Eighties Renault Grab Bag – Two Fuegos, a GTA, and a Medallion

Note: Found this unpublished article in my posts. So the ads may no longer be up, but an interesting read nonetheless.

To break the chain of Fiats, we’ve got a handful of interesting Renaults. Personally, I lean more towards the stuff they made in the 60s and 70s, but some of the 80s products were noteworthy, at least to a funny furrin’ car lover. And there are some real oddballs out there still… these cars came around at a point when Renault was already having a bumpy time of it in the US market.

This car was already featured on Just A Car Geek, but I still think it’s worth including in the group. With only 24,800 miles, it’s been parked with a blown head gasket since Bush Sr. was in office, so that engine will be locked up good and tight. On the bright side, even though its body is rust-free (or nearly so) and the red paint is shiny, nobody will be able to steal it. It even has a cool Webasto-style rollback sunroof. Pick it up for $1100 in Novi, MI.

1983 Renault Fuego turbo red

Apparently little driving and much parking was a common fate for Fuegos to suffer. The press at the time panned them for their poor shift mechanism, soft handling, and turbo lag, although that last one can be kind of fun if you expect it. But they did have some interesting innovations – apparently they were the first with remote locking and the first to put a diesel engine in a sports coupe. That, and a design team lead by Robert Opron (who did the Citroen SM), still did not prevent this car from being parked most of its life. It’s only done 12,000 miles, and according to the seller, was bought new from the dealer (Really? What car wasn’t?). Much money has been invested in paint and drivetrain, so in theory, you should have a drivable car. It does appear to have a dent in the same rear quarter as the red car, which is odd if it’s got fresh paint. Buy it for $3000 in Creve Coeur (my French tells me that means Crush Heart… if that isn’t a warning sign!), MI, near St. Louis.

1983 Renault Fuego turbo silver

The third car in the grab bag is a Renault Medallion, which is the US-market version of the Renault 21. All the seller shares about this car is that it doesn’t run, and that it has an automatic transmission. Could it be that the two are related? It’s a shame, because these cars were real workhorses in France, so it’s hard to understand why they didn’t do as well here – maybe the additional luxury, emissions, and safety features required here asked more of the engineers than they could handle. Check it out in Portland, OR for a mere $300, with only 94,000 miles.

1988 Renault Medallion

Lastly, here is a non-runner GTA, in Spokane, WA for $500. I’d normally avoid such a weak listing, but these cars are rare, as well as fun, and if all it needs is a fuel pump, it could be a good deal.


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One Response to “Eighties Renault Grab Bag – Two Fuegos, a GTA, and a Medallion”

  1. Matt Cotton Says:

    Rhe 88 Medallion was the best new car I ever had. For the same money as a Topaz or Corsica, blech!

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