1980 Talbot Alpine GLS 1.4


Greatest car in the history of the world


Rear shocks on this model were prone to sag, and these had been replaced by previous owner (my Dad, who bought it at 120k), by Monroe items at 180k, as were new rings and valve seats installed at 140k.

Windscreen washer needed replacing (with a Toyota model) at 260,000km.

Window winder (plastic) broke at about 300k.

Fuel gauge stopped working at approx 420k.

Distance Odometer failed at 450k.

Drive shaft universals packed it in at 300k.

Rust, like you wouldn't believe, in the rear hatch door, and lower door skins. All repaired easily, at about 300,000km.

Replaced front upper steering toe-joints at 350k due to wear.

Overall, the defects were only caused by age, and distance.

General Comments:

Fantastic car to drive, and own.

Comfortable to ride in, and handled like it was glued to the road. Could drive for 6 or 8 hours easily, and get out still feeling as good as when you got in.

A bit heavy around town, with no power steering, and a clunky gearbox, but on the open road... magic!

Always driven at speeds above 130km/h (80mph), and never failed to return less than 40mpg! One old bloke I knew had the same model, and his was driven at 90km/h, returning 50, yes 50mpg!!!

Never used any oil, and was regularly serviced every 20,000km. Great little push-rod engine design meant no need for expensive cam-belt changes. Also, the sloping east-west engine design made the bonnet nice and low, and it was very aerodynamic, especially in a cross wind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2006

27th Mar 2011, 11:33

Agreed, a great car.

The main reason I bought one was the width of the rear seat, which would accommodate three child safety seats with ease. This was because, unlike most similarly sized cars of the time, the rear wheel arches did nor protrude into the ends of the seat.

Rust? Mine was a GLS, bright red with a black "fabric" covered roof. In time the fabric shrank and lifted along the line of the roof gutters. This meant that water entered under the fabric, resulting in the roof (yes the roof) rusting through (as well as all the other places you mentioned).

The interior was all pale grey with suede effect seats that never seemed to show the dirt!

Engine? I think mine was 1400cc with a twin choke carb. This made it very economical & fast when needed, 40mpg being the norm. But the noise from those tappets! A Talbot trait. At my first MOT I told the mechanic that I had adjusted them, but it was just as noisy. His reply: "I know mate, you can close the gap as much as you like, but those engines will always sound like a bag of nails!"

But what a great car, it covered 129,000 miles, and I only ever had to replace anything because it had worn out!

And the day it went to the great scrapyard in the sky (because of rust), the pale grey interior still looked so fresh and classy.