Whilst I was driving and capturing this French classic, I thought nothing off it. Actually I was sure this was another car I already knew from classic car meetings, a Renault R15 TS. Well, why not upload it here to share with the CC community?
But hold on; This is no R15. Any classic Renault lover will instantly recognize what I, in real time missed- The rear windows are totally different from the R15’s, and the front grill houses four round headlights instead of the R15’s two rectangular units:
As you can clearly see, sadly the left rear window is replaced with a clear plastic film. Hopefully it wasn’t a vandalizing victim.
This rather innocent looking R17 is quite a find; I can’t remember when I last saw one, if ever (well, at least here in Israel). As for the R15, see this TS I mentioned above:
One can understand why I wasn’t quick to tell the difference whilst driving, although in still photos, those differences are clear as day- despite the same color.
I was even lucky to come across a fully fledged Curbside Classic R15 TS some time ago. When was the last time you saw a three nut wheel on a modern car (and no, a Smart is not an option)?
From what I could ascertain reading about the R17, the subject of this post is a first generation TL produced sometime between 1971 to 1975. Face-lifted cars, produced between 1976 to 1979 had, well, a different fascia. See the difference in this photo from a Google Image search:
Nearest car is an R15 TS, middle one is like the one in this post, an R17 TL, and at the back is post-1976 R17 TS, or Gordini, as they were called then. Looking at these Renaults, I’m mostly reminded by the early Lotus Eclat and Excel which were essentially the same, saving a different rear design. But I guess the R17 and R15 cost less, much less than a Lotus…