Really Rare Renault: 1984 Renault Rodeo

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One of my best friends has a son who is, or at least was, heavily into Legos. He would build some amazing creations. It probably helped that my friend is an architect so their kids were around creative parents their whole lives. This 1984 Renault Rodeo almost looks like something that was built from a kit, doesn’t it? This super interesting vehicle can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $18,000! It’s located in Hidden Hills, California and it may be the most interesting drive of your life if you flew there and drove it home.

Our own Jeff Lavery showed us a somewhat similar but not-Lego-looking 1977 Renault Rodeo 6 a couple of months ago and it almost looked more Citroën Méhari than Renault Rodeo to me. This Rodeo looks like what I would imagine the nicest example on the market would look like. I don’t see a flaw in this creature at all. The seller says that it “has original paint and has not one scratch or ding on the whole car; no where at all in the interior.”

I love the idea of removable panels, especially if a person lives in California where this rare ride resides. Or, at least fiber panels like a Saturn. I don’t know why that never caught on, it seemed absolutely genius to me. No door dings, what’s not to like? This is, for all intents and purposes, a third-generation Renault Rodeo and they were made from 1981 to 1987. They were based on the Renault 6 which the previous “generation” Rodeo 6 was also based on, but the 6 designation said au revoir for this series. The seller isn’t showing us the front of this car which is disappointing, but you’ll see in the ad that they show several photos with a horse. I’m not quite sure what’s going on there but it may or may not be the best way to sell a vehicle online, especially one with this asking price.

This is Renault’s 1.1L inline-four and it looks like the breather hose has gone missing since the last time this vehicle showed up for sale, which wasn’t that long ago, unless there are two one-of-a-kind-in-the-U.S. 1984 Renault Rodeos. The seller says that it took “took me two years to get it registered in California. Runs perfect, I drove it to Spain at 75MPH and I didn’t have any problems. It has a four speed, all synchronized transmission.” With a listed top speed of around 70 mph, that’s really cruising. Have any of you seen a Renault Rodeo? It would really cause a stir at any car show or Target parking lot.

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  1. Keith

    Uhmmmmmmmmm isn’t this one of those toy cars you push your kids around in?

    Like 7
  2. Jack

    While it is not obvious, I think the most annoying thing about Renaults is their 3-lug wheels, since all our wheel/tire equipment is designed for 4 lug wheels. We have 2 R-8 Gordinis and had a Dinalpin (Mexican Alpine) and any kind of wheel work was a real project..

    Like 1
  3. graham line

    F1 uses one nut on the axle.

    My Fiat 500 (four lugs) bugged tire people, but that was because of the tiny hole in the center of the wheel. Few N. American tire shops have the right adapter/plug/sleeve/whatever.

    Absence of the spare tire, intake duct, and front end photos leave me with $18K worth of questions.

    Like 0
    • Peter

      Spare tyre is under the back loading door and drops down onto the road surface.

      Like 1
  4. David Frank David FMember

    Cool little truck! Here’s what the front looks like. This one sold for $5481.

    Like 1
  5. Vance

    Ah, the French and their cars. For18k, there had better be some pilfered art from the Lourve included. The only nut in this vehicle would be the one behind the wheel who dare drive this heap 75 mph. Perhaps they meant kph. This would be a decent golf cart. The French should do what they are best at, just quit.

    Like 3
    • M.C.S.

      With all respect intended, do you even like cars?

      This model may not be to your taste, and that is perfectly fine, but even you must admit that it is a unique vehicle and in remarkable condition for its age. Many of the rest of us love “weird” vehicles like this.

      Furthermore, why does there always have to be somebody claiming that the French are all a bunch of quitters? Because of the country’s military record? Members of the anti – Nazi French Resistance would severely disagree with this sentiment. It’s never right to paint any People with a “broad brush”, as you are doing here.

      And as far as French automobiles go, there are many that i would be proud to own. The Citroën 2CV, DS, and Méhari, and even Renault Lé Car come to mind here, to name just a few. Even the Citröen van that looks like it is made of an old barn’s tin roof (the model name escapes me at the moment). These are all interesting and unique vehicles, regardless of whatever faults they may or may not have (much as with any other car).

      As far as the asking price of this particular Rodeo goes, maybe it’s high, maybe it isn’t, I really don’t know. I guess it’s worth whatever the ultimate buyer is willing to pay.
      But there is no reason here to disparage a People, or their ability to produce cars.

      Like 8
      • Laurent Herjean

        The Citroën van is a Type H or Type HY.

        Like 2
      • M.C.S.

        Thanks, Laurent! That is the one!

        I love the fact that you were automatically able to figure out the exact vehicle based on the aforementioned humorous description (admittedly partially “stolen” from an old “Car and Driver” quip), alone. It just goes to show how unique the Types H and HY really are.

        Like 1
      • SteVen

        The Citroen H vans, so ugly they’re cool, especially turned into a food truck.

        Like 3
      • SteVen


        Like 3
      • SteVen

        One more!

        Like 3
      • SteVen

        Check out this site:
        A treasure trove of these vans for sale.

        Like 2
      • M.C.S.

        I’ll have to check that site out, SteVen. Maybe, one day, I will end up with a Type H in my garage!

        Like 1
  6. rod444

    My observation is that French vintage l’automobile consider the back axle to be something of an awkward afterthought.

    Much like the “cardboard and glue” Citroen 2CV this little econobox sits too high in the back and viewing from the rear gives me the gut feeling that with the wrong pothole, that axle is just going to ‘disengage’ from the rest of the car.

    On the good side, this is more than likely going to be the only Renault Rodeo at Cars And Coffee anywhere in the country :)

    Like 0
    • Peter

      Suspension front & rear are height adjustable torsion bar. Long travel gives the high look but they are for gliding over poor roads with a softer ride.

      You can recognise a Renault owner by the gravel rash on their elbow!

      Like 0
  7. SteVen

    Thanks. Always neat to see vehicles one would never know of otherwise.
    I also immediately thought of the Citroën Méhari. Here’s one in a similar hue.

    Like 4
  8. SteVen

    And the new Méhari.

    Like 5
  9. Lance

    This thing looks like it was made with Legos. Might need a paint job looks like it’s awaiting one.

    Like 0
  10. LAB3

    The horse in the pictures is a torque multiplier for that excuse of an engine, I’ve owned motorcycles with bigger ones and they still where not what you’d call fast!

    Like 0
  11. Doyler

    I love how the seller says “I just saw one advertised this month in France for 22,500 euros or $25,460”. Well buddy, you should call les gendarmes, because you just saw a robbery.

    Like 1
  12. Coventrycat

    Sorry, 18k to have people tell you what an ugly car you have? Spend it on therapy to find out why you’d do such a thing in the first place.

    Like 1
  13. Al Thompson III (CA)

    Give me a Renault R-8 Gordini and I’ll be happy!

    Like 0

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