We photographed this Renault Express in a tiny town located in the lower Alps. The license plate is not original so we can’t tell precisely when it was first registered but it is a first-gen model, meaning it was built between 1985 and 1991.
Introduced to replace the commercial variants of the venerable Renault 4, the Express was sold as the Extra in the UK and Ireland and as the Rapid in select northern European countries including Germany. It is not particularly rare, government statistics indicate a little under 12,000 examples are registered in France and website howmanyleft.co.uk states 578 Extras are still on the road in the UK. However, family-focused first-gen models with rear windows and a rear bench seat like the model pictured below are getting scarce because not many examples were sold to begin with.
The Renault 4 F6 was phased out in 1985 and the last Renault 4 F4 was built in 1988, meaning both models are over a quarter of a century old and there are fewer and fewer of them left ending their lives in fields and barns. Nearly 30-years old, the Express is ready to take the torch from the F4/F6 and become the de-facto abandoned Renault van on farms in rural regions of Europe.
We imagine the Express pictured below is the first of many to come, and the same can be said of the Citroën C15. All told, this is what Ran When Parked will probably look like in a decade.