The Fuego rises from the flames

Back in April 2010, I asked the question, What ever happened to the Renault Fuego? I knew they were endangered, but I had no idea they were on the verge on extinction. But now, thanks to the ever-brilliant How Many Left? website, I know that, aside from the GTS model, the number of different Fuegos left on British roads doesn’t even make double figures. Situation critical for the Fuego then?

You may remember during the last series of Top Gear, that when the How Many Left? website got a mention, they used the Fuego Turbo as a point of interest. It was claimed that there were only three left on the roads and looking at the website now, they were indeed right. But there is some good news. Seemingly stirred into action by a mention on prime time television, some Fuego Turbo owners have set about bringing some of the unlicensed cars back to life. According to the website, there are now six Fuego Turbos on the road. Excellent. So perhaps modern Top Gear does have a use after all?

Of course, I’ll take this back if I discover that the three ‘new’ Fuegos have been bought for the next season of Top Gear and will be treated to a ritual burning in the name of entertainment.

But despite the Fuego Turbo rising like a phoenix from the flames, it still remains on the critical list. Which makes this example I found in the classifieds a rather attractive proposition. Just look at those yellow fog lights. Marvel at the brilliant ’80s red paintwork. Wonder at the fact that there’s absolutely nothing else like this on the road and probably never will be either.

Sadly it lacks the TURBO side decals, but I understand that a set of reproduction stickers will be sold with the car. These should be applied within hours of purchasing the car as it’s widely accepted that they add an extra 20bhp to the original 132.*

For sure, it needs some work on the bottom of the doors, but it does have an MOT until May 2012. It’s also infinitely cooler than the vast majority of cars available for less than £2k and this is the only 1985 Fuego Turbo on the road.

1985 Renault Fuego Turbo for sale

1985 Renault Fuego Turbo only six left in 2011

1985 Renault Fuego Turbo in red

1985 Renault Fuego Turbo interior

All it needs now is a new owner who fancies entering ‘The Turbo Zone‘. Go on, you know you want to. The ad can be viewed here on Car & Classic. At the time of writing this post, it is also for sale on eBay.

*this may not be entirely true.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

32 comments

  1. September 17, 2011
    RichHL

    Oh God, stop doing this! You’re a very bad man.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011
      MajorGav

      It’s a public service. As the nation watches the trash on Saturday night television, I unearth gems like this.

      Go on Rich, you know you want to…

      Reply
  2. September 17, 2011
    Ton

    Ha! Please forgive me for not having any particular affection towards the Fuego, but… I have to admit that every time I watch that commercial (I think you brought it up before) I’m just soooo much tempted to …

    ‘enter the Tuuuuuurbo Zoooone!’

    There’s no mentioning in the advert whether or not the smoke-screen-generator (also known as worn valves) is still functional?

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011
      MajorGav

      Ha! The smoke-screen-generator is awesome!

      With the inevitable turbo lag, I’d like the car to announce ‘entering the Tuuuuuurbo Zoooone’ as it spools up! 😉

      Reply
  3. September 17, 2011
    Ton

    I have to admit that so far, I’ve only driven in modern turbos, like the BMW/PSA engines and the VAG ones. Much more of a subtle (yet boring) situation I assume.

    Today I met two men driving Widow Makers, a 930 Turbo and a 965 3.6 Turbo. Some say, the last ‘real’ 911 turbos (rwd, single huge turbo). They were alone, but I didn’t dare to ask if they had someone waiting for them at home 😉

    By the way, I do apologize that I always manage to talk about Porsche’s, no matter what the original subject was…

    I really miss a how many left? site for us Dutchies. I think I saw but one Fuego in my entire life.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011
      MajorGav

      No need to apologise for that, Ton. After all, I’ve been known to mention a certain brand of biscuit rather a lot! 😉

      Reply
  4. September 17, 2011
    Ton

    Final comment then (for now, of course), before I try to write something of my own.

    Sad news: I do have only one of those famous biscuits left. Good news: I bought two packs (one regular and one choco) of the-next-best-thing the other day at my local grocery store!

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011
      MajorGav

      I hope you’ll be preparing a blog article on ‘Hobnobs vs. the next best thing available in Holland’? It’ll be a must-read piece…

      Reply
      • September 17, 2011
        Ton

        Ask, and thou shalt receive…

        L@@K: http://tnzr.nl/

        Reply
        • September 18, 2011
          MajorGav

          Brilliant! And nice to see ‘Tonsty’s rides’ too! 😉

          Reply
  5. September 20, 2011
    David Milloy

    You’re wrong about the go-faster stripes: thanks to those clever engineers at the Regie, the stripes add another 30 horses on 1985 model Fuego Turbos.

    Seriously, though, another excellent piece on a (sadly) forgotten star of the 80s.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2011
      MajorGav

      Ha! My mistake. Appreciate the comment, glad my love of 80s curiosities isn’t a lone passion!

      Reply
  6. September 27, 2011
    Joseph

    Was there ever a Fuego convertible, maybe offered by aftermarket converters? One thing I love about 1980s cars like this – headlamp wipers! Give me one of these over a modern hot hatch any day of the week.

    Reply
    • September 27, 2011
      MajorGav

      There was a convertible concept, but it never made it to production. Shame.

      Headlamp wipers are brilliant. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to discover that they still work on my newly purchased Saab 9000. It’s the little things…

      Reply
  7. November 13, 2011
    Becca

    Just thought I would add a message to say I’ll be adding a Fuego to the roads! I’ve just been given a 1982 2l Fuego that’s been sat in my Dads garage for years!

    Reply
    • November 13, 2011
      MajorGav

      Superb!

      Any idea how much work will be involved to get the Fuego roadworthy again? Very interested to follow progress…

      Reply
      • November 14, 2011
        Becca

        I don’t think it will need much apart from an MOT. It was still in good working order when it went in the garage, it just hasn’t been used. Apparently the head gasket will need replacing at some point but we do have the part. Considering it’s age, theres only 110k on the clock. Its been in the family since new so has been looked after.
        Hopefully the MOT wont be too much!

        Reply
        • November 14, 2011
          MajorGav

          Good news! Please keep us posted. Would be delighted to run a feature on the next Fuego to rise from the flames!

          Reply
          • November 14, 2011
            Becca

            I certainly will! I should have it within the next few weeks – I’m about to move house and need to wait until we move so that I have a garage to keep it in! I looked at the ‘how many left’ website and it looks like theres only 2 others on the road – its a GTX.

            Reply
            • November 14, 2011
              MajorGav

              Superb! I’ll be in touch.

              Good luck.

              Reply
  8. July 14, 2012
    markberwick

    Pleased to report I had three of these over the years, starting with the X reg white 1.4TL, a Y reg red GTS (auto) and a Y reg black GTX Turbo. I know it all seems a bit 80’s and kitsch now but they really were a great car, if you could ignore the similarities to the Renault 18, the occasionally infuriating reliability of the electrics, poor brakes and the excessive amounts of plastic trim inside. This was all compensated by the overall good looks of the car, the beautiful back screen (£800 for a new one if you broke it and that was 20 years ago) and the fact that back then, it was a head-turner, not to mention a great girl puller.

    What a shame there’s so few left out there, I’d love to take one out for just one last drive. The last one I drove was the red GTS – I bought it from a scrappy in Cambridgeshire for just £50 and it made it through the MOT a week later, £50 for nearly a years motoring before it was beyond economical repair was definitely good value.

    Reply
  9. November 5, 2012
    What car would Guy Fawkes drive? « MR Car

    […] Mr Fawkes will need to be quick though, there are only six Fuegos left on UK roads. […]

    Reply
  10. December 13, 2012
    vanessa

    Delighted to say i have been a very proud fuego turbo owner for the past 10 years and i will be doing everything to keep it going! They look great, drive very well and make me smile! Long live el fuego!!

    Reply
    • December 13, 2012
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Ten years? That’s impressive.

      Any pics online?

      Reply
      • December 13, 2012
        vanessa

        none currently, will upload a couple.

        Reply
        • December 13, 2012
          Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

          Excellent. Thanks.

          Reply
  11. December 16, 2012
    Becca

    Well I can now say I’ve added another fuego to the roads! I was meant to get it last year but for a variety of reasons it only recently went to the garage. It has had rather a lot of work but drives brilliantly and looks amazing!

    Reply
    • December 16, 2012
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Congratulations!

      Great to see another Fuego back on the road. What spec is it?

      Any photos?!

      Reply
  12. January 1, 2013
    Rhys

    I live in New Zealand and have 2 Fuego Turbos. They were very popular here when they were new, and due to our gentle climate, were still a fairly common site well into the 2000s, Both of mine have been reliable, and 1 has done only 52,000 miles! They’re comfortable, pretty fast, and have an individuality that’s hard to find nowadays.

    Reply
    • January 7, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Two Fuego Turbos?! Now that’s just being greedy! 😉

      Reply
  13. June 13, 2015
    gerry brown

    Hi i had a great feugo back around 83 the reg was EIW7771 how can i trace it. Gerry

    Reply
    • June 17, 2015
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Bad news, I’m afraid.

      According to the DVLA, your Fuego was last taxed in 1989.

      Built in 1982, right?

      Sorry to bring such bad news… 🙁

      Reply

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