Saturday, April 3, 2010

Weekend Quickies - Saturday April 3, 2010

1970 Renault R16 TL - The first French car I ever drove was an R16. Back when I was in my late teens my car was stolen. I had just moved out on my own and didn't have a whole lot of money. My landlord, a French woman named Gisele, was nice enough to lend me her R16 for awhile (She also had a Mercedes - I don't remember what model - that was her "baby". She used to talk to it. I'm not kidding.) It was the first and only manual transmission car I have ever driven with a column mounted shifter.

From a practical standpoint the R16 was brilliant. It was the first large (by European standards), "upmarket" 4 door hatchback. With a torsion bar suspension, it had a great ride. The engine was mounted behind the FWD transaxle, which gave it a nice balance and excellent handling characteristics. The French just seem to know how to perfectly combine a smooth ride with great handling characteristics.

Extremely popular worldwide, the R16 never sold well in the US. The last one I saw may have been the one I drove in the late seventies. I can't remember seeing another one in person.

This car is actually two cars put together to make one. The seller writes, "The first (car) with about 70,000 miles was a northern car with excellent interior and excellent mechanicals, and the second car was a California car with dried out interior and some mechanical issues. All work was done professionally and there is no cobbling or short cuts taken when preparing this car." Someone should start a business of matching good California bodies with good east coast interiors and engines. You wouldn't make a lot of money doing that with old Renaults, but with other marques... hmmmm.

It's really great to see a car like this in this condition.

Located in Midland, Michigan, click here to see the eBay listing.

1956 Lancia B24S Convertible - This is eye candy, pure and simple. This car will not go cheaply, nor should it.

This car is drop dead gorgeous. A timeless Pininfarina design. There's not much more I can say. Check out the eBay listing. You can find it here.

1974 BMW 200tii - I don't get it. How can a car that is this much fun to drive have only have 77,000 miles on it? That's about 2100 miles per year.

This is a very nice driver quality 2002tii. It was originally red, but was repainted a deep blue. The color looks really good. There are a few dings and blemishes here and there, but nothing too serious. The interior appears to be in great condition.

This is the type of car you could leave in the garage all week and take to a few local shows every now and then. You'd be keeping the mileage low and you might win a few trophies with it. But, if it were mine, I'd drive it to work a few times a week, through the mountains on the weekends, participate in a few TSD rallies and take it to a few local car shows. I'd double the mileage in no time, but, in my mind, that's what a car like this is for.

Located in Pleasanton, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

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