Monday, September 26, 2011

Beautiful 1970 Renault R16

It must be the day for Renaults... The first 3 e-mails I opened tonight were pointing out Renaults.

The R16 is a car that could truly be called revolutionary. It was the first modern mass produced 4 door hatchback. It was FWD, but the engine sat behind the transaxale, giving it great balance and excellent handling. The car's wheelbase was unequal. The left side was 2.76 inches longer than the right. This allowed the car to have very long torsion bars which gave it an incredibly comfortable ride. (The LeCar / R5 used a similar set up.)

It also had some great French quirks. The shifter for the 4 speed manual transmission was column mounted. The rear seats could be folded or removed. The front seats could be folded flat to create a bed.

This car was rescued in 2009. It had been sitting with a blown motor since 1978. Everything that needed to be replaced was replaced. All the work was done professionally. The body is remarkably original with just the hood and hatch having been repainted.

The R16 was never very popular in the US. Renault had a very small dealer network and a less than stellar reputation here. But they were extremely popular in Europe and other parts of the world. Renault built 1,845,959 from 1965 through 1980. Its influence can still be seen on cars today.

Located in Ballard, WA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

For more info and pictures of R16s, check out the Renault 16 Site.

A big thanks to David for sending me the link to this car!

5 comments:

rrshadow2 said...

I've owned several Renaults over the years, my first being a R-10 which I learned how to drive in, followed by several R-16s including a Canadian assmebled R-16 TS with a crossflow head, power windows and Dunlop alloy Wheels. I mysteriously made this particlar car appear on the US side of the border and with a drill and rivet gun is became a US spec R-16 Automatic! I also owned a Le Car or two or three and a Medallion ( horrible!) Other than the Medallion I loved all the Renaults I had and still at some point hope to get a 78 or 79 Gordini

TGM said...

Cool car, it looks to be in great shape. However it has no title. What a headache that is going to be for the buyer.

Matt Cotton said...

Bravo! I would love to keep my R16 up this well, but I can't find a mechanic that won't hang up on me! :-(
Matt Cotton
Lake Parsippany, Nj

rrshadow2 said...

I've bought cars in this No Title situation, it's actually pretty easy, as long as the car is registered and it's gone through all the hoops which his one has, it's a matter of waiting out the 3 years, but you have to keep track yourself of when the 3 years is up, they don't notify you, Once the 3 years is up you go in to the DMV and tell them you want your title, they check to make sure you've waited long enough and if you have, they give it to you! Pretty Simple

Mike Harrell said...

I just finished the three-year waiting period for a title here in WA for a car that came out of GA [where titles aren't required for cars made before 1986!]. As rrshadow2 described, it's entirely straightforward and routine, as long as nobody steps forward with a counterclaim during the waiting period.