Renault Le Car Van

Car of the Day #41: 1979 Renault Le Car Van by Heuliez

Renault Le Car Van

The Renault Le Car Van by Heuliez is my automotive ear worm. Ever since seeing it I’ve been trying to forget it and just can’t.

Think listening to an ear-piercing 10 minute solo by a French-speaking Led Zeppelin cover band in 1979 at some barely lit, damp, cheap beer-tainted dive bar in scummy part of Paris, then rising at once to settle your cheque, Merci, then brave the tides of Gitanes smoke and sweaty pheromones of the six other hopeless patrons before stumbling out onto the street, new beau in tow, all warm and buzzed and très excité but juuuust sober enough to jab Le Petit Key into an unlit metallic barrel, no doubt guided by the ghost of past lovers who are frankly quite curious as to the mechanics of what’s about to joyously, permanently, stain a one-of-450 Le Car Van’s shag carpet.

For a French tin van with permanent Short Guy energy, it’s not that bad looking, actually. At least the powers-that-be responded to a unique idea and tried something different. 

How did this cute little rip-off of the American Vannin’ scene come to be? Did its creators do intense market research? Absolutely not. 

The idea came from a men’s magazine.