Sunday, January 18, 2009

1983 Renault LeCar (R5) on eBay

OK - I'll say it. I like these cars.

I, personally, have never owned a LeCar (I have had several Renaults in my life; a couple of R17 Gordinis and a Fuego. I also had an 18i, but didn't like it very much), but I became intimate with one when the woman I was dating bought one brand new in 1983. I was a little sceptical at first, but it turned out to be a great car.

Every weekend she'd make the 200 mile round trip to my house in it. We took it on several long distance drives up and down the east coast and took it to Canada and back twice. It never once let us down. No doubt about it, it was SLOW (although I did manage to get a speeding ticket in Canada in it), but it got great gas mileage, handled well and rode like no other small car rode. It also had an amazing amount of room in it and a giant sunroof that, when opened, gave it a sporty feel.

LeCars need to be maintained. Oil and filter every 3000 miles and a cooling system flush once a year are musts, but if you do those little chores you'll have essentially a trouble free car. (Two LeCar "quirks" that should be noted here - When filling the cooling system, the lines have to be "burped" to remove the air - If you don't do that the car WILL overheat. The second quirk is more of a big deal, but fortunately not one you'll deal with often; to change the starter you, for all intents and purposes, have to remove the engine!)

Bodywise, LeCars rusted above the rear wheel wells. Other than that there is no serious or unusual flaw in the body (My girlfriend's LeCar had 85,000 miles on it and was still going strong when she was t-boned by a Ford Granada. She walked away unhurt, although the car was totaled)

Parts are getting harder to find, but you still see plenty of them listed on eBay. Renault sold a million R5s worldwide, so pretty much anything is available overseas. It should also be noted that there are all sorts of aftermarket performance parts available overseas. If you wanted to go crazy you could turn a LeCar into a mini hot rod - One that would rival any "hot hatch" (or Mini Cooper) from that era.

These cars looked great in silver and the one listed on eBay is silver with a red interior. It has the optional sunroof, too. It also appears to have been well maintained and in great condition.

If it's a cool, funky, economical car you're looking for, a Renault LeCar can't be beat.

Click here to see this 1983 Renault LeCar on eBay.

For more info on the Renault R5 / LeCar check out this R5 website.

2 comments:

Anthony said...

I have been craving this LeCar for months. The owner puts it on ebay, at nutty high prices every few weeks.. but it IS amongst the finest I've seen for sale. I'd sell my smart to have this in a second.. if it were west coast. Such a sexy ride!

Sandee said...

Hey! Is this LeCar still for sale?