1 2 3
RossD UltimaDork
6/9/17 9:48 p.m.

Well. It happened. I bought this car. It's the ugliest cute car I've ever seen, but it struck something in me that made me want to drive a slow car...slowly. Or not at all as the case may be for now, as it doesn't have brakes nor runs. And the tires are dry rotted. Oh, you've read this far and you haven't left yet due to lack of poorly lit crappy cell phone photos.

The "pièce de résistance":

I conned an old co-worker of mine to come along for the ride (he likes funky cars too) and we hit the road. Other than a 45 minute slowdown on the highway it was uneventful. Pulled into the closest U-haul rental place near the Renault and got an actual car trailer rather than a dolly. The owner said the tires weren't dry rotted but I didn't want to rely on that piece of information and be sitting on the side of the road with a mangled tire.

When we finally got there, this little crusty gem greeted us. M-B 190D automatic!

He was selling it too but after my buddy (who owned a 240D) checked it out determined it was a little too worse for wear even at $1000 asking price.

Here's a couple other cool cars sitting around Subaru 360 and a Saab

Another 360

This beetle's pan was rusted through and the guy's 6 year old son was very excite to show us the 'big hole'. Lol.

Renault Dauphine, the Renault 8 on the right and another Saab, IIRC. He had a handful of M-B 4 cylinder intake manifolds sitting there too. He said there was even more in the barn but we didn't have enough time to check those out. Then the obligatory old man on a tractor pulled up on an Allis Chalmers WD so we talked tractors for a second! (I have a Allis Chalmers D17)

Then we started to check out the "8". He was pretty honest about the condition after seeing the car so after a minimal amount of time checking it out, we rolled it out of the shed. Easy peasy. But hold on. The car doesn't run, and the driveway away from the shed is up an incline. Lucky for me, I bought a wire cable come-along and we ratched it up. I would advise on getting a come-along that has more than 6' of pull to it but after a couple rounds of different lengths of chains and tow straps, we had it on the trailer and loaded up. Frankly, it took longer than we thought but it was uneventful.

On the trailer!

The ride home was pretty easy too, but it was the first time I ever used the paddle shifters in my '14 Grand Cherokee (3.6 pentastar V6, 4x4, Limited, 8 Speed Auto, 6,200 tow capacity) in more than just a novelty fashion. I manually shifted it all the way home through some rather hilly country side. Well hilly for an area of the country where it was smooshed over by glaciers several times. I kept the rpms between 3-4k and upshifted on the down side of hills to make the trans spin slower and lessen the heat put into it. I also kept the transmission fluid gauge up on the console and it rarely hit more than 201°F. Usually upper 190s°F. I don't watch that particular gauge often as I usually keep the fuel economy one up on the screen, but after I dropped the trailer off after getting the car home, it seemed to stay pretty consistent with those numbers. I kept up with the slow lane of traffic on the interstate all the way back home and felt nice and solid. No tail wagging, but I was being careful. So I would say it was a successful tow home of a 1900lb car. Does anyone know what the Uhaul car trailer ways? I just assumed it was less than 4,300 lbs.

Back home in it's resting place!

Then I had to do some dad-ly duties like help feed the family and console my wife for having to clean up the dead chipmunk and the corresponding cat puke. An half hour of jumping on the trampoline with my 2.5 year old, and a quick tubby, the family was asleep. That's when I ran back down to take more photo and investigate my new prize!

An engine bay shot: The radiator and shroud are still in the back of the Jeep, and I took the air cleaner assembly off for pictures.

The engine is only around 13" or so long.

The red mark showing on the tape near the ... "coil up part" is the 12" mark. It's so tiny!

A quick shot down the carb to see how bad it is.

Anyone recognize the type of carb?

Here we see the gas filler neck with a rag shoved in it and the vacant hose clamp

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
6/9/17 9:53 p.m.

Dude that thing is nifty!

conesare2seconds Dork
6/9/17 10:08 p.m.

Love the project.

Gunchsta Reader
6/9/17 10:17 p.m.
RossD wrote:

That face!! I love the way that thing looks with the steelies and dog dish caps. I'm excited to see what happens with this little guy.

Also- you're brave to tackle a car this odd, and it looks really solid!

In for more.

NGTD UberDork
6/9/17 10:21 p.m.

The UHaul trailers are damn heavy. They are at least 2k lbs.

Neat project.

RossD UltimaDork
6/9/17 10:21 p.m.

Here's another engine shot where the generator should go. It's in the frunk.

^^^And let's see who can figure out why I took this photo! I'll give a hint: There are two things in this photo that are important to each other. ^^^

The back parcel shelf must have seen some sunlight in Kansas, because the previous owner had it in his shed in Wisconsin for the last 26 years.

Front Passenger wheel well, aft portion.

And the passenger rocker panel. I have a welder and I'll need to practice!

The drivers side aft portion of the front wheel well.

And it's rocker.

The only side view mirror ever installed on this car as there are no holes for a passenger one.

The bit of front end damage; bent bumper and lower valance.

"Renault 8"

Plunger pedals!

Check out the locking mechanism on those seat belts! What other car has 4 three point seat belts in 1969.

The original radio will be staying. I HATE aftermarket head units, at least in the past few years that is.

Yeah that's miles per hour. Even if it were kilometers per hour that 100 is quite ambitious.

In Wisconsin, air conditioning is not as big of a deal as in ... say Texas.

The last time I had a health risk assessment, they told me that my wrist measurement indicated I was of a medium build. So it is a fact that my hands are a relatively normal size and the shifter is tiny.

The cockpit.

The rear door's glass only slides. The clasp is spring loaded and you pull on it to release it from the hole in the lower part of the trim.

Not sure what the red knob does (queue beavis and butthead laughter), but I'm guess it's the head lights.

The seats will need to be refinished. Can the upholsterer just stitch those back together or will it be new material? Oh, there's the rascal of a generator, always laying around the floor boards.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading along, and sorry for the poor grammar and spelling.

The next step will be a list of things to do!

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
6/9/17 10:24 p.m.

Why is there a tape measure on the engine? LSX swap?

RossD UltimaDork
6/9/17 10:33 p.m.
Doc Brown wrote: Why is there a tape measure on the engine? LSX swap?

I was just checking to see how much room 1108 cc took up in 1969 France. I think the craziest engine swap I would contemplate at this time would be the Fuego 5 speed, the bellhousing from an Europa Twincam, and a SVT Zetec.

RossD UltimaDork
6/9/17 10:35 p.m.
conesare2seconds wrote: Love the project.

I'm still laughing. I was going to name this car Le Chipmunk but I think Bert is much better now. I'll have to run it by SWMBO.

Gunchsta Reader
6/9/17 10:37 p.m.

here's a stupid question- is this thing fwd or rwd?

RossD UltimaDork
6/9/17 10:48 p.m.

In reply to Gunchsta:

It's almost a Porsche with it's engine hanging off the back end and spinning the rear wheels!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/9/17 11:04 p.m.

The red switch under the dash looks like it's for four way flashers.

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 6:32 a.m.

So what would you do if a car sat for 26 years and never ran? The PO turned the engine over by hand so thats a good sign.

I suppose I should get some ignition tune up parts and probably go through the carb.

I know the calipers were taken off the car to be rebuilt and the raditator was aleady rebuilt.

The gas tank will definitely need to be cleaned up.

I have no idea on the condition of the wiring as theres no battery.

Theres a bunch of stuff in the front trunk (frunk) that I need to go through yet.

I am watching the kids this morning letting momma get some extra sleep so no new pictures for now. Just thinking and internetting.

XLR99 Dork
6/10/17 7:03 a.m.

This is great! I love seeing cool stuff I'm not familiar with!

From what I've seen on other people's projects, you'll want to rebuild the carb, replace the fuel lines, and most likely pull, clean and re-seal the tank. I've heard that Pine-Sol works well as a cleaner, or Berryman's Chem-Dip.

Even though it's not stuck, maybe shoot a bit of MMO or something into each cylinder and turn it over a couple times by hand.

JamesMcD SuperDork
6/10/17 7:41 a.m.

This is great. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Slippery SuperDork
6/10/17 7:58 a.m.

Cool car!!

The carburetor looks to be a Solex 32 Dista according to this:

Carburetor rebuild kits

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 11:27 a.m.

In reply to Slippery:

I found the info on the carb this morning. 2632DIDTA5 Solex. So a 26 mm main bore and a 32 mm second bore. And the intake/exhaust manifolds are two unit, but there is the Renault symbol cast in it so must be an factory upgrade from a different/later car.

Woody MegaDork
6/10/17 11:39 a.m.


Is that the same engine that they put in the early Europas?

coexist New Reader
6/10/17 12:08 p.m.

The charms of the underpowered are evident, and I suggest going slow to determine how to proceed. It would be nice to keep all the quirks, so it's drivable and entertaining.

Meanwhile, there's this direction, which is appealing

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 5:56 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

Not sure but its in the same family, IIRC. This is the "688" Cleon-Fonte (sometimes called sierra or c-type) 1108 cc, Non crossflow.

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 6:01 p.m.

In reply to coexist:

I would like to keep in the spirit of the car and the Gordini is right there!

classicJackets HalfDork
6/10/17 9:26 p.m.

I think this is the first one of these I've ever seen. I love that they didn't put a grill there just to go with the typical style. Cool car!

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 9:34 p.m.

I dont recall ever seeing a Renault before eith except for maybe in Jamaica. This is certainly the only rear wheel drive one Ive seen other than a random Dauphine on craigslist. I wonder if they all smell like stinky barn from the factory or if its just this one?

RossD UltimaDork
6/10/17 10:41 p.m.

At first I didnt realize what the two thumb wheels on the valve cover were for until I realized thats all that holding it down. So I popped it off. Man, those are some spindley push rods. Is that an aluminum head?

BrokenYugo MegaDork
6/11/17 12:15 a.m.

Looks to be aluminum, very clean for a 1960s engine.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners