Our “Marge The Barge”
Ahead of Time
The design brief for the Avantime (A mix of the French “Avant” and Time) was to produce something those used to an Espace but whose kids have now grown up and just the 2 parents left. (See video at the very bottom of this page)
Having just got a new son, the Avantime isn’t going to be that practical for us and so is up for sale
Ahead of the time it will become a Modern Classic!
I’ve not stuck to keeping it original (it wasn’t already when I had it) but why suffer driving around in a museum piece just because the designers were restricted to what was available when it was built!
Only 11 In SWEDEN
The Avantime was sold for just 2 years around 2002.
Given the short run, Renault UK decided to present owners with a special pack containing a numbered sticker. This one has number 121. The sticker hasn’t been attached so can be placed wherever yo like.
In “Steppe” Grey/Silver and 3 litre V6 automatic, it’s super-rare and almost unique in Sweden – Just Just 10 others in the country, probably all Left Hand Drive – Sweden’s roads are so wide driving a Right hand drive is no problem .
Based on the Espace (and so many spares available for most of it), the Avantime was aimed at those who were now used to driving a people carrier but with grown up kids no need to carry people!
Every angle is meant to be surprising as you walk around. With a touch of button you can put it in “Grand Air” mode, where the large sunroof goes back and the windows of the pillarless, double hinged doors go down to give an almost convertible feel. And with suspension 40mm lower than an Espace and a 3 litre engine, it goes and handles like something much more sporty too.
The Avantime was the last thing to be made by the Matra factory (and so not as unreliable of other Renaults!) – some say it was a make-work project, destined to fail from the start just to keep the unions happy after Renault moved Espace production in-house.
The photos below have been taken over the past year between bringing to Sweden and registering here…
Keep scrolling for more details
NOW FULLY REGISTERED AND ON THE ROAD IN SWEDEN!
Running & Mechanically great – Just a few tidying up bits left to do.
Cruise control, Aircon and such like all are OK.
101K miles (162,000k). Cambelt changed at 80k miles (129,000km).
In-dash 6 CD Changer (works most of the time which is more than most of these from what I’ve heard)
Standard Features include ISOFIX, dual climate control, Rear parking sensors, Electric seats, Front/passenger/side airbags/xenon lights/front fogs/leather
Since I’ve owned I have:
Changed to 18inch Volvo “R” Wheels, Pirelli P-Zero. (only in some of the images)
NOW New Winter tyres on 17″ Renault wheels I got it with.
Replaced All Coil Springs (cobra)
Many steering linkages etc replaced
New Wheel Bearings (all)
Replaced interior lights with LED and added extra including Renault door projectors (left side only works) .
Replaced old carnet satnav with a customised android phone & Bluetooth/FM Modulator.
Added a towbar (although never used it – no electrics)
Left Hand Drive headlights fitted
Read bad bits below!
It’s now fully registered and tested and “itraffik” here in Sweden.
Jobs and bad bits:
I have the Original Right Hand Drive Xenon Headlights.
There’s a homemade cover on the LPG system so doesn’t look like a cartoon bomb. With this on and the rear seats half-removed/down it makes loads of space in the back. This made it great for festivals. I think it works best as a 2 seater like this.
No Parcel shelf as that’s in storage back in England. Heated seats work but not that strong.
General clean and tidying jobs are needed here and there eg.
Where I added the towbar I had to modify the bottom skirt… outside in the rain the day before we came to Sweden. This needs tidying and doing properly.
A front wheel arch needs a bit of fibreglass repair
I think the boot struts need something as it closes too heavy.
Glovebox latch is broken along with many other interior latches/arm-rest hinge/cover scratches need fixing. One of the chair releases handles on the right has broke too (there’s another)
The power sliding roof also needs a bit of help closing sometimes on cold days – Needs clean/lubing.
If I kept it, I would also be looking at getting the gearbox oil changed as there’s a thump if pulling away too fast (Common problem – it automatically puts in neutral at junctions). Again, doesn’t need to be done but just thought I should say.
LPG (Gasol) is sold in a only few places in Sweden
(eg. Malmö: http://www.gasolmalmolpg.com/
Helsingborg: Link below)
but it makes it cheap to drive across the continent -eg. in Belgium it’s just ~€0.40 per litre. It shouldn’t be too hard a job to remove the LPG tank if you want the boot space back though – It should also be possible to convert to a spare-wheel tank to get the boot space back.
Test initially failed on parking brake but after an adjustment it passed fine.
The last one in the UK, they note on corrosion – I think living in the top end of Scotland as it has for most of its life has meant that things are a bit more corroded than you’d expect but chassis is sound and I’ve had linkages etc replaced.
UK test can be checked here: This can be checked at https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/
The number badge to attach to the car, which hasn’t been stuck on!I will also include this domain name Avantime.Space. See my other domains at Domain.Dog
Should be a good car for a long time yet – Just needs someone with a bit of time and attention to detail to tidy it a bit!
Please fill in the form for more information if you are interested.
Collection from Helsingborg (SE-25245 easy access through Denmark from Germany etc)
Would like £4250 / €4800 / 62,000SEK / 1.5 BTC but any reasonable offer considered so don’t be shy, worst that can happen is I say no!
I’d swap this plus a Saab 9-5 2.3t Biopower for a CR170 L&K Skoda Yeti too (long shot!) – or a transit sized van/pickup perhaps.. what have you got?