Back in 2006 when the 24 Hours of LeMons first launched the world’s craziest racing series, you could actually buy a running car for $500. It wasn’t easy and you didn’t have your pick of the best stuff around, but for 500 smackeroos you could get something that just needed a roll cage and some new wheels to make it to the race track. But inflation marches ever forward…and Cash for Clunkers decimated the population of really cheap stuff on craigslist. Add the fact that anybody can get “cheap” loan money combined with the effect of un-ending random stimulus checks from multiple economic crises, the same amount of cash won’t buy you much. Today, the $500 on craigslist costs $2000, but every once in a full moon, you find something with frozen rear brakes, bald tires, dead battery, and various other problems for under that magical, mythical, and arbitrary $500 price. Time to go racing. Find this 1985 Renault Fuego offered for $500 in Binghamton, NY (or PA?) via craigslist. Tip from ME.
The Renault R10 was a small French family sedan that offered a surprisingly Beetle-like architecture (1100cc rear-engine riding on a swing-axle). But today’s example has been electrified…and apparently the electrification work was done way back in the 1960s when gas was cheap and nobody knew who Elon Musk was. It was a simple time. Find this 1968 Mars II offered for $5500 in Junction City, OR via craigslist. Tip from Evan.
I was wandering through a middle American neighborhood the other day and I passed by a parked Saturn L-something sitting in a driveway. It was in decent shape and the owner probably bought it new and it got me wondering — what would the nicest Saturn L300 (for instance) be worth on the open market today? And would anyone want one at any price? This opened the bigger question as to the market for nice versions of terrible cars (see the Terdcel from the other day), and then this next time came through…and I couldn’t help but feature what is probably the nicest Fuego that isn’t en fuego. Find this 1985 Renault Fuego offered for $9000 in Killingworth, CT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Renault Alliance was the result of an alliance between Renault and AMC, which was less of an alliance and more of a case of AMC borrowing a large sum of cash from Renault. In its day, the Alliance was the French version of the Honda Civic and lived on an Americanized Renault 9 chassis, but was assembled in Kenosha Wisconsin. The ragtop was ‘convertiblized’ by the American Sunroof Company, a custom builder regularly employed on oddball Detroit projects such as the ASC McLaren Grand Prix, Buick GNX, Chrysler Cordoba LS..etc. But, the most striking thing about today’s Alliance is how it managed to survive the last 35 years in such remarkable (and running!!) condition. Find this 1985 Renault Alliance Convertible offered for $4,500 or trade for Prius in Cedarburg, WI via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The Renault 11 was a small family car built by the French automaker for several years (1981-1988). Styling was by French designer Robert Opron (Simca 1100, Citroen DS restyle, SM, GS, CX, Renault Alpine, Fuego, and Alfa Romeo SZ) but mechanical bits were sketchy metal things shared with the Renault Alliance and Encore. The end result is a car that looks amazing while sitting on the side of the road. Is that such a bad thing? Find this 1985 Renault 11 Turbo offered for $6,900 in Longwood, FL via craigslist. Tip from David.
The Fuego was built by Renault from 1980 to 1986, sold in the US through AMC dealers and featured such innovations as the world’s first keyless remote system…which is funny because this next Fuego is being offered sans keys. And it’s on a trailer….but at least the listed price is low and this appears to […]
The Renault R8 (later just called the 8) was a small sedan for the common man launched in 1962 with boxy styling and a chassis based on the curvy Dauphine platform. The R8 used a Beetle style rear engine / rear drive setup and was slow in stock trim, but Renault released a Gordini version […]
Few cars elicit the same degree of guffawed snickers as a French built car sold in AMC dealers with the Spanish name for fire. Yeah. The one car that is more Rodney Dangerfield than even Pontiac’s Fiero…the Renault Fuego. It is a car that was loved by a few, misunderstood by many, and is all […]
If you ask an automotive lovin’ kid today what he/she thinks about the Renault Alliance, they’ll probably tell you that Carlos Ghosn was framed, but Nissan should run as far away from the French automaker as possible..but if you ask an old seasoned car guy, he/she will regale you with stories of Franco-Merican build quality, MotorTrend’s […]
Life is just too short to spend your time driving something boring like a new Honda Civic or the bus. We spend too much time focusing on convenience and reliability — and the concept of adventure is just tossed out the window like the smoldering end of a freshly smoked gauloise. Buck the trends, beat […]