1970s / French / Renault / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: Renault Estafette

renault-estafette-boston-10We stumbled upon this late-1970s Renault Estafette parked on pieces of wood and cinder blocks in the middle of an olive tree field located deep in the countryside. At first glance we thought it was used as a work van by the person who owns the field but a closer look reveals it’s likely lead a very different life.

For starters, the paint: The van rolled off the assembly line finished in medium shade of blue but it was given an artistic paint job that depicts what appears to be a house or a church on the driver’s side. The name Boston is painted on the rear quarter panel and we doubt it’s a reference to the capital of Massachusetts. Instead, it’s likely a homage to the classic rock band famous for singing “More Than a Feeling” in the 1970s.

A peek inside reveals the Estafette was converted from a panel van to a full camper with electricity, numerous air vents, small side windows and wood paneling all around. Most of the accessories used to turn a work horse into a cozy studio apartment have been removed.

The rest of the van is complete save for the front seats so we don’t believe it was purchased as a parts car. The plates are gone and the only hint of its previous life is a registration sticker from 1985, which might indicate how long the van has been there. A local man we talked to told us it has been in the field for decades but couldn’t explain how or why it wound up there.

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