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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – So, What do you think about this 1974 Renault R12 found on Craigslist?

Jim Brennan December 14, 2014 For Sale, Weekend Edition 36 Comments

1974 Renault R12 - 68,835 Miles - Google Chrome 12142014 115144 AM.bmp

I know it has been a little light on the weekends during the past several weeks, and I have wanted to try and bring you at least some interesting reading material, but the entire Redusernab Staff (including myself) have been quite busy, and for that, dear reader, I apologize. So, let’s take a look at the goodies I have discovered for this Sunday… Like this very complete Renault R12 that is currently for sale. Is it worth saving?

1974 Renault R12 - 68,835 Miles - Google Chrome 12142014 115153 AM.bmp

According to the Craigslist Listing:

1974 Renault R12 – 68,835 Miles
Garage kept from 1997-2013
Looks like its 99% original, 2 owners
Doesn’t run at the moment. I replaced the battery, battery cables, sparkplugs, oil and rebuilt the starter. I am not mechanical, not sure what is wrong
I have the clean title in hand, original keys and owners manual ready to go.
Probably will need to have it towed.

1974 Renault R12 - 68,835 Miles - Google Chrome 12142014 115212 AM.bmp

Asking price for this Brown Renault is $1,000 Cash. Take a look at the interior and as you can see there are no rips or tears. But I want to bring to your attention the Stereo Unit in the dash…

1974 Renault R12 - 68,835 Miles - Google Chrome 12142014 115230 AM.bmp

Yes, this was recently discussed on these pages… that is a Pioneer KP-500 Super Tuner… and it is another reason why I wanted to post this ad. So, do you have what it takes to bring this car back to life? , and tell me what you think of it.

1974 Renault R12 - 68,835 Miles - Google Chrome 12142014 115227 AM.bmp

  • Walter R. Moore

    Suddenly I am three years old again… my father had an R12 of slightly earlier vintage.. he traded it in for a safety orange R5 in 1976.

    <img src=";

    I can't imagine that this would be easy to keep running, but it is in amazing shape considering.

    • Renault12USA

      Nice photo! Can I use it on my page ?

      • Walter Moore

        Certainly! If you wish to include my dad's name in the description, it is Dr. Donald Moore, University of Miami Geology Department.

        Off to join your group

  • rovingardener

    It is in it's native state of not running and has the virtue of being brown. It would make for a good art installation in a nice condo or garage, a la Magnum PI.

  • BlackIce_GTS

    I drove one just like this when I was a professor of statistical analysis for insurers and actuaries at a small northeastern college in the early '80s.
    No, wait, I'm having imaginary flashbacks, none of that is remotely true. This car is quite evocative.
    I like the inside better than the outside.
    "I am not mechanical, not sure what is wrong" Yeah, me neither. All meat and guts inside. I think its hereditary.

    • Walter R. Moore

      Ha ha! My father was, of course, a college professor, except this was Miami and his field was Geology.

      • A geology instructor with an interest in French cars. Sounds familiar.

        • Walter R. Moore

          Dr. Moore, University of Miami – Department of Geology and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

  • zetep

    That is a steal for $1000. There can't be to much wrong with that engine, and it is a great car to drive, I would buy it for sure if I could find it overhere for that money.

    • Sjalabais

      +1! Considering the condition – cosmetical, not mechanical – it is an awesome deal. Would probably make a great restomod, too.

      • SBC swap?

        • Sjalabais

          That would be some quick Renault! My restomod ambitions are not too high, though. A neat little petrol engine from a newer, rear-ended Corolla would satisfy me, too: It would feel quick enough in a light, old car and you wouldn't need to get your hands dirty again after putting it in, properly.

    • Lokki

      Yeah! And parts are available everywhere for 40 year old Renaults! Say, are you enjoying that bridge you got?

      • King of Eldorado

        For what it's worth, a Renault 12 clone was sold as the Dacia 1300 (?) in former Eastern Bloc countries until 2004. I have no idea about parts interchangeability of the later versions, but initially the Dacia was virtually identical to the 12 except for obvious things like badges.

  • King of Eldorado

    If the engine turns over but won't start, it needs a new condenser.

    Actually, I have no idea, but that's what my 1973 R12 wagon needed when in 1978 when it stopped running on my 10-mile drive home from the guy I bought it from. Amazingly, it stalled a block from a garage with evening hours, they diagnosed it correctly, and they had the part in stock. It ran fine after that. Like Walter Moore's father, I replaced it with an R5 LeCar I bought new in 1979. This one is definitely worth $1000 for a resourceful buyer who wants something unusual.

    • Sjalabais

      Walter, I am your father.

      <img src="; width="600">

      /seeing myself out

      • Walter R. Moore

        Back from the grave! Come on over and have a rum and coke and tell me about being in the Marine Corps for the Solomons campaign again, then! After that we'll see about ruling the galaxy together.

  • Nic

    I still have my 12, on genuine 19700's orange, Built in Heidelberg in Australia,..

    it sits in the driveway waiting for a little time.. daughter was to take it for motorkhana

    a little rust but just a barrel of laughs to drive,. everywhere is at 10/10ths and bno chance of a speeding fine.

  • Marto

    Is that a power bulge on its hood?

    • Rover_1


      In lieu of any actual power available beneath it.

  • Rover_1

    And for a little less money, an exquisite 1:18 model of a Gordini version.
    By Solido
    <img src="; width="600">

    Of note, perhaps: Does any other car have 3 stud wheels today, (other than the similarly French, Smart range)?
    Why or why not?

    • Walter R. Moore

      Please take my money.


    • Not quite an answer to your question, but the Can-Am Spyder uses 3-luggers.

      <img src="; width="320">

      • Rover_1

        No redundancy if you lose/break/strip a stud?

        • Of course there is redundancy — there's another wheel on the other side!

          • Sjalabais

            Tuesday answer full of confidence!

            I did some work at a Volvo dealership as a teen. A bit of everything. When a Citroën AX came in for some sales-shine-up I couldn't believe it only had three lugs. Volvo's had five, and I assumed the lesser makes made go with four. Seeing three blew my young mind.

  • stigshift

    It is French. It is weird. It has a clutch. It is BROWN!!! Not only is it worth saving, I hereby nominate it for HCOTY!!

  • Jay_Ramey

    Before I even clicked on the link I figured there were only two places where one can find something like this on Craigslist: Syracuse or Poughkeepsie.

    Poughkeepsie it is.

    • Sjalabais

      Two possible locations for the next Redusernab HQ? But don't walk into the Hyundai trap, keep the price in eight digit range.

    • Just as NYC Craigslist has literally every Alfa Romeo on the eastern seaboard.

  • dukeisduke

    Pioneer Super Tuner? Damn.

  • Jaap

    In 1983 me and my friends had a standard comment on the R12, that we considered rather ugly:
    The car, they forgot to design.
    I think it"s cool now, its not massive like modern cars

  • Rover_1

    And before I forget.

    The Renault 12 Sedan is the only car with a lower drag coefficient of drag when in reverse. No, not the Austin Allegro or Porsche 928.

    • stigshift

      According to RuPaul…

      • Rover_1

        I think that might be a somewhat different drag coefficiency and indeed an entirely different sort of drag racing, that still, no doubt, involves much changing of manny trannies. 🙂
        <img src=";

  • Renault12USA

    This R12 was purchased by a guy in California. The motor is seized, he's planning to fix it or replace it with a different engine. I made a post about it on my page There you can find more photos and information about this R12 and others.
    I own a '74 R12 in NYC. I got it back on the road after it's been sitting parked since 1985 and now I drive it almost daily. Parts are not easy to find, but they're out there. Currently I know of 5 roadworthy R12's in the states.



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