1960s / French / Renault / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: Renault 4L

I photographed the Renault 4L you see below all the way back in 2006. It was baking in the sun in the middle of a field along with about half a dozen classic vans and light trucks.

I saw a man not far from the 4 and I had a little bit of time to kill so I stopped to chat. He was the owner, as I’d suspected, and he explained that the 4 was purchased brand new by his father in 1964. It was the family’s daily driver for nearly two decades, but it was relegated to farm duties when it was replaced by newer 4 in the 1980s. The man told me he rebuilt the engine when it started burning oil at about 150,000 miles, and he parked it in his barn about 150,000 miles later when it once again burned an excessive amount of oil.

The 4 consequently spent most of the 1990s in a barn, though it was dragged out several years before I took the pictures below. The man I talked to said it wasn’t for sale because he wanted to restore it one day — his father passed away so it had a lot of sentimental value — but I have no idea what happened to it. It sat in this exact spot until about 2008, maybe 2010, and it mysterious disappeared one day.

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7 thoughts on “Rust in peace: Renault 4L

  1. i hear the ” i am going to restore it some day ” story a lot. i have to wonder why the owners make it harder to restore by leaving it set outside in the weather.

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