Category Archives: Renault

Car of future passed

Flux capacitor power!

Stainless steel deal

The year was 1981 and John Z. DeLorean, “Father of the GTO,” having gone rogue after an heroic career at General Motors, finally launched his dream car that he modestly named after himself.  Stainless steel body. Check.  Gull wing doors. Check. Mid-engine. Check.  What could possibly go wrong?  As it happened, most everything. Turns out that DeLorean’s Tuckeresque quixotic windmill tilt-a-whirl was squeezed out for numerous financial, technical and, perhaps, pharmacological reasons, coupled with his own hubris and the inclination of the entrenched auto makers to make life as difficult as possible for upstarts.

0 - 88 in 30 years

0 – 88 in 30 years

We found a well-used example in a “Doctors Only” parking space the other day that is, apparently, a commuter car for a “hipocrat.”  While the DMC12 was projected to retail for $12,000 it ended up costing more than twice that amount despite the fact that power was provided by a somewhat anemic PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) V6. The chassis, though, as engineered by Lotus, was on supercar par.

It's not a gang, it's a club!

It’s not a gang, it’s a club!

Despite that shortcoming in the propulsion department, an estimated 9,000 units were built at the factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.  Actually, not too shabby in terms of failed indie car numbers — anybody remember the Vector W8?  Cizeta-Moroder V16T?  Bricklen SV-1?  OK, they built a bunch of that latter gull-winger but not even a third of DeLorean’s output.

McFly ride

McFly ride, flux capacitor optional at extra cost.

Of course, the car had an afterlife as a very literal Hollywood star vehicle in the Back To The Future series. It was the way Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly character went back to 1955 from 1985 with all sorts of nutty anachronistic shtick ensuing.  That was a thirty year span and now we’ve come another thirty since John Z’s dream faded from shiny to black.  Of course, you need only get your flux capacitor-augmented DMC12 up to 88 mph to get back there if you so choose.

Click here to go back to Back to the Future as Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown character introduces Fox’s McFly to the perks of DeLorean ownership.   Want your very own?  There are quite a few to choose from right here but if you don’t get your bid in on time you can just borrow one and go back to a nanosecond before the auction ends.


Going, going, gone the way of the dodo and the Daihatsu?

Our friends at Hagerty Insurance have an ongoing web series called “Threatened, Endangered, Extinct”  wherein certain vehicles, once quite commonplace, are singled out for their rarity or the non-existence of examples found other than on scrap heaps.  It’s right up our alley here at  We’re in the business of celebrating the uniquely ordinary — an oxymoron, perhaps, on par with “irregular pattern” and “mournful optimist,” so this is of consummate interest. We offer several candidates for one or the other of those categories. When was the last time you saw a ’77 Chrysler LeBaron coupe?

Thought so!

Thought so!

What about an ’87 Dodge Colt Vista?  A Mitsubishi-built cross between a mini van and a station wagon. Perhaps utilitarian but definitely proportionally challenged and rarely, if ever, seen these days.

Horse of a different color

Goofy looking horse of a different color

Check out Hagerty’s latest (video) episode which covers the mid-70s Mercury Grand Marquis (Threatened), Isuzu Impulse (Endangered) and Fiat Strada (Extinct). What are your candidates for future consideration?

Here’s a list of previous T,E,E nominees: 1984 Plymouth Voyager/Dodge Caravan, 1978 – 80 Oldmobile Starfire Firenza, 1986 – 87 Renault GTA (heck, just about all Renaults belong on the list), 1974 Olds Toronado, 1979 – 80 Plymouth Fire Arrow, 1975 – 1981 VW Scirocco, 1971 – 74 Mazda RX-2, 1981 – 85 Chevy Citation X-11, 1963 – 66 Studebaker Wagonaire, 1979 – 81 Toyota Supra, 1974 – 81 VW Dasher, 1985 – 85 Chrysler Laser XE, 1983 – 86 Chrysler Executive (K car-based!) Executive Limo, 1971 Plymouth Cricket, 1988 – 89 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo, 1980 Dodge St. Regis, 1984-85 Ford EXP Turbo, 1985 – 87 Renault Alliance Convertible, 1987 – 91 Sterling 825/827 — extra credit if you saw one of these in ’92!

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com                                                                                                                            Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted.

Popemobile goes feral!

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Big news from The Holy See.  Pope Francis has accepted a 1984 Renault R4 with over 190,000 on the odometer from a priest who admires the Infallible Dude and his, apparently genuine, pledge of poverty.  Renault introduced the R4 to compete with the Citroën 2CV (deux chevaux ) in 1961 and built 8 million of them over the course of  the next 30+ years.  They were never officially imported into the US but Germans loved both the R4 and the 2CV and celebrated them in this very sanctified video clip.

f you’ve stalked a feral car, blessed or otherwise, and would like to submit a photo of it for posting please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot) com.

Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted.