Blog: When did you last see a… Renault 12?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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I literally can’t remember the last time I saw a Renault 12 out in the wilds. Yes, Romania is still quite full of its Dacia cousin, so no points for spotting one of those – but to catch a mint, boxed example in the UK really does constitute a major classic car spot. According to the oft-misquoted How Many Left website, there are about 100 taxed or SORN’d R12s left here, but there are probably more tucked away in barns. You know how it is.

What makes this on that’s for sale on eBay is that loads of love has been expended on it, and it’s on the key and ready to go. And for that amount of care and attention to have been lavished on such an unremarkable – and likeable – French Morris Marina rival, is pretty remarkable in my book. I used to own an R18, which is effectively a rebodied R12, and it was a very nice thibg to drive, so I can imagine that this is more of the same, as well as a genuine head turner.

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Not familiar with the Renault 12? It was an all-new front-wheel drive saloon to replace the previous generation of rear-engined models, such as the R10, which by then was well past its sell-by date. The fastback saloon was state of the art, and soon proved to be rugged and reliable in service – and remaining in production until 2006 in Dacia pick-up form.

I’d definitely like to see this one reach a price that justifies the £3000-or-so that the previous owner ploughed into getting it into shape. He says in his advert (which has to be seen to be believed), ‘I have spent somewhere in the region of £3000 getting the car to this condition and I am now trying to reign in some of that cost. I am in no way a motor technician or mechanic; rather a classic car enthusiast who was drawn to the R12 by nostalgia (‘my dad had one of those’) and enjoyment of driving something ‘different’. Thus, all the work has been done by fellow Norwich Classic Vehicle Club acquaintances who I’ve had to pay a wage. Many of the parts I have bought to finish the 12 to this standard have come from Europe.’

Visit eBay for the full run down. Bidding starts at £750.

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Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

4 Comments

  1. I grew up in the back if one of these from the age of 2 up to about 10. It was a 1300 estate, bronze, SAB 828P. My dad loved it, but replaced it with a Morris ital because it was underpowered for towing a trailer tent. He hated the ital but I loved it for not having vinyl seats.

  2. My Dad has an R12 (honest!), it was the first of the real ‘wedges’. We lived in in Bulawayo, Rhodesia at the time and took regular trips down to the seaside in Umhlanga Rocks, north of Durban in South Africa – a round trip of some 1,600 miles. Thanks for the memory 🙂

  3. I also own a 76 R12TL. ‘Unrestored’ with a genuine 17.5k on the clock. Taxed and MOT’d and used throughout the year – although I keep her well away from salted roads. I too hope this gem gets a realistic price. Until last year Practical Classics guide price for a top-notch offering was a pitiful £1500 quid.
    Personally I consider mine priceless. I get the time and money invested back every time I take her out. (‘Is that an Austin Allegro mate?’).

    • Thanks for your comments, chaps…. 🙂

      And to you, Andrew – I must particularly extend my thanks – since I feel exactly the same when I go for a spin in my 12. The ride is so much more a ‘driving experience’ than it ever is in my homogeneous, modern car, where much of the pleasure principle of ‘driving a car’ is lost or forgotten….

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