Movie Prop: 1980 Renault LeCar

1980-Renault-LeCar

We wouldn’t normally feature an eighties econobox, but this one is so unique we couldn’t resist. It is the North American version of the best selling Renault 5. They were praised for their practicality and a few even did well in SCCA races. It may look bland, but apparently many movie and TV studios liked this one enough to use it in a whole slew of productions. It has been parked for a while in Bellingham, Washington, but is now listed for sale here on eBay where bidding is at $760. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the submission.

1980-Renault-LeCar-side

Here is the list of TV shows and movies this Renault has appeared in:

  • Charlies Angels
  • The Rundown
  • Spartan
  • Poseidon Adventure
  • Monster Night
  • My Name is Earl
  • The Unit
  • X-Files
  • Diagnosis Murder
  • Cold Case

1980-Renault-LeCar-interior

Even if its resume doesn’t impress you, we think it is worth a look because it is actually in decent condition. It did suffer a color change from yellow to blue at some point, but the interior looks good and the odometer only shows 50k. With some cleanup we think this little LeCar could make a fun commuter or if nothing else a fine contestant in the Concours d’LeMons

Race-Le-Car-Ad

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Comments

  1. Dan Farrell

    You’ve got to love those three lug nut wheels.

    Like 1
  2. John C

    Maybe a foundation for a R5 clone?

  3. Slim Chance

    Look up Renault Cup “Le Car”. Hysterical. I was there but not in a driver capacity. The Archer Brothers were starting out. Everybody cheated. Made the Nascar guys look like an altar boys. ’83-’85.
    The cars were not very good. They did not sell very well. This race didn’t help much. Ha ha.

    Like 1
  4. DanaPointJohn

    Unless this car was owned by a celebrity or was customized/modified to be unique, then its having appeared in television programs and films does not increase the value or price. Just another car that may or may not have had a known person’s butt in the driver’s seat.

  5. John D

    Seller says car runs but doesn’t know if the a/c is working or not . . . That is, at BEST, intentional ignorance. . . It would take, what, 30 seconds to figure that out????? I think he knows, or he would have said “cold air.” Fixing the ac could easily cost more than the current bid . . . That makes the whole thing smell bad. I mean, smell worse . . . .

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      True, but how many cars from the eighties still have working ACs anyway?

      Like 1
      • John Allison

        I have a 1975 AMC Pacer that still has working air! I have not charged it in the five years that I owned it. And I pulled it out of a field of kudzoo after setting 16 years!

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        Wow John, that is impressive!

      • John Allison

        The 8-track and clock worked too! If I can remember what box the before and after pic’s are in I’ll up load them to you. It was a true BARNFIND!!

  6. Jim Mosley

    Thanks Jesse for your thoughtfulness to the rest of us “CAR NUTS”. I really enjoy any Barn Find.

  7. graham line

    Whether the a/c works or not is almost undetectable, anyway. They’re decent economy cars, badly let down by an indifferent dealer network.

  8. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    We just updated the post with a scan of an ad that Renault ran in 1977. They offered to pay Le Car owners $500 just for running four Showroom Stock races. No wonder they did well in SCCA!

  9. Booya

    I had a 1980 LeCar. It was the most expensive economy car my dad ever bought. I think we paid for the thing 3 times over in repairs before 85000 miles. Still, great comfort and utility when it ran.

  10. Philip Millward

    Now if it was a Renault R5 Turbo 158 BHP or even a ts it would looking at other than that noooo

  11. rich

    Toss a roll cage it it and run the Lomon’s series and have some fun. They did OK in SCCA Showroom slop races back in the day. Just don’t drop a wheel off they did like to turn over

  12. Mark E

    Having owned a Renault 15 from the 70s I can say Booya’s experience is not uncommon. I had to repair mine once a week, on average. I say they should have left this one on the Poseidon!!

  13. Slim Chance

    They rolled better than a beach ball.

  14. Sammy

    There used to be one in the SF east bay area with the personalized plate “LE POOP”

  15. CoolHluke

    Seriously a reserve auction…man you have to be kiddin me….up to 1g now ..hey seller here’s some advise from the Steve Miller Band “go on ..take the money & run”

  16. Morey

    Hah. I was just flipping channels and saw this car on my name is earl!

  17. Peter

    I don’t understand the glowing review of this car, a term I use loosely for the LeCar.

    I guess you could say it is a fine example of why socialized manufacturing does not work.

    This car was such a disaster for Americans that it singlehandedly destroyed Renault here and they haven’t graced our shores since.

    • braktrcr

      And they bought AMC, at about the same time, and look what happened to them

  18. braktrcr

    An old friend had two of these… pretty sure everyone should have had two

    • Horse Radish

      One to drive while the other is being worked on.
      Provided that one holds up long enough ’til the other is fixed…..

  19. Dolphin Member

    I knew someone who owned one and she was always getting me to give her advice on what was wrong with her ‘LeCar’ and what she should do. After a few times I figured that the very best advice I could give her was to sell it and get something reliable, like a Toyota. That worked.

    Badly engineered on the cheap, badly built, and awful to drive. Best thing you could say was that these put some Frenchmen/women on the road…..for a while, until they broke down.

  20. Firedog

    I was a Renault mechanic in the early 80’s… Never any shortage of work! But I will say this, the LeCar ( and Fuegos for that matter) were much better cars than the Alliance and the Encore!

  21. Will Robinson

    All I see when I look at these is an R5 clone(or better) in the making. Source a wide body kit and a wecked integra and cut, weld and jamb the integra drivetrain into the back update the front suspension and stiffen the whole thing up and then it would be a blast. Should be easy right!

  22. Matt Cotton

    Considering that this is one of the most produced (five and a half million) long lived (24 years) French cars going, I certainly don’t think it’s fair for a few negligent knuckeheads to be allowed to bash it because they were too incompetent to keep theirs on the road. Any car can be a lemon if you don’t take good care of it. Which is precisely what Americans tend to do. Sorry, that’s just a fact. Go bash something else, with your “real life” stories, you’re not welcome here.

  23. Peter

    Matt there is a reason why there were so many produced and it wasn’t because they were long lasting it was because they were CHEAP.

    I don’t think it’s fair for you to accuse people as being “negligent knuckeheads” because they could not keep them on the road. The disgraceful Renault engineering and assembly are to blame for that and more.

    Get educated because your ignorance is not welcome anywhere and that’s a fact.

    • Matt Cotton

      LOL, Peter. Very funny. If my “ignorance” is based on the fact that I have successfully owned 6 Citroens, 2 Peugeots, 4 Renaults and 4 Simcas in my life, then I guess I’m “guilty as charged”. 2 of the Simcas and 1 Renault are still in my stable.
      I have, however, had the displeasure of owning such trash as an appalling Toyota Corolla, a miserable Hyundai Excel, a hard-to-push Buick LeSabre and an every-light-on-the-dashboard-lit Mercedes C220.
      I speak from ACTUAL experience, not assumption that people will buy S#$& just because it’s cheap. That’s a bit idiotic, so unless YOU have an actual real-life experience with French car ownership, please keep your S#$&&Y comments to yourself.
      Oh, and FYI, it was not the LeCar, it was the Dauphine that “singlehandedly destroyed Renault here”. The LeCar was actually a hit and was followed by the launch of the 18i, Fuego, Alliance and Medallion in the US

      • Gabby

        LeCar a hit? Man you are way wrong.

  24. Peter

    No sorry your horrible Dauphine (another totally queer name for the American market) didn’t do it the LeCar did.

    I think everyone here realizes you like French cars and that’s your right but don’t go making implications that they are quallity because they are not.

    • Ralph Terhune

      I used to repair these cars bodies when they came in wrecked at our Pontiac dealership that sold them. Service department was always full of them. These things were total junk when they were new. Rusted worse than a Vega. Absolute horrible cars.

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