After purchasing this little French rocket a month ago, I finally made it to country NSW to pick this little car up from the previous owner.
Now, many people asked me “Why are you doing this? You wont make it back! Yadda yadda…” But, to the naysayers I say this…
A 1985 Renault Fuego with a quarter of a million kays on the odo just drove 1700km in a 24-hour period from contry NSW to Brisbane and didn’t miss a beat. It even sat comfortably at 110km/h (when allowed) and didn’t even slow down for hills, nor did it need a gear change back to fourth.
It has power steering, electric windows, comfortable seats and suspension tune, a massive boot and acres of vision.
This was the first ever car to have remote locking (infrared type) but, alas, the remotes have long perished yet the central locking still works as does every other electrical component.
For an unrestored car, this little thing is a credit to French engineering and longevity. It still looks great and has an awesome aerodynamic coefficient that even some new cars can’t match along with little touches like hidden door handles, secure boot lever, wipers on the headlights (luxury!) and a beautiful engine note.
Now, I must admit that compared to current cars the technology is not great, although an aftermarket head unit with a CD player and a Bluetooth add-on has seen that lift up, but back in its day this car was a game-changer for the price.
Now, you may still be asking, WHY?
It is simple… My friend and I are participating in the Mystery Box Challenge at the end of the year and as such we needed a reliable car older than 25 years. We wanted a Renault and this is what we chose. The, rest as they say, is history.
If you wish to donate to a wonderful cause go to this website and assist us in raising money for cancer research.
On our inaugural trip we encountered floodways and detours and also some stray wildlife that wanted to no longer be of this world, yet throughout the whole trip we slept in comfort in the passenger seat while the other one drove. And we never felt tired from driving (only from being awake for so long). Noise was minimal and apart from a windscreen wiper change (a bit old and cracked) and one strategic use of zip ties (bush mechanic, here we come) the whole trip went off without a hitch.
The fuel economy was even pretty impressive at approx 8.2L/100km. This for a 35 year old carby fed 2.0-litre motor. Modern 2.0-litre cars struggle to get this.
I am looking forward to many happy miles and our charity drive in November to really show what the sleek little coupe can do.