Sunday, February 10, 2019

1970 Renault R16

This was a revolutionary car back in its day. Introduced in 1965, it was one of the first "upmarket" 4 door hatchbacks. It had a torsion bar suspension with an unequal wheelbase. 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 was FWD, but the engine sat behind the transaxale, giving it great balance and excellent handling. Renault built the R16 through 1980. They sold over 1,800,000 of them.

Renault even tried to sell it in the U.S., but very few sold. (Maybe it was too revolutionary for us. But, most likely we didn't buy it because it was a Renault. The Dauphine debacle was still fresh in our minds.)

This is a US spec car, although the seller says the original owner picked it up in France. (Probably through a European delivery program. Back then, most European brands offered that. Some still do today, but the number seems to be dwindling.) The U.S. version differed slightly from the European version. In the U.S. we got twin sealed beam headlights, side marker lights and a different engine.

This car looks like it would be an excellent restoration project. The seller has done quite a bit of work already including 4 new tires (tube type), brakes, muffler, carburetor, fuel pump, water pump and more. He say that all lights, signals, horn, wipers, fans, instruments and electrical are working. He says the car has some chips, dents, scratches, hail dings, and "flaws," but minimal rust. It also "starts, runs, drives, and stops well." The ad says the mileage is 7500, which I am sure is wrong.

The asking price is a $3999.00. It sounds like you could drive it while you restore it. Or, don't restore it at all. Take it to shows as an example of a well used, but well loved R16.

Located in Oklahoma City, OK, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

No comments: