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.
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.’
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.