I’d long given up on finding an R10 in the wild. But then I hadn’t ever explored the wilder and woollier back streets of Creswell, a little hamlet about ten miles south of Eugene. I was early for an appointment, so I took a little exploratory drive. And nearly hidden behind a Citation and Tempo, I saw its unmistakable boxy outline. One more to cross off on my “To Find” list.
That’s not to say we haven’t covered the R10 in considerable detail here (full list at bottom). But none of them were a genuine curbside classic find, like this fine example resting with the bikes and some other detritus.
There was a woman building an improvised shed of sorts (right behind the R10’s front end), and I asked if I could shoot this rare object of French desire. She said there had been ten of them here at one time! And that this one, the worst of the bunch, was the last one left. Seriously? Jeez; someone must have been trying to corner the market on R10s; in Creswell, no less. I would have loved to see the better ones (if she wasn’t mistaken; maybe she meant Tempos or Citations). If there had been a nice one, I might have been tempted too. It’s not quite a Peugeot, but it does have a number of the classic Gallic charms, like a supple suspension, and wonderful seats.
The seats in this one are bit worse for wear (and time), but that high quality latex foam rubber is probably still fairly comfortable. The dash in these is a bit…minimalist.
It’s being used as a portable storage shed itself.
I can’t help but wonder if there really were ten R10s here. Hard to imagine. On the other hand, cars like this do tend to congregate. When I needed parts for my Peugeot 404, I was told to go see Ernest Light in Asuza, CA; the 404 Man. He had 404s jammed all around his house. His living and dining rooms were like a very cramped parts store, with ceiling-high shelves jammed with carefully sorted Peugeot parts. And then we went a couple of blocks to his storage yard: row upon row of 404s, including more than one Cabrio, all slowly frying under the hot inland California sun. Amazing, but sad. Whatever became of them all?
I would have liked to get a look under the hood at the 1108 cc water-cooled four, but the release must have been in the passenger compartment, and I wasn’t feeling all that overly welcome.
But I had to get a couple of quick shots of its companions, as the trio makes for a rather unusual collection. This Tempo coupe has the rather unusual (fake)alloys, with the center cap missing here.
It’s an early model, with the non-composite headlights.
Citations are getting a bit thin on the ground even here in Curbsidelandia. There was a kid that showed up in town two years ago with a silver one like this, and I saw it quite often, but now it seems to be gone. Hopefully it didn’t break down seriously. This one looks like it did so a while back, and no one seems in much of a hurry to so something about it.
The mud must get soft here in the winter, because it looks like the Chevy has sunk in up to its wheel cover centers in it.
Well, it was a memorable trip to Creswell, but I sure wish I had done it sooner. Ten R 10s; the thought still haunts me.
Some other R10s at CC: