Tag Archives: Renault

Silverstone Auction’s First Restoration Show Sale Will Take Your Money And Your Heart

By Tim Smith

I’ve got a double shift to do today, so I’m not going to be able to dedicate the time I’d like to today’s post, but, suffice to say, get a bit of your time together and check out the lot list for Silverstone Auctions’ first Restoration Show Sale.

The auction itself goes down next Saturday the 12th of April (2014 if you’re reading this in the future, in which case, are we all speaking Russian, now?) and my goodness, there’s some good stuff going. Here’re my three favourites:




All of that is an Allard P1. It look’s great. Performance isn’t so great, but then this is a car from 1951. The original engine is a Ford ‘Flathead’ V8. A large proportion of the bits that make Allards go and stop are Ford sourced, so the actual restoration of making the thing move shouldn’t (famous last words etc…) be too hard.

I reckon, with money being not a thing, get that body looking brilliant, find some modern running gear and drive around looking, not only deeply cool, but also, as the mood takes you, perhaps go hunting M5’s and the like. Oh and the windscreen hinges at the top so you can hoist it up when the sun’s out. Yes it does.





The Renault Sport Spider does not come with a roof. Repeat The Renault Sport Spider Does Not Come With A Roof. It does, however come with a F7R engine with 150bhp that only needs to push around 970kg.

These things are only going to get more expensive and the auction estimate is already high at 14-18,000 Stirlings. If you’ve got the room to store it and the money to track it, do so now. This lovely little thing is surely a future unicorn car in the making.



This is a 1935 Morris flat-bed lorry. Spend loads of time on it, get it right, and do this. That is all.

What’s your favourite? Comment’s below.


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Seat Leon Cupra Takes The Biggest Willy, Ahem, Fastest FWD ‘Ring Record From Renault


By Tim Smith

Ah, Mr Megane, I presume. I hear your’e still walking around with all of that swagger, all of that confidence of someone who holds a record over at the ‘ol ‘ring? I even hear you’ve had a bit of cosmetic surgery done on yourself, keeping things fresh, eh?

I know, I know, you’re not the most compromising thing out there but you’ve got the power, right?

Well, I’ve just got a figure I wanna throw your way:


Remember it well, eh?

Look, we can even watch a bit of you doing all of that time, driving around, taking the lines, getting all fast on the straits.

Ah, but Mr Megane, I have a new figure for you:


Sounds silly, eh? The bugger must be undrivable on an actual road?

I dunno, but here’s the footage:


04/03/2014 · 16:25

Next Citroen C1 Won’t Look Like A Skull Anymore



By Tim Smith

Have you ever noticed that ‘facelifted’ cars tend to look worse than the original design? Witness the Renault Megane, once plain but handsome, it  now appears to have put a funny mask on.






Similarly, the once cute little Citroen C1 appears to have had its nose ripped off leaving it somewhat reminisent of a skull. I jape you not. Just look at one next time it flies by on a magic carpet of demon dust. You will not be able to unsee that. No way.



But now there is good news. Citroen have released official pictures and details of the new C1. And it doesn’t look like a skull anymore. In fact, it looks rather good.


I have no idea what ‘driving, refined’ means

Citroen say it will be available in three body styles: 3 and 5 door and an ‘Airscape’ open-top. Expect that one to have a roll back roof similar to the Fiat 500.

They also say it will weigh 840kg. So that’s efficiency, and hopefully a spritely drive taken care of.


Nope, still no idea


Having driven the last generation 107 (identical to the C1 except for the badge), I can confidently say it was a rather good little machine with a soulful 3-cylinder motor. I liked it. Citroen/Peugeot/Toyota should get rid of the old power steering pump, though. ‘Feel’ was replaced by the sensation that you were stirring PVA glue like you did when you were 5. Right before you would coat your fingers in it then have the pleasure of peeling it off like a second skin. Don’t look at me like that. You did it too.

As before it will be tripleted with Peugeot and Toyota versions built in the same factory.

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It’s What Ron Dennis Would’ve Wanted.

The McLaren Position One looks great. iPhone’s are great. Why not join the two?

For reasons only known to science, someone, somewhere within McLaren has made an app that we can all download.

So, First things first, download the app. Once done and started up it kindly asks you to print a picture for the app to recognise.

With that done I tried it out. Holy Moly, Mother of Cheese, this is cool. I promptly took the clothes off of the million pound made up car  that wasn’t actually sat on top of my printer.


By moving the phone closer you can peer at the parts of the car like they are actually there. I was impressed. See those little white circles? They give tech info on the car, like what kind of tyres it has and what the engine does and stuff.

Then I thought ‘What Scandalous Behaviour! I should put all of the cars clothes back on this instant!’ So I did:


Then I was all like, ‘I should go on a walk and have the Position One celebrate all the things that Ron Dennis would want’.

First up was seeing a ten-year-old Renault Clio. Now, Renault have been doing Formula One on ol’ Ronny for some time, now. They power the Red Bull cars that keep making McLaren look a little on the bad side. So I placed the Position One on the Clio’s bonnet and declared it in the name of Ron Dennis. McLaren, One, ten-year-old Renault Clio, Nil.

ImageI then walked a little bit up the street and saw a badly parked Kia Carens. ‘I bet Ron doesn’t like a badly parked Kia Carens’, I thought. So I parked the McLaren position One on the back of the offending Kia. ‘Owned!’ I thought, as I quietly fist pumped the air in my imagination.


Walking a bit further on I passed a Mercedes E63 AMG. ‘I’ll bet Ron hates Mercedes, now that they’re doing some Formula One on him’, I thought. ‘I know, I’ll get one over those buggers by putting a McLaren Position One on the bonnet.’


Anyway, after all that faffing around sticking pieces of paper on peoples cars then running away, I thought I should go and get a coffee. I bet Ron Dennis likes coffee, so I made the McLaren Position One naked in the coffee shop.


The coffee was really great. After that I thought I should go and declare a book in the name of Ron Dennis. Popping next door to the local library, what should present itself, but a fresh copy of  No Angel: The Secret Life Of Bernie Ecclestone by Tom Bower. ‘The McLaren Position One should bloody-well drive all over this’, I thought. So it bloody-well did.


Next I wondered what Ron Dennis would like to eat. I realised almost instantly that what he probably doesn’t like is noodles. ‘I bet he hates those little errant strings of Chinese egg based products’, I successfully thought to myself. Gathering all of my by-proxy hate I marched into the local Co-op and prompty drove the Position One all over some reasonably priced dried noodles.


Doing this, I felt my work was almost done, but then I remembered that living near the world’s first suspension bridge constructed by a bloke in the 19th century and hailed by nationalists the country over as something we should all feel proud of was something Ron Dennis would probably like. Braving the windy conditions I made the McLaren Position One’s presence not felt on this engineering classic.


I felt restless, though. How can I truly honour Ron’s achievements and push for the perfection he would want? ‘I know’, I thought. ‘I’ll get a massive shot of the whole bridge, it’s what Ron Dennis would want.’


I felt like my work was done, and began the long walk home, when I suddenly spotted a Porsche. ‘Those buggers are going to make a mid-engined MP4 rival soon’, I thought. ‘I’d better get some ownage in before it’s too late.’


Now my work is surely complete. It is what Ron dennis would have wanted.

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No Time

Renault is not historically an avant guarde maker of machines. While Citroen took care of the godess’ Renault would go about the everyday making hatchbacks for the everyman and woman. Indeed, their only standout innovative product(1) was the 1984 Espace.

Although the Espace wasn’t an especially new idea(2) Renault held onto this success so tightly that in 2001 they attempted to replace the unloved Safrane with two cars, one of which was effectively an Espace coupe, the Avantime.


Thierry Metroz, design project manager, said ‘we wanted someone walking around the car to be continually astonished'(3). Although looking a little loose next to the 1999 ‘Coupespace’ concept, the Avantime retains its form simply by being unique.

The car features, contrary to much of the current generation, a large glass house. With no B pillars, both front and back windows could be retracted for a ‘grand air’ mode. The upper frame is exposed aluminium giving, perhaps, the world’s only justified two-tone colour scheme.


The Avantime was effectively built, designed and engineered by Matra, the original makers of the Espace, their reasoning being that those who had been transported as children around in the Renault badged MPV would remain loyal to the concept. They weren’t, although putting one foot in front of the other in almost any European population centre will reveal that they did buy into the conceptually similar ‘crossover’.

Personally, I will never forget that as I would arrive to junior school I would always see a friend being delivered by the then new generation one Espace V6. It really did look like a shuttle that could achieve warp speeds. I still want one now.


I think it is reasonable to state that almost everything on the road has become distinctly Germanic. Renaults own range (Renault Sport excepted(4)) has become largely derivative of this model. Perhaps seeking to distinguish themselves they have recently signed a production and development deal with Caterham. Renault Sport will continue to define their romanticism as a product, but we probably won’t see anything like the Avantime again.

Howmanyleft.co.uk shows that their are only 299 registered to British roads. I would suggest you go and find one.

Advert reproduced below:


Renault Avantime 2.0 16V TURBO DYNAMIQUE 3DR 2002

Blue, Standard Features – ABS, Alloy wheels, Central locking, Electric sunroof, Front armrest, Headlight washers, Folding rear seats, Immobiliser, Passenger airbag, Rear armrest, Side airbags, Radio/CD, Rear headrests, Traction control, Audio remote control, Body coloured bumpers, Drivers airbag, Electric door mirrors, Front electric windows, Front head restraints, Heated door mirrors, Height adjustable drivers seat, PAS, Rear wiper, Remote central locking, Trip computer, Alarm, Electrically adjustable drivers seat, Front fog lights, Isofix child seat anchor points, Rear electric windows, £2,995

1. Although it was marketed and sold by Renault, the Espace was designed and engineered by Matra. For the sake of market dominant logic I will place the design and engineering-set within the end-consumer-standpoint-set.

2. The Espace was preceded by Guigiaro’s 1978 concept, the Lancia Megagamma, and to a certain extent the 1956 Fiat 600 Multipla.

3. Hutton, R, (2002) Renault Avantime [online] Available from: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/renault-avantime-mini-test-road-test [Accessed 15/08/13]

4. There is a sub-argument that states the hot-hatch (largely what Renault do best these days) concept was first populated by the French with the Renault 5 Gordini. This maybe true, but the one we all remember, the one that perfected the recipe, was the Golf GTI.

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