Since 2000, four people in the U.S. have died from hailstorms. That sobering fact makes the hail damage on today’s Nice Price or No Dice Renault Twingo seem not so bad. Let’s see how good or bad this private-party import’s price tag might be in light of all the icy impacts.
Studies of consumer behavior indicate that people don’t just want to get good deals but uniquely good deals, those that are better than what others might manage. See? Even in our unbridled need to spend and consume we’re still unashamedly competitive.
Yesterday’s 2001 Bentley Arnage Red Label might be one of these uniquely good deals we are all so desperately seeking. As pointed out by a number of you in the comments, that Bentley’s $21,000 asking price is one of the lowest to be found. A decent presentation and no obvious boogers just add to the appeal. That was all reflected in the massive 84 percent Nice Price win the car received.
You might think that yesterday’s Bentley and the 1995 Renault Twingo we’re looking at today have absolutely nothing in common. Obviously, each car represents an opposite end of the size spectrum. Heck, the tiny Twingo could probably fit in the Arnage’s boot. The thing is, both of these cars have one thing in common and that’s an impressively long production run. That might be expected of an expensive low-production luxury car like the Bentley which ran with few changes for a decade and a year. It’s less common for a cheap city car like the Twingo to go for so long without a major refresh. That makes it quite remarkable that the first generation of Twingo managed to make it from early 1993 all the way through to 2007. Production in South America continued on for another five years after that. Sadly, at no time during that lengthy production run were any Twingos (Twingi?) sold in the U.S. market.
That has led to private imports to fill America’s tragic Twingo vacuum. That’s been made possible by intrepid souls who recognize the little Renault’s infectiously twee nature. Or, perhaps it is a frustration with cars that are too big to be put in a pants pocket.
This one, in Coriander Green over a gray interior was originally purchased in Germany and was brought here when its owner was reassigned back to the States. That owner says in the ad that the importing process was a “giant headache,” but claims the car now to have a clear Texas title as a result.
You might expect that a car with as small a footprint as the Twingo has a small engine powering it. How astute you are. The ad doesn’t go into specifics but that should be a 1.1-liter four worth 60 horsepower sitting under the car’s stubby hood. Connected to that is likely a five-speed manual sending those ponies to the front wheels. That should give acceptable performance considering that the car weighs in at a feather-like 1,750 pounds.
There are 178,000 kilometers showing on the Twingo’s odometer which, if my math is correct, equates to about 110,000 miles. That’s not too bad. What is bad is what happened to the poor car when it wasn’t racking up those miles. The seller notes that the Twingo was caught in one of those record-setting Texas hail storms that we’ve all read about and are terrified of being caught in.
That has resulted in a broken windshield and passenger-side rear glass as well as some significant denting over all the bodywork. On the bright side, just like on a golf ball, those dimples should make the car faster and more stable when driving. The seller says they collected a bunch of spare parts for the Twingo off of another car in Germany but that glass wasn’t among the goodies. A quick search of the web show Twingo glass available in Europe for cheap, but of course, getting it to the States is where the problem lies.
But maybe that’s not an issue for someone who really wants a Twingo but would rather deal with importing a windscreen than a whole car. This one seems to be in decent shape other than the hail damage and has a massive fabric sunroof on top to still let the breeze in once the windows are all fixed.
For all that — the good and the bad — the seller asks $2,500. This is a neat and unique little car here in the U.S., and it’s unlikely that anyone would be able to import an undamaged one for less than this car’s cost plus the window repairs. The dents? Well, it’s a Twingo so it’s probably best just to leave those be.
What do you think, is $2,500 a fair asking for this hail-damaged Twingo? Or, does that price have you saying “oh hail no?”
H/T to G MO for the hookup!
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