Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vencido en la Calle - Renault R12s of Mexico


If you like beat to hell cars, my friend, you need to go to Mexico, the land where everyone drives a vehicle like mine. It's easy to see why nothing has a straight panel on it; reckless disregard for the merging process,  ump parking, and rapidly decaying infrastructure are major contributors to automotive destruction. One thing that is not a factor is rust. Evidence of this is the fact that these Renault R12s have not yet been converted to a pile of reddish brown flakes like all of its US brethren.

Renault was active in Mexico from 1959 to 1986 with a lineup that was mostly similar to that in the US, with a few notable exceptions like the Dinalpin. After it had long abandoned North America as a whole, Renault came back in solely in Mexico starting in 1999. Now both Renaults and Nissan badged Renaults are sold South of the Border. Today it's not uncommon to see Alliances, R12s, and R16s still cutting off heavy trucks, running into things, and honking at people.


I spotted this old banana colored R12TL in an Guadaloupe, an inner suburb of Monterrey, Mexico from a few blocks out and had to make a slightly sketchy detour to get a closer look. It was well worth the risk of abduction and or decapitation to see such an intact and original example still in service. I have no idea why it has six registrations but at least one of them seems to still be active.


A bit later on I was walking back from Fundidora Park, a huge city green space created from an old foundry campus. This was also the site of the famed Champ car races in Mexico in the early 2000's. I digress - I saw this oxidized royal blue R12 in abysmal condition, even for an old Mexican car. I'm almost positive that this car is no longer mobile.



What's maybe just as interesting as the R12 is the 'background check' of the row of cars in front of the Renault. Keen eyes may notice many different cars that what would be seen stateside; a Pontiac Matiz, Chevrolet Chevy (2 different generations), a late model Mexican Beetle, and Nissan Platina (rebadged Renault Simbol).

1 comment:

  1. That R12 is great. Something tells me she's still running...

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