Lot details Registration No: H909FLB Chassis No: VF8J116080R659997 Mot Expiry: Sept 2009
The Phase I Espace is now an accepted classic, as the car that pioneered mass production of seven-seat MPVs in Europe. With a galvanised steel floorpan and inner structure, plus glassfibre skin panels, it is extremely corrosion-resistant and its unique combination of compact dimensions with capacious interior space makes it an exceptionally usable classic. Designed and built by Matra, the Espace was at one time going to be a Talbot (Chrysler), so when launched in 1984 featured the Talbot family forward-leaning headlights; a cosmetic update in 1988 brought the Renault family lean-back lights and a little more interior space. But most significant in this 'Type 1 Phase 2' revision was the addition to the range of the Quadra - a brilliant four-wheel drive arrangement that, incredibly, had no impact on interior space or drivability, yet allowed the Espace to become a phenomenally impressive vehicle on ice and snow-covered roads. Intended as an on-road, not off-road, four-wheel drive, it is just as capable of high speed cruising as its two-wheel drive sister and still returns over 30mpg from the fuel injected overhead cam Renault 2-litre. Yet if you find yourself needing to tow a caravan out of a waterlogged field, the Quadra will happily oblige. The Quadra featured a World first - the World's first composite driveshaft, which was also the first mass production piece of carbon fibre, its ultra-light propshaft. With a rear differential and, for the first time, all-disc brakes, the Quadra's all-wheel drive was controlled by a viscous coupling that also contributed an effective form of anti-lock braking.
Right-hand drive Quadras were only offered in the UK in 1989 and 1990 and are now extremely rare. Malcolm purchased one by chance in 2005 and was so impressed that he spent the next two years seeking out the best example in the country. This is the result - a car specially prepared for Renault GB with unique full leather upholstery (all seven seats, door trims, everywhere) and air conditioning, plus unusually low recorded mileage. After one year with Renault, its second owner kept the car for 12 years. He has spent over £3000 bringing it back to as-new condition, including full overhaul of the unique heating system and replacement of the ECU and viscous coupling. A packed history file, original handbooks, sales leaflets etc are included. Good Quadras almost never appear on the market these days, the few survivors being cherished by discerning owners who love their versatility and pioneering features.