Horsing Around – 1978 Renault LeCar Black Beauty

Update, 12/14/09: Thanks to flaky bidders, this car is back on eBay. Guess I shouldn’t have been so hasty on the short-eating.

Well, who knew… bringing us down to another level of obscurity is this Black Beauty edition Renault LeCar. I don’t believe this car was actually equine-inspired in any way, but it’s still a neat 70s-style options package based on the R5 GTL. Options, most of which we take for granted nowadays, included a sport steering wheel, alloy wheels, special red striping (ooooh!), AM/FM stereo with delux rear antenna, a locking gas cap, folding canvas roof, and a rear wiper. But really, the most entertaining thing about the brochure (scroll down on the linked page to see it) is the fact that it refers to Le Package. Well, at least it’s funny if you have the mind of a 13-year-old French boy. On a more personal note, the mother of a childhood friend of mine had one of these with the ragtop, and I was pretty impressed at the time with how spacious and smooth-riding it felt.

Anyway, on to the example at hand. Compared to most Renault 5s you see for sale, this one’s in pretty fantastic shape. The black paint and striping are shiny and presentable, and the interior looks pretty tidy as well. It’s also comforting that the seller has thoroughly photographed the car inside and out, so you can see both its flaws and its strengths. On another amusing note, the gold plaque on the dash confers the status of A COLLECTOR ITEM on the car, to quote the seller. Too bad there aren’t that many Renault Le Car collectors out there… that said, this example, in Corona, CA seems to have attracted quite a bit of attention, with 44 (!) bids currently bringing it up to $2750. Don’t get me wrong, I like these cars, but if it significantly passes $3000, I’ll eat my shorts.

1978 Renault LeCar front

This might also be one of those auctions that proves a thorough description along with as many (relevant) pictures as eBay will allow helps with the result. The seller has provided multiple photographs of every angle – the only thing to wish for is a picture or two of the bottom of the car. From that, you can see that the exterior is most likely original, and the engine compartment, while needing a good dusting, seems to be in generally good condition. The only question would be if the engine’s even there, since it’s hard to see under the mass of late-70s smog hoses. Notice what appears to be a reflection of a Peugeot 505 in the hood paint, a good indication that the seller is a lover of French cars.

1978 Renault LeCar engine

The interior is very tidy and intact for a car of this age, and the seats look unexpectedly comfortable for a car of this class. Even minor bits like the plastic pieces that hold the male end of the rear safety belts at the ready are present. The dash seems to be split-free, and even the steering-wheel cover is in good shape.

1978 Renault LeCar interior

Nothing much to say about the rear either. The seller’s description seems very thorough, including a couple of weak points of the car. He also says he drove the car all the way down from Seattle a year ago with no problem, so that’s a good indication as to the state of the car. Notice the folding sunroof – a great alternative to a convertible. Should be a fun little weekend driver for the buyer, or even an alternative to your average boring commuter box.

1978 Renault LeCar rear


Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Horsing Around – 1978 Renault LeCar Black Beauty”

  1. Gustavo Gonzalez Says:

    I love it I just got one in Puerto Rico, I will use this car when I go down there. I need some parts, any idea were i can get them?

  2. Samantha Says:

    My Mom had one of these when I was growing up in Southern California. It was a pain in the ass of a car but I remember it fondly. I was sorry when she sold it someone for $1600 when we finally bought a new car. I had always wanted it for my own but I was two years away from learning to drive so some college student got it instead. In the advert, Mom wrote “Reliable at $1600.” That was a laugh! It broke down more times than I can count. Our local mechanics moaned whenever we pulled (or pushed) it into the shop to get it repaired. It was lucky that we lived around the corner from our mechanic because we were walking back and forth from the mechanic’s a lot! I often wonder where this ugly old stinker of a car ended up. Hopefully not as landfill. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: