Our Renault/Nissan alliance appears to be growing steadily with the acquisition of this remarkably tidy 1984 Renault 11 GTL which joins the 1976 Renault 15 TS we already have. This car popped up for sale on eBay recently and as it was relatively local I felt it necessary to go and take a look as it sounded like it was in excellent shape for a 24 year old car. I wasn’t disappointed and ended up striking a deal there and then to buy it. It is a genuine one elderly lady owner from new car with just over 40,000 miles on the clock. Amazingly it’s spent it’s entire life just a couple of miles from the dealer who sold it new. There’s not a speck of rust on it anywhere and an interior that looks like it’s just rolled out of the showroom.
It also drives just like a new car with not so much as a rattle from either interior or running gear. The icing on the cake was the car came with a full service history including the original bill of sale from when it was new, the service book is stamped, the warrenty and handbook are still in the original pouch and even all the old MOT certificates and tax discs are there.
Rarely do you find a car that’s been looked after as well as this. It’s been garaged from new and has been regularly serviced and maintained. It would appear to have never been off the road at any time as it’s been taxed on the dot every May since new and every MOT certificate was issued in the same month each year. It does have a handful of minor faults that need fixing… a couple of small dings and a large scratch on the rear quarter but the only parts that actually need replacing are the door mirrors and a couple of the headlights in which the reflectors are beginning to deteriorate. The Mirrors themselves are okay but the rubber boots between the mirror and the mount have perished ( a common fault on these). The chome plated plastic gutter trims are in poor shape but new ones are on order from Renault France.
In typically French fashion, the seats are incredibly comfortable and the ride quality is very good. For a lower spec model it’s remarkably quiet inside too. Although it has factory speaker mountings and an ariel mount on the roof, it’s never been equipped with a radio and still wears the blanking panel embossed with a Renault logo on the centre console. A good look around inside reveals perfect shiny paint both under the rear seat and inside the boot.
It’s powered by the venerable Renault 1397cc OHV engine which has seen service in many Renault’s down the years. Whist it’s an old design, combined with a 5 spped gearbox, it provides reasonable performance in the R11 combined with excellent fuel economy, a factor which is sadly becoming increasingly important here with the ludicrous price of fuel. I find early 1980’s cars like this to be the best for daily use as they are just old enough to still be interesting and different, combined with mechanics and electrics that are straightforward and basic, yet they drive more like a modern car with a decent level of comfort. That said, I doubt we’ll be adding more miles than necessary to this one!