For a town in Southern Indiana, Bloomington has its fair share of unusual cars; in the past month, I’ve seen a ’53 Hudson Hornet in front of Target, a ’47 Plymouth P15 in front of the library, a ’65 GTO convertible at the prominent brunch spot in town, an ’83 Trans Am Daytona 500 Pace Car at the post office, and more (and don’t worry, I’ve snapped photos of all and will write them up if I haven’t already). But what local Cohort member Horsepj found in front of our rather sad shopping mall was not only rather cheerful but comparatively unexpected: a 1982 Renault LeCar (I’d be interested in how he pinpointed the model year), in five-door form no less.
Its owner has mounted a Thai license plate in front, but has thankfully kept the car in original condition. The ideal use for this sort of classic, provided road salt is avoided, is to run local errands. This brown hatch, complete with what appears to be its original factory exhaust, is well suited to the task, with a supple, long-travel suspension to deal with the roads in the area, ruined by this winter’s combination of very cold temperatures and torrential rains. While it’s been a tolerable June weather wise (watch it all go to hell now that I’ve said so), the full-length canvas roof also makes this a great summer runabout in any temperature. Those who lived with these cars in federalized form may not have the most ideal memories, which makes it an especially nice find in our small town. I encountered these cars in a very different context, however, and it’s long been on my list of favorites. So needless to say, if I should see this car and its owner somewhere downtown, I’ll be sure to chat them up.
Related reading: 1979 Renault 5GTL – Style Pioneer