Thursday, May 5, 2011

Renault Le Car Sport - Le Restoration Update

Remember the Renault Le Car Sport I posted back in December, 2010? (You can see the post here.)

JaCG reader, Sandee, bought it. Sandee has been sending me updates. I think it's time I share some of them...

A little background...

Sandee had been looking to replace her original silver 1982 Renault LeCar Sport (shown below, with Sandee, in some 1983 pictures) for a number of years. Over the winter, she found 2 black Sports. One was a 1982 in "OK" condition and the other a 1983 in "pretty good" condition.

The 1982 Le Car, the car featured here in December, became the donor car for the 1983. The 1983 is getting a full restoration.

While I hate seeing any car become a donor car, it's understandable in this case. The 1983 has just 29,000 miles on it and still had the original window sticker. (The car and the sticker are pictured below.) Sandee bought it from a guy named Clayton, described by Sandee as "a REAL Renault collector and enthusiast". (Sandee has promised to send me info about Clayton later on. As the former owner of 2 R17 Gordinis, 2 18is, an R10, a Fuego and an R12, I can't wait to hear about this guy!)

The 1983 is now in the body shop.

Sandee wrote in her e-mail:

"When you’re into cars like this, it helps to have a supportive (spouse) and an equally as crazy friend who also happens to be a body shop guy!"

Sandee is a very lucky person. I think most of us would be happy to find one of the two!

Below is a picture of Gavin, the body shop owner. How often do you see a body shop guy give a thumbs up and a smile to an old Renault LeCar? With that picture, Gavin just became a super-hero to me and many JaCG readers! (I remember how difficult it was for me to find a body shop that would deal with my ill-fated Austin America. Of course, those of you who remember the story will know that I picked the worst possible shop. - How many times have I linked to that post? 6? 10? 15? Do you get the idea that I'm still a little bitter about it?)

As shown below, Sandee visits the car regularly. With some new brakes, interior work, some engine tweaks and a bit of work to the A/C, she expects to have it done just in time for the 2011 International French Car Meet, in Carlisle, PA, May 20-22.

Finding people like Sandee is what makes writing this blog so cool. As I've written in the past, I respect people who restore old Ferraris, Maseratis, Jaguars and the like; the "real" collectable cars. But, every car, exotic or not, is a piece of history. It takes a unique, special type of person to put time, money and effort into restoring a "non-collectable", often ignored, car. Those people get a little extra respect in my eyes. Sandee is that type of person.

Thanks for the updates, Sandee!


Jon said...

Excellent post!

pickles said...

Love it. I agree, people who restore 'the classics' are fine people- yet brilliant cars like the Le Car despite their earlier numbers success, are equally rare- and need to be saved. I've been looking for a nice R5 for years now. I'd say maybe 15 come up for sale a year. RARE! It's superfantastic that Sandee is doing it right. That car looks amazing. I have real, friendly envy. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Sandee... You rock!!!!

Sandee said...

I AM CLOSE TO TEARS! Personal satisfaction aside ... it's hearing from like-minded "car geeks" really make it SO worth it! Dave, great article, thanks very very much ...

Mr. Pickles - THUMBS UP!

pickles said...

Since we're all having a Le Car love-fest, here's a fun link for the Renault fan- albeit of a slightly earlier vintage... A Popular Mechanics review of the R5..

Quantum Joe said...

Congrats, sandee! It looks great.