Of a little more substance than the photo earlier we have a Renault commercial van. Driven To Rrite is almost beside itself with pleasure to have a chance show this fine specimen, from about 1984-1991.
They named it Express for the N. European market; for German-speaking nations they badged it as the Rapid. The UK and Ireland knew it as the Renault Extra. Whatever you call it, it’s a bit of a treasure, like Opel’s Combi but smaller – the 1986 Combo “A” was Kadett-based and then Opel decided to switch it to being a Corsa derivative in 1993.
Very interestingly, there is the possibility of putting the Renault 5 GT engine into the Express. Has anyone thought to do that, I wonder?
And while I am in mix-and-match mood, the Renault 5 Baccara had a very nicely coloured dashboard and door-trim plus hide upholstery. Thus one could upgrade the Express from being a touch on the spartan side to being quite a limousine-cum-delivery van. Somebody must have done this already, no?
It seems to be so obvious and easy.
I guess at the same time as one did all that with the engine and trim one could also swap that rather horrid fascia around the lamps and grille for something from the standard car.
At AutoScout today there are two Rapids for sale, from 1991 and 1995. The 1991 has a grille fascia more in keeping with the 1986 car; the 1995 has the one we see on the red vehicle. That says “facelift”. Six of this type are on sale at Mobile.de, all post 1990 models. I found a 1.8 litre diesel and 1.4 litre petrol. Further evidence points towards the existence of a 1.2 petrol.
Being a working car these vehicles don’t ask to be kept, do they? But going to Tunisia I found a 1986 diesel for sale. So, they do exist. I suppose people keep these things until they break terminally.
The feature vehicle in this article owes its new-found fame to the fact of it and I simultaneously being in Flensburg very recently. I didn’t take any other photos of older vehicles that day as there were none to be seen, which fact I find somewhat ominous. My last trip to the town in Spring also yielded little of automotive interest. In parallel with that my street is also not the magical source of odd cars it has been heretofore. Where are they?