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Renault 16 TS - restoration: barn find with 28,000 km

Renault 16 TS - restoration
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A When the call came, Holger Schmidt and his wife enjoyed it just a vacation at the North Sea. 'An R16 TS, original type, has been slumbering in a barn for 28 years, the odometer reads 28,000.' The caller was Wim Boer, an active member of the Dutch R16 scene. He knew Holger was looking for one of those French limousines. Holger remembers all too fondly the family outings in his childhood in a Renault 16 TX. That was not without consequences.

The restoration begins in the stalactite cave

During his studies, he surprised his girlfriend by spontaneously buying a Renault 16 TL that happened to be parked in front of the university. Although this led to a financial crisis that could only be overcome by selling the current car to his father, his girlfriend remained loyal to him. Yes, she even married him - in a white R16, of course, which Holger had stumbled upon while asking a Renault dealer about an R16 model car.

Now he was actually looking like a Renault 16 TX, but what the caller said about this TS sounded seductive. 'However, it was difficult for me to drive to France to see the car without risking a marital crisis,' recalls Holger. And so he asked Wim Boer to buy the Renault and bring it with him. It was worth it. The interior was still like new, the sheet metal looked relatively good, only the engine could no longer be used. Apparently playing children had filled it with sand.

Holger took over the Renault 16 and put it away for two years until he had saved up the capital for a restoration - even if he did a lot himself or with help wanted to do by friends. The starting shot was given in 2006. In his stalactite cave, as Holger calls his garage, he began to dismantle the car. It turned out that one or the other sheet had to be welded. Here he could count on the help of Daniel Montoja, and so he brought the car from Siegen to Paderborn on a trailer. Montoja replaced parts of the inner sill, the complete outer sill and made some metal sheets by hand for further porous parts such as in the area of ​​the headlight pots.

To two new fenders and a whole car are added

And again it was coincidence that Holger got two new onesMudguards helped. 'I've always wanted to sit on R16 leather armchairs,' he enthuses, and at the time he went looking for it. He found what he was looking for - an affordable offer that also included the entire Renault 16 in which the seats were mounted. Since the seller refused to sell the seats separately, Holger agreed and drove there. He was facing an unfinished restoration, so this purchase not only earned him the seats, but also two new fenders: 'The rest of the car is in my basement, I had to throw away the body shell.'

Incidentally he had also succeeded in securing the engine mudguard, which is much sought after in Renault circles, and which closes the engine room at the bottom, for his Renault 16 TS. He simply made it part of the sales negotiations with Wim Boer because he knows that the Dutch have a well-stocked parts warehouse.

After completing the welding work, the Renault 16 came back to Siegen, where Holger dismantled the remaining parts such as the windows. Then he prepared the body for the way to the painter. He sanded the subfloor as bare as possible and treated it with a rust-proof, three-layer protective layer based on a tip from a friend. These are special products that are used to protect the underbody of buses that are in continuous operation.

Arch-conservative paint color - gris 660

He left the painting of the body to a specialist. Since he already owns a white R16, Holger decided on a shade called gris 660 that was appropriate to the year of manufacture: 'I think the archetype with this ultra-conservative color is super great.' Not everyone shares this opinion, at least not his neighbor, who noticed when looking into the garage: 'Oh, the car is already primed.' Such a comment builds up, especially if you have given every minute of your free time to the restoration of the Renault 16 in the past few months. Holger has long been trying to recondition the technology, and his training as an industrial mechanic and his degree in mechanical engineering have been of use to him. The restorer replaced the shock absorbers, every bushing, every rubber - except for the brake booster. But a new part is already ready. Since the original engine was no longer usable, he had obtained an intact used unit. Holger redesigned the engine and renewed its periphery. The gearbox of the Renault 16 was opened, resealed and the pilot bearing renewed. A complete overhaul of the gear train was not necessary.

Engine installation with truck

When installing the engine /gearbox Unity was helped by a good friend who owns a truck with a loading crane. This was alreadypreviously been in use - a nerve-wracking story. Holger waited eagerly for the arrival of his fully painted Renault 16, until the news came that the car had slipped from the trailer during the transfer.

Holger and his friend drove to the place with his friend in his truck as fast as possible of the happening. But it wasn't as bad as expected. The Renault 16 did not fall, but rather jumped its front wheels out of the trailer's groove in a tight curve. The free-floating wheels were then caught in the tension belts. 'We briefly blocked the town's thoroughfare during rush hour and brought the car into the correct position with the crane,' recalls Holger of the rescue operation. Fortunately, the Renault 16 hadn't been scratched.

Bad luck - new door because of rain

Holger took care of that himself later, because it was in his stalactite cave is very narrow, he always pushed the car outside while the assembly began. Driving was not possible because the engine was still missing. One day while he was sitting in the house on a coffee break, it suddenly began to rain heavily. Holger ran down in front of the house as fast as he could and pushed the Renault 16 back into the garage with all his might to protect it from the water.

Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, he overlooked the rear right door of the Renault 16 was still open, which then promptly got stuck on the garage door. The damage was so severe that it was no longer worth repairing. But with the help of the club spare parts specialist Peter Hemmers, he got a new door, which of course still had to be painted.

The thing with the windshield seal, in which a decorative strip is embedded in the Renault 16, also went stupid. Holger had asked an old Renault workshop foreman whether one should fumble the strip into the rubber before installing the window pane or afterwards. The answer was then, because there was a tool with which this could be done easily. That is true, but only applies to the later Renault 16. In the case of the original types, the chrome-colored strip is not made of plastic, but of metal - and that is ruined if the special tool is used. So now Holger has been driving around for a while without a ledge, but at some point he will probably have to take the window out again.

Financially, the ambitious restoration was of course not worth it, but the market value of a Renault is 16 too low. But that doesn't bother Holger in the least: 'I really wanted to do it, and it was a valuable experience.' But he doesn't want to do that to himself again. 'The time it took was bad, and family life fell by the wayside,' he says. What happens if a call comes in soon and you give him a great R16 TXRestoration offers


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