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Great car!!!

I never intended to buy a special car like this. It was a phone talk to one Renault Club Praha member and he was just selling this car. After I had a test drive I have got really excited.
Taking the roof down and speeding about 110 km/h is simply irresistible.


Worried about the winter and rain?
Well, the roof is not perfect. When you spray the car, some water gets inside (where roof connects to the front wind screen), driving at higher speed with the roof up can be quite noisy. The side windows do not copy the rubber sealing perfectly (I would love to learn, if there is an easy way to do something with it), and the fabric creates some aerodynamics noise of its own.

The biggest difference between cabrio and normal car comes on the bumpy road. Even if stiffened cabrio lost too much of its body stiffness with the hard roof. Car shakes, but you do not notice it on good roads. On my trip from Prague to Munich, Prague was the last place where this did not feel comfortable...

On the other hand, winter is not a problem. Car has insulated roof. It has something like sleeping bag between outer and inner sheets. Rear plastic window is heated by fan, which you can use as a hairdryer:-)
Heating is very good and on top of that, car is equipped with heated seats!

Engine and Handling

R19 Cabrio were made with two different engines:
F7P - 1.8 16 valves, 135 HP
F3P - 1.8 s, 90 HP

I have got the latter one. It is not extremely strong engine. Given the weight of the car, it could be stronger. But it is one of the few Renault engines, that has maximum torque in low revs - 2750 rpm. It give this car quite good flexibility and pull at any speed.

This car is normally equipped with "normal" tires 175/60 R14. Previous owner of my car has changed wheels to 195/50 R15. They give the car much better grip in the corners, very good braking, but do not add very much to the comfort. I also have feeling that it does not add to the life of the shock absorbers. After some 70K, I will have to change joints of absorbers with the chassis (about 300 DM in Czech Republic).
I managed to slide in the car just once: on the wet road. I think that extra weight added to strengthen the car little equalized the engine weight in front.

I did not have any experience with similar cars before, but I have tested it at the last Renault meeting in October 1999. I was fastest at the cornering race, which was only possible thanks to very good handling of the car.