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lesapandre

Régie Nationale des Usines Renault finest is off on it's French holidays

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Sur la bateau. Brimmed the tank again in Dover. M20 closed...usual stuff and roadworks but I'm not troubled by the 50mph limit 'cus that's how fast I go. Fun to drive, I had forgotten - as I have not driven it for a year- so high up and such a panoramic view through the flat screen...and most of the way in a chugging-purring 5th.

 

I even attracted a van-admirer on the car deck who throughly approved of Regie Renault.  Sacre bleu!

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Some interesting stuff on the way down...I even saw an early 50's Riley RMB on the motorway...it overtook me...and a Rover 75 (the modern one) on German plates towing a trailer of Harleys

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The kind of keys you can lay on the bar at the Golf Club and say...anyone want any furniture moving? Always take your own coffee on the ferry its cheaper and better.

Couple of problems so far - a 'sticky' front indicator - must be a poor connection as it responds to a tap - but as it has a big side repeater I am ok. Cooling fan cuts in very early - I thought it was the thermo-switch cutting in too early but I think its the rad which is certainly missing some considerable number of fins but remain watertight . Something else to add to the shopping list. 

So back to the car deck shortly...fingers crossed. 

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Off to Rouen this morning. Bout 180km with a lunch stop possibly. Indicator has self-cured. When I get to my destination I will take it apart. I'm off for a coffee and croissant...weather cloudy oh well -Picardie can have torrential rain good job the wiper blades are newish.

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£100 one way - though I did book about 5 hours before departure and it is a big van. In the car I can do it for about 35 booking ahead with a season ticket.

Driving something like this booking weeks in advance is a gamble there is not some problem on the day. So I tend to do it on the hoof.

DFDS may be cheaper but they don't do such good customer service as P&O who have been really good. They answer the phone for one thing and their Twitter updates are excellent and they allowed me to amend my season tickets without a problem. I have used DFDS but if there is a problem I found them harder to deal with.

Now 170 miles from home - 130 ish to go. No sun. Saw a 50's MG TD on the Autoroute - thats two Nuffield cars going strong in two days.

About to brim the fueltank at a local supermarket - always cheaper than anything roadside.

Few old French cars about-just a ZX on the Autoroute.

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Look - complete with graffitti all over its back doors near Rouen. Saw a first version Traffic and one or two other old vans too. Summer brings them out. Most interesting was a 50's Mercedes minibus camper conversion on Dutch plates . I am not the only old van nut about it seems...most being used as informal campers.

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Not much else seen on the way down - except this which seemed to have the German equivalent of the Spice Girls travelling in it - die Gewürzmädchen if you like. Being used for promotion of something. At my destination and here for a couple of weeks so will keep my eyes open for interesting stuff and post here.

300 miles without problems - a tribute to the original design. The motorways around Rouen are pretty grim and fast but this 30 yo van coped ok.

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Yes. Now going to be treated to some new French parts...rad, drivers seat, heater motor and wing mirror if I can find a breaker nearby. I will run my Leboncoin app. I fancy looking at a few diesels too - a SWB with the second row of windows and a turbodiesel would suit - bet most have been ragged to death though.

As a drive they are a bit addictive - slow and noisy but great view.

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And a few brocante finds. The Revue Technique journals were a monthly French magazine sold to the trade and enterprising owners covering specifications and new models as well as repair and maintenance of French and other vehicles.

Just bagged the July 1958 and March 1961 editions covering amongst other things the Citroen 2CV.

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At a cafe with wifi at last. Surprisingly few seem to have it or towns promoting tourism. 

Papped a few cars...not much about. The early Trafics seem to survive in use - thought not doing anything too busy. Mr Bricolage must be one of the few outfits still using one regularly - I think it may be for hire to get your kit home.

A few Masters like mine around - nothing driving about though - parked in fields and gardens mostly. But they are about.

Seen another couple of Renault 25's - not much else on the road.

I went to look at a second hand car place - several XM's for sale - looking like they had been off the road a long time - even a V6 - but I'm not sure I'm up for a car that's stood so long it's got moss in its gutters. €2-3000 each so not for me. Some AX's too but over 200,000km and looking worn - €1000.  Private sales seem much cheaper on Le Bon Coin.

 

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Interesting industrial cutter lying derelict.

But more importantly they had a big stock of old Revue Techniques - 80's mostly and not a lot of Citroen or Renalt stuff its mostly on more obscure stuff - but I did manage to pick up a couple of Auto Expertise - as it says on the cover: " la revue des professionnels de l'automobile et de l'assurance". Its a mag aimed at the repair industry - I got one on the Citroen Axel and one on the AX. 

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