Turbo and a 2005 Falcon BA Futura wagon as the daily driver.  The Pugs have since been sold.

"Generally French cars are more comfortable and I guess I like to be a bit different," he says.  "I appreciate well-made cars and given a few million dollars I'd own a lot of cars from other manufacturers, but four is enough for most of us."

Moore bought the 4CV for $500 in 1992 and has since replaced the 749cc engine with a 1605cc donk from a Renault 16TS.  Likewise, he is about to replace the 2458cc V6 engine in the GTA for a three-litre V6 from an early '90s Volvo 960.

The 1988-plated engine was made under an alliance with Peugeot and Renault. The flexible engines were made from 1972 to the late '90s for use in either transverse or longitudinal engine bays in the front or rear mated to either rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive.

The original GTA model produced 154kW, but Moore has already fitted a bigger GT30 71R Garrett turbo that returns about 186kW.  "With the new engine and bigger cams, valves and injector and depending on the boost I expect to get over 300hp (223kW)," he said.  "I do all my own mechanicals and modifications except for wheel alignments and upholstery," he says.

His interest in bigger engines stems from his amateur racing career in motorkhanas, hillclimbs and club sprints.  He mainly uses the 2002 for race duties, but the Alpine will figure more prominently once he shoehorns in the bigger motor.

Renault-owned French manufacturer Alpine produced 3400 GTAs in left-hand drive and only 343 in right-hand drive between 1986 and 1991.
Moore bought his rear-engined right-hand-drive coupe for about $14,000 in 2004.

Apart from the engine, the rest of the vehicle is all original, although he has replaced the wheels with AZEV 255/40 17s because tyres for the original 255/50 15s were too difficult to find and too expensive.

"It handles well," he says.  "In slow corners it understeers and if you come on the boost mid-corner it will put its tail out a bit.  "They say rear-engined cars don't handle ... someone forgot to tell Mr Porsche that."

Moore also has a shed full of bikes in need of restoring.  "I'll have to work until I'm at least 80 to pay for the things I've got to restore," he says.

Allan Moore's garage:

1989 Renault Alpine GTA Turbo
2005 BA Futura Wagon
1973 BMW 2002 tii
1956 Renault 4CV
1986 Honda TLR200 Trials
1976 Yamaha XT500
1974 Yamaha TY250A
1972 Suzuki T500
1970 Triumph Bonneville
1968 BMW R60/2
1938 BMW R71
1937 Rudge Special

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