Paging through South African motorsport archives, the names Eric 'Puddles' Adler and John Conchie crop up on many occasions. More often than not because, under the banner Alconi and as part of the Ecurie Aquila team, they managed to make everyday cars into giant killers. Fiat, Simca and Ford Taunus list up alongside their names but the real action starts in 1966 with an Alconi R8 winning the South African Group 2 title for saloon cars. So impressive were the results and reliability that Alconi and Renault South Africa teamed up to offer clients road-going Alconi R8 and Alconi R10s fully backed by Renault head office and sold through its dealer network. ‘Alconi’ was a play on the combination and shortening of Adler and Conchie.
In road format Alconi got the R10 basics spot on with a lumpier than standard cam (ground by Piwie Buys), branch type exhaust and a twin-choke downdraft Weber carburettor. Initially the conversion was done by removing the engine and swapping out the camshaft but when it was discovered that the camshaft lined up perfectly with the rear number plate, Alconi starting punching a hole through the bodywork to extract/install the item.
Like Gordini, Alconi did offer optional Delta alloys but for those wanting an under the radar performance saloon, the steel/hubcap option seen on the 1966 Alconi pictured, it was the way forward. Only the subtle badge (a snake wrapped around a conrod/piston) gives a hint as to the improved performance.