A British explorer and classic car hunter going by the name The Bearded Explorer films their discoveries in the British countryside. Finding a range of different cars and houses that their audience will find interesting. This includes spooky mansions left uninhabited, and some of the island nation’s greatest vehicles. One of their discoveries is a burgundy Aston Martin Vantage V12, left for the best part of a decade. However, they happen to come across more regular models like Rover P6s, BMW E46 3 Series, and an MG ZT.
The YouTuber currently is progressing up the ranks of the British automotive YouTubers collaborating with Alex Kersten’s Car Throttle and currently owns a classic Golf GTI. Stumbling across an abandoned collection of old French Renault cars, The Bearded Explorer covers a history of classic cars that many of us often neglect.
This collection shows just how different British classics are from Americans.
What Does The Collection Say About Old British Cars?
The owner of this classic collection goes without a name. However, fitting British national stereotypes, they didn’t exclusively buy French vehicles. The YouTuber first highlights a Morris Van and a Classic Mini. Both of these vehicles spent their lives as the workhorse of Britain’s commercial and domestic interests. Small light vans to meet the needs of small businesses, built on the platform of their hatchback siblings, unlike the larger Ford Transit. Both of these vehicles are from the era of British Leyland before its collapse and resulting nationalization in 1975.
This graveyard of cars provides an insight into Britain’s motoring past. A brown Ford Fiesta sits with ivy growing through the vehicle and body panels missing. It hasn’t run in a long time. A quick check of its registration shows that this is a 1984 model year car. With a 1.1-liter engine, it is no match for the hot hatchbacks of today. Since its introduction, the Fiesta has spent its life as one of Britain’s best-selling vehicles, a stark contrast to those vehicles that the American division of Ford produced. It’s no surprise that it took until the seventh generation in 2008 for the Fiesta to launch stateside.
This collection is severely lacking one thing, a taste of German engineering. Tucked away behind the Morris Mini, a Volkswagen Beetle hides. Falling apart, the fenders have fallen away, and the rocker cover falls away to the touch. Like most of the cars in this collection, restoring it would need extensive fabrication. Checking the registration reveals that this is a 1968 car. Left without road tax since 1983, it has sat there for nearly four decades. Distracted by French hatchbacks, the British owner left this car to rot.
What Renault Models Are There?
The rarest of the models there, a blue Renault 4 Turbo exists in quite a poor state of repair. In production for 33 years, the Renault 4 is as equally influential and iconic as the Citreon DS and 2CV. Renault homologated the 4 to make Group A specifications, it saw great success with its dependability.
The successor, the Renault 5, did even better and an example sits tucked in another part of this automotive graveyard. From 1977 this yellow 5 looks like it went through some sort of crash where it rolled. Caved in, the roof has pressed into the cabin. A reminder of how far crash safety has come. The Renault 5 Turbo squared up to the Audi Quattro in Group B. With a four-wheel-drive system and a much shorter wheelbase, it saw success on the narrower and tighter stages. The car won in Portugal, Tour de Corse, and Monte Carlo. With a narrow body, this classic is just a regular Renault 5 and not the hotter model which led to cars like the Renault Clio Williams.
According to Classic, an aggregator of used car prices, the Renault 5’s price varies drastically depending on the model. A Group B style 5 Turbo on average asks for $132,003 whereas a more common GT Turbo sells for on average $20,402. As one of the best-selling vehicles of all time a base car can be had for very little.
The two final models are a Renault 12 and 18. Both larger sedans were the French attempt at a more upmarket car like those from their German rivals. The 18 directly succeeded the 12, however as is traditional for French manufacturers production overlapped. This particular 18 is the TS trim level. Beneath the range-topping GTS model, the TS came with a 1.6-liter engine that produced 78 horsepower and an automatic transmission. A true luxury for a European car from the 1980s.
Are There Any British Oddities?
Completely engulfed by some brambles, a Talbot Horizon GLS hides. This is a befitting metaphor for the Talbot brand as a whole., the producer of the Sunbeam, a rival to the roadsters that left the MG and Triumph factories.
The Bearded Explorer steps into the home that sits alongside this automotive graveyard. Full of tools and debris, the house is hard to navigate. Whoever once lived here had a penchant for collecting in general. With books titled “Do It Yourself”, they clearly believed in self-sufficiency and keeping things just in case.
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