As a follow-up to the Renault 15 and 17, the Fuego had some pretty big shoes to fill, at least in the sense of being as unique as its predecessors. Designed under Robert Opron by Michel Jardin (yes, that Opron, he of the Citroen CX and SM), it was one of the earlier cars to be designed using a wind tunnel, and the turbodiesel versoin was one of the earliest diesel powered sporting coupes. It can also claim firsts for remote central locking and steering wheel mounted stereo controls. Check out this 1985 Renault Fuego for sale for $2200 in Temecula, CA.
Showing a mere 70,000 miles on the odometer, this Fuego seems in much better shape than most surviving examples. It’s said to have spent a long time in a garage, and benefits from a new radiator, starter, timing belt, and water pump. The paint does look somewhat oxidized, but still retains its shine – perhaps a bit of polishing might bring its color back? Some flush headlights from a European market car would do a lot to update its look. The wood block suggests the handbrake needs work. Check out the nifty plastic whatchamacallits along the beltline – that design cue is almost as 1980s as louvered rear windows.
And here you can see one of the main defects in this car – there’s a basketball-sized dent behind the driver’s door. If you’re lucky, a paintless dent removal service can pop this back out, thus preserving some of the cool period striping. Block-letter California plates suggest the car’s been there since at least the late 1980s, and the wrap-around rear glass is a pretty cool feature, standing out more than similar hatches on contemporaries like the Porsche 944.
The engine compartment looks reasonably clean, with nothing obviously absent. This particular car is powered by the 2.2-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder found on later US-market Fuegos. Putting out about 100hp, performance won’t be too stunning, but you might not worry about getting there too fast when you’re riding in famously comfortable French seats. And at least you get to do your own shifting thanks to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The grey interior complements the red exterior, and looks to be in pretty decent shape, though maybe in need of a cleaning and a new driver’s side window winder. Who doesn’t like a separate equalizer, so you can constantly tune your speakers to sound exactly the watch out for that tree! way you like it. Carpet halfway up the door panels looks a little cheap, though it may be more resistant against being pushed open with a foot. Taking the low miles into account, this might be a fun, unique way to get around for a couple of years, after which you can still sell it on as a low-mile driver.