Unexceptional Classics

Unexceptional Classifieds: Renault 18 GTL estate

by Sam Skelton
30 December 2020 2 min read
Unexceptional Classifieds: Renault 18 GTL estate
Photos: eBay

• Price: More than £6100 (Reserve price not met)
• Year: 1983
• Mileage: 356
• Condition: Straight from a Renault showroom
• See the ad: eBay

The subject of this week’s Unexceptional Classifieds is unusual – the Renault 18 estate failed to sell, on eBay, before we published, which isn’t how we usually do things. But this French family car needs highlighting, and if the new owner is reading this then we urge you to apply for the 2021 Festival of the Unexceptional.

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It’s rare to find a car which hasn’t even doubled its delivery mileage from new; a car which could still be on its first tank of petrol after 37 years of ownership. And yet that’s exactly what we’re looking at here. This Renault 18 GTL was delivered on 17 November, 1983 with 234 miles showing, and until its final recorded journey on 29 March 1984 covered just 120 miles. The odometer currently reads just two miles above the 1984 figure.

Renault 18 estate for sale

Unsurprisingly, there’s little in the way of service history. At the rate of 120 miles in 37 years, it’ll be centuries before the first service is required by mileage travelled. Dry stored for all its life, there is barley a spot of rust on the car, and when presented for its first ever MoT in December 2020 it is reported to have passed without a single advisory. Exactly as you’d expect of what amounts to a brand new car.

The seats look unsullied, the paint excellent, though the seller does note there’s a small dent and minor scuffing to the passenger door where people have shuffled past it in storage. It’s even on its original tyres – not that we’d use them on the road given their age, but perfect as a concours touch. This car is exactly what a traditional concours is about – everything is as new because it is still a new car. The Concours de l’Ordinaire is scarcely a traditional concours, we prefer stories to showpieces. But here’s that rare thing, an everyman’s classic which can offer both.

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  • Mr R J Owen says:

    And when is the date for the Unexceptional Show in July 2021 set for please, so we can at least pencil it in our diaries, even though we realise it may be postponed again. ? thank you

  • Richard says:

    What an amazing find! I own 2 Renault 18 GTL saloons in exactly the same colour. The oldest one is from 1982. My mum bought it in 1987 as the family car. My dad had died 2 years previously. My mum didn’t have a drivers licence, but my older sister just got hers. I was 17, took care of the car and drove it from the moment I got my licence on Friday January 13th 1989. It continued to be my travel companion even after I bought a new Clio in 1999. I put the car in storage in 2002, planning to restore it. It is still there. When I started to look far parts, to finally do some work on the car in 2020 I came across a twin sister. That one is from 1984, had just over 103.000 kilometers on the clock and had been in a showroom for 25 years! It was in excellent condition. After a test drive and considering my options I decided I just couldn’t let this chance pass me by. So I bought the car. My original 1982 R18 now has become the parts donor to keep this ‘kei strakke’ (Dutch for ‘rock solid’) Renault on the road. You can find it on http://www.renault18.com

  • Andy stainer says:

    Saw this car today looks and sounds great nice to see car In such amazing condition and still enjoying driving

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