1982 RE­NAULT FUEGO 1.4TL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - ClassicCrasForSale.co.uk - Andy Tal­bot

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.

BODY­WORK CHECK

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.

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