1968 Renault 16 TS

  • 1968 Renault 16TS for sale
  • Single family ownership from 1968-2005
  • Extensive file includes original sales invoice and service book
  • Highly original example of a rare French classic

The history file for this remarkable Renault 16TS – not to mention its superb original condition – proves how well cared for it has been throughout its life. 

Amongst the many period brochures and promotional literature is the original sales invoice from supplying dealer Old Oak Motor Co of Enfield, Middlesex. Dated 13 August 1968, it shows that first owner Charles Vick was charged £1139 – less £175 for a 1960 Singer Gazelle in part-exchange – for his brand-new Metallic Blue 16TS. 

Mr Vick actually registered it in the name of his wife Letty, and the original maintenance book shows the car’s first service stamp on 30 August 1968 at 527 miles. The book is regularly stamped thereafter, all the way up to October 1984, by which time the Renault had covered 35,495 miles and was still owned by Mr Vick. 

He was, by all accounts, a fastidious owner who looked after the car with great pride. If it got wet, he would always dry it before putting it back in the garage, and when he sadly passed away in 1984 it passed to his daughter, Ruth. 

She was delighted to discover that the Renault still had its original plastic sheeting on the sides of the doors, the floor mats had been protected by placing other mats on top, and her father had kept a record of every journey, service and fuel stop during his ownership. 

Ruth continued in the same vein with the car, which came to be used only in the summer months; it was eventually put into storage at Barnard Castle in 2000. She parted with it in 2005, by which time the Renault had been in her family for 37 years, and it has since been owned by a succession of marque enthusiasts. 

The 16TS was displayed at the NEC Classic Motor Show in 2015 – the same year that it featured in Classic & Sports Car magazine – and was treated to some minor bodywork rectification in 2019. Two years later, the engine bay was refurbished and the result of all this care and attention is an exceptional example of this rare classic.

The seats are extremely comfortable in a way that is typical of French manufacturers, and the column-mounted gearchange makes the interior feel truly spacious. With its extensive use of vinyl trim, it is perfectly evocative of when this car was new in 1968. 

Now being offered for sale, this Renault 16TS has been cherished for its entire life and is supplied with a wealth of invoices, receipts and brochures, plus a parts catalogue and a workshop manual. 

Model history

Designed by a team led by Yves Georges, the Renault 16 was unveiled in March 1965 and promptly won the prestigious European Car of the Year award. 

As a front-wheel-drive hatchback, it made its rivals from French and British marques look distinctively conventional. Beneath the bonnet was an all-alloy 1470cc four-cylinder engine, which drove through a four-speed column-mounted gearshift. Suspension was independent all round, steering was via rack and pinion, and disc brakes were fitted at the front. 

Inside, the rear seats could be removed completely or arranged in various ways. The rear backrest, for example, could be suspended from the grab handles and the seat base folded up in order to create a larger load area. The front seats could also be lowered flat to make a ‘bed’. 

Even Stirling Moss was impressed. The legendary racer once said that: ‘There is no doubt that the Renault 16 is the most intelligently engineered car I have ever encountered and I think that each British manufacturer would do well to purchase one just to see how it is put together.’

As the 1960s progressed, Renault recognised the need for a faster and better-equipped variant. The result was the 1968 16TS – for ‘Tourisme Speciale’ – which featured a 1565cc engine with a twin-choke Weber carburettor. Circular dials were fitted in place of the ‘strip’ speedometer and the TS could boast a top speed of more than 100mph. 

‘This car is a thoroughbred,’ said the brochure. ‘It is built to carry you hour after hour in all weathers over all roads at high average speeds in perfect comfort and safety.’

Despite the introduction in 1975 of the flagship Renault 20 and 30 models, production of the Renault 16 lasted until January 1980.

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