1980 Talbot Alpine GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


The last of an era... crap materials, good concept


Rust at the top of wheel arches, lip of tailgate and in floor pan on passenger side near front wheel arch (MOT fail).

Poor breathing (always unclogging breather pipes which glooped-up), failed alternator, thrust bearing on first gear.

General Comments:

I was made redundant: Was told could keep the company BMW for 1 month, or give it back and be given £400 compensation, so took the dosh and bought a bucket to run about in until a new job with a car came up. Picked up the Alpine. Had dented passenger door and said rust. Ran well. Damp interior...

I sorted out the dent, added some rubber door stripes and gave it a respray! I had it for 3 years in the end (no job with car came!). Ran well and screamed like a scolded cat in top gear from 50-75mph; a real burner! Was cheap to run. My 1st MOT only needed a new tyre - was astounded! Second one was the rust, and it needed welding, and the picky examiner said the indicators flashed too fast! So down to the junk yard for a relay. Sold it for the same as I paid for it - £395 to an AA engineer! He said it looked a good car... but it was on its last knockings in terms of economy for me...

It was comfy inside and loads of room!

My Father died and I inherited his low mileage Citroen BX. Once I had cleaned it up and sorted all the suspension leaks, it lasted me another 11 years until I got a new 4x4! So old cars can be a Godsend! Am glad I have a pic of my Alpine for prosperity!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th September, 2011

1980 Talbot Alpine GLS 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand


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Rear shocks on this model were prone to sag, and these had been replaced by previous owner (my Dad, who bought it at 120k), by Monroe items at 180k, as were new rings and valve seats installed at 140k.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

1981 Talbot Alpine LX 1.5 petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfortable and inexpensive to run, but unreliable


Power steering failed after 39,000 miles. Tried to drive with non assisted steering until I was finally fed up of such heavy steering. Went to the local garage and paid for the power steering to be repaired.

Petrol tank split and started to leak after 44,000 miles. Had a new tank fitted at the local garage.

Broke down several times in the space of one year.

General Comments:

The Alpine was reasonably cheap to run, comfortable and had good dealer backup. But it was only average to drive and was plagued by seemingly endless reliability problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th October, 2005

1982 Talbot Alpine GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


It was reliable and dependable


Mechanically - no serious problems.

Bodywork - rusted badly in places.

An engine fire at 12,500 miles necessitated a major rebuild.

General Comments:

The car was mechanically good and technically advanced for its time. It was reliable mechanically and very easy to maintain. The 1600 cc engine consistently returned 35 mpg over its lifetime. The main problem was the body rot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th December, 2003

1st Oct 2005, 16:51

I had a series of them, 3 I think, when I was a medical student in the early nineties and needed to get between hospitals. Why? I was skint and you could buy one with 6 months MOT for £100. If I got more than a couple of months use out the the heap I was happy enough and one got 3 MOT's with just the (expected) welding.

Good bits? Economical. Cheap.

Bad bits? The rest. But then I got 4 years motoring for the cost of a couple of months repayments on something smarter.