French Friday: 17

Today is French Friday, and it’s the 17th, so what better day to post a Renault 17?

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The Renault 15 and 17 were two similar coupes based on the Renault 12 sedan and launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1971, two years after the Renault 12's debut at the same show in 1969. The 15 was the lower-end model, with a full-length rear side window. The 17 was a more stylish hardtop coupe, with a louver-covered rear side window, along with more powerful engines.

Like the Ford Capri, Opel Manta, or early Ford Mustang, mechanical bits were shared with other sedans in the company’s lineup. A Hemmings post (of a North American 15 and 17 brochure) citing the Standard Catalogue of Imported Cars suggests that the 15 was sold in North America from 1972 to 1976, and the 17 from 1972 to 1979.

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This is the Schuco 1:66 casting of a Renault 17 TS, the sportier version, with a higher-compression 1.6L engine, and the loop bumpers front and rear, a feature of the earlier cars.

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The 17 was fairly popular among diecast companies, with period castings from Schuco, Matchbox, Majorette, Norev, and Solido, among others.

Schuco’s casting of the standard Renault 17 has been posted here before by Small Scale Sydney. The standard Schuco was primarily sold in blue, and the TS primarily in lime green here.

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Body casting detail is sharp, with a hood vent, quarter window louvers, door releases, and gas cap.

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The front and rear bumpers are part of the base, with clean grille detail, individual headlights and tailights, accurate bumpers, and a license plate ‘N RS 853’, presumably a plate registered in Nuremberg (N), with the casting’s number (853).

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The interior is nice, with thin bucket seats, and a three-spoke steering wheel done in body colour.

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The base has some transmission, suspension, and exhaust detail. Like other Schucos (and other German brands of the era), it has some technical data listed. This example has some deterioration of the finish though.

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I picked this one cheaply from eBay in Germany. The box is a bit cracked, and there’s a couple chips on the windshield. The foam for this one was completely crumbled and I had to toss it. It’s unfortunate that German law makes sellers reluctant to ship to foreign countries, or I’d have many more Schuco 1:66s. There’s a pleasure to handling these that you just don’t get from most other diecast.

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