This Renault 4 GTL goes to show that there are abandoned cars hiding everywhere — you just need to find them.
It’s sitting upside down in a ditch on the side of a road that I’ve been taking on a regular basis for years. I’ve never noticed it before because it was covered by a thick layer of wild brush up until a few days ago.
It’s largely complete. The only major parts missing are the seats, the wheels, the exhaust, and the rear brake shoes. And, of course, the plates, which indicates it was likely pushed into the ditch to claim insurance money. It could be stolen, too, but most of the stolen cars I’ve found in ditches in this area were stripped to some extent.
It’s difficult to tell precisely when this 4 was built without looking at its VIN number, but a little bit of automotive archaeology allows us to narrow it down to 1978 or 1979. The GTL model (with the bigger 1,108cc four-cylinder engine) was introduced in January of 1978. In September of 1979, the GTL got a new exhaust line that exited at the rear of the car. The exhaust line is missing on this one, but its mounting points are clearly visible on the driver’s side of the chassis.