I'm going to call it. This Renault 25 V6 Limousine is the best car on offer at the forthcoming Artcurial sale. It's perfection. Magnificent. Fit for a president.
It also comes with a pre-auction estimate of €12,000 to €16,000 (£10,800 to £14,500), which means it's unlikely to be joining the PetrolBlog fleet. Not unless anyone is interested in crowdfunding its export to the UK for use ferrying Ferrero Rocher around the country.
André Trigano registered the Renault 25 Limousine on 17 June 1986. It was a reward for a poll win. As well as a businessman, Trigano was a successful local and regional politician. He was mayor of Mazères and then Pamiers, elected no fewer than 19 times.
If owning a Renault 25 Limousine is a reward for doing well in an election, PetrolBlog is going to launch a political party. Vote PetrolBlog, etc.
President François Mitterrand was treated to a preview of the stretched Renault 25 in 1983, before the car was unveiled to the public in October 1984. Renault had visions of building 9,000 limos, but just 832 had been completed by the time production was cancelled in 1986.
As can be seen from the car in profile, the rear doors of the Renault 25 Limousine were lengthened. Also note the widened B-pillar, complete with Heuliez badge. The outer skins of the front doors were lengthened to retain the car's balance, while the roof plate was modified to increase rear headroom. That's the extent of the constructional modifications.
The aim was to increase the amount of space for rear seat passengers. At 4,925 metres in length, the 25 Limousine was the longest Renault built since World War Two. For context, a standard wheelbase Range Rover measures 5,000 metres.
Inside, aside from the extra legroom and headroom, the presidential 25 was largely the same as the proletariat version. Changes included footrests and extra lighting. Because it's a French limo, you'll also find large ashtrays with cigarette lighters in the rear doors.
Unfortunately, André Trigano didn't choose the Executive pack, which means he missed out on a pair of electrically adjustable rear seats. The pack also featured a foldable armrest and luggage space behind the back seats. Alternatively, it could be used to store extra packets of cigarettes.
As this sales supplement from 1985 demonstrates, the Renault 25 Limousine was perfect for gentlemen who had their door opened by a man in a hat. The ideal limo for parking next to your executive jet. Note the final image, which appears to show a confused businessman pondering how he will manage to open the door without help from his driver Pierre.
Wait a goddamn minute, it's the same guy in every photo. You're not fooling us, Renault.
V6 manual? Oui!
André Trigano covered 133,000km (around 82,500 miles) in his Renault 25 V6 Limousine. You just know that he enjoyed every single minute, whether he was behind the wheel or relaxing like a president in the back.
The absence of a period car telephone and a packet of Strepsils on the dashboard is disappointing, but nothing detracts from what is an utterly delightful auction car. Imagine driving this home from the auction in southwestern France.
Does anybody need a large consignment of Ferrero Rocher delivered to an address in Europe? PetrolBlog is willing to deliver them in style.
With thanks to the brilliant Losgane magazine. Images © Artcurial.