1982 RENAULT FUEGO 1.4TL
ENGINE 1397cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 63bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 77lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 98mph 0-60MPH 14sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 29-45mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, four-speed manual MoT March 2018 ODOMETER 120,485 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This base specification Fuego starts easily and settles quickly to its idle sweet spot. It accelerates smoothly and keeps up with modern traffic easily, but does feel like it needs a fifth gear at higher speeds. Brakes are progressive and firm, the steering is responsive and gear changes tight and precise. The ride is good for a car that we suspect may still be sitting on its original dampers, too.
There are no unsightly dents or dings in any of the body panels and the paintwork looks as if it has been refreshed in recent years, though there are some tiny blisters on the roof. The trim – hard to come by light lenses included – have retained their factory finish. The new-ish registration plates are of the correct font and style for the era and even include the original supplying dealer name. The steel wheels are in great condition and still have their original plastic centre caps. Underneath, the structure appears to be largely excellent – dry and free from signs of corrosion, aside from some surface rust on the exhaust. All welds and seams are clean.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The seats and interior fabrics are finished in light grey velour and contrasting black vinyl and are in exceptional condition. Head restraints were clearly not an option on the TL, but this example has been fitted with static rear seat belts. All the interior plastics are in excellent order and retain their factory lustre. The black carpets have kept their colour too and have plenty of life left in them. Switchgear is minimal but the gauges – clock included – are all in good working order. The Sony radio/cassette player certainly looks the part but probably isn’t period correct.
UNDER THE BONNET
What look like factory welds and stickers are still visible in the engine bay and the paint appears to be original, even in the various recesses. The fluids are to the correct levels and there are no signs of any leaks. Pipes, plastics and rubber are all in good condition. The under-bonnet sound-deadening material is still in good order and tyres are nearly-new budget 155 80 13 Savas, though the underslung spare wheel is wearing an older Michelin. There are invoices for work and parts and 28 previous MoTs. A Halfords battery has recently been fitted. Rather unusually, this Fuego comes with a spares car thrown in to the deal.
THE CCW VIEW
Base model Fuegos were rare even when they were new, and survivors are practically extinct today – buyers tend to be attracted more by the high-performance Turbo. As such, you’re unlikely to see another at your local classic car show. This one is nice – if rather uninvolving – to drive and would be quite a talking point.
Two-tone Interior is basic, but in superb condition. Good to see original factory welds and stickers.