Renault Colorale Praire
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Renault Colorale Praire

    I have been reading back over threads etc and it seems that as there was only 100 or so Renault Colorales whether a Prairie, ute etc were bought into Aus that there is only a handful left. I have a Prairie that i am building into a daily driver for our work promotional vehicle as a hot rod, i will post some photos as i go. It will be 350 chev, Turbo 700 auto , leaf sprung rear and jag front end, chopped, lowered, yellow with red flames.

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    What i cant believe is that i have advertised the motor and running gear everywhere and had no interest, are they so rare that no one wants parts that would be impossible to get in Aus? Ironic!
    Rod
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Renault Colorale Praire-img_3645.jpg  

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Man I'd love those bumper overriders, is there a set of four, name your price...

    How about posting some more pics and I 'll see what I need..

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    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    So rare and appears mostly there. You want to chop it up?
    cheers,

    John

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    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    Here's a 4WD one that's alive. Looks like a Fregate engine in there ...

    Premier essai de roulage pour un Renault Prairie 4x4 1952 - YouTube
    cheers,

    John

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    Love the idea of a Prairie hot rod, it’ll be good to follow your progress! Only about 200 RHD side valve Prairies were made, so whilst rare, they are (unfortunately) not very valuable. Just for info purposes, on the LHF chassis rail under the wheel arch, there will be an oval plate with the vehicle type number, likely R2090, with the vehicles sequential fabrication number, this is in addition to the diamond shaped plate under the bonnet with the chassis number punched on it.

    I like the idea of a nice period combination of a Prairie with a wooden horse float attached to the normally standard towing hook. Though by itself I’d imagine a standard Prairie, especially a side-valve version, would be a fairly ponderous drive.

    Before throwing away any other parts from the car, it would possibly be worthwhile posting them up to see if there are any takers, as smaller parts may be easier for others to store, or may interchange with other models. As for disposing of the mechanicals, yours is the only side-valve ‘85’ series Prairie I’ve known outside of a wrecking yard. Though it may be worth contacting the Renault Car Club of Canberra, as one of their members used to have a Colorale Pick-Up that may still be kicking around, hopefully a home can be found for the mechanicals. The RCCC can be contacted through their website http://www.renaultcanberra.asn.au/

    The only other Prairie I’ve known outside of a wrecker’s yard was a later Fregate OHV engined version that I did a PPI on about 12 years ago, that went to Victoria. I’ve lost touch with the car, so would be hoping that work is in progress somehow on that particular Prairie.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Renault Colorale Praire-prairielhf.jpg  
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    Hi 59 Floride, i have taken some shots and will post them in parts for sale. Any driveline parts i will give away to "good owner", all small parts, inc overriders, i will hang onto until the project is finished. See you then, Rod

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    Hi Simon, small world it is. The prairie in the photo you attached was bought by a guy i know who only lives about 1km from my house, i have left my number there for him to contact me but i haven't heard from him yet. I have emailed the Canberra club so they may respond with any luck, i really dont want to take the drive line to the recycler. When i stripped the car i couldn't get over the fact of how well built it is, every driveline nut had a tag or wire through it especially in the motor.
    The diamond tags in the engine bay have been ripped off but the chassis one is still there, R2090 3916, according to a book i bought that makes it's birthday october 1951. The car was on its way on a flat bed to Sims metals when a guy waved him down and then sold it, close call!
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Rod

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    Tadpole
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    Not chopping it up, just doing a better job of what Renault did originally! Seriously though, i wouldnt rod it if i thought it was restorable but unfortunately someone in the 80s stripped it bare so is only a rolling shell. I want to drive it daily, take it interstate on holidays, tow a trailer or caravan, my wife drive it to the functions we cater for etc.
    it's that age old rub, restore or rod, a friend once said to me a vintage car is a rod waiting to be born!
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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Renault Colorale Praire-p6010674.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    Not chopping it up, just doing a better job of what Renault did originally! Seriously though, i wouldnt rod it if i thought it was restorable but unfortunately someone in the 80s stripped it bare so is only a rolling shell. I want to drive it daily, take it interstate on holidays, tow a trailer or caravan, my wife drive it to the functions we cater for etc.
    it's that age old rub, restore or rod, a friend once said to me a vintage car is a rod waiting to be born!
    Better rodded than flattened I'd say! Good luck with the project.

    Here's one in France, a ute with a wooden rear. Is the "ute" version still called a Prairie?
    Last edited by JohnW; 1st June 2014 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Spelling error
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    JohnW

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    That looks pretty much like a Peugeot 403 ute. The tell tale I guess is the shape of the cabin rear windows - the Peugeot windows are rather more rounded at the corners!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Is the "ute" version still called a Prarie?
    No, the Prairie was part of the Colorale range. In addition to the Prairie, there was also a cab/chassis version, pick-up (utility), panel van and taxi versions announced for Australia. Though the fully imported Colorale "Pick-Up" utility was rated at 15cwt, priced at £1,315 plus tax it would have been a hard sell against the then recently introduced Holden utility priced at £967 plus tax.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    That timber ute has what appear to be sliding opening rear windows in the back of the cab. Probably so you can converse with the missus whilst the canine sheep botherer sits in the passenger seat.......
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  13. #13
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    Default Colorale prairie hot rod

    Well i have been chipping away at my Colorale hot rod. The jag front end is in place and just tag welded until the engineer has a look at it. I have spent a lot of time measuring and recording to make sure the front end is square and because i am up to taking the body off the chassis to start setting up the rear end etc. I have had about 4 different quotes from panel beaters and we are talking big money ( no bigger than that). The panels and upper body is in good condition but the sills and lower door jams are badly rusted ( gone) so need to re-fabricate from scratch.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Renault Colorale Praire-img_4521.jpg  

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    Well i have been chipping away at my Colorale hot rod. The jag front end is in place and just tag welded until the engineer has a look at it. I have spent a lot of time measuring and recording to make sure the front end is square and because i am up to taking the body off the chassis to start setting up the rear end etc. I have had about 4 different quotes from panel beaters and we are talking big money ( no bigger than that). The panels and upper body is in good condition but the sills and lower door jams are badly rusted ( gone) so need to re-fabricate from scratch.
    Well, you'd have to say it should stop quite well. With the V8 it might GO quite well too.

    Please keep the photos coming - this is a pretty unusual one for most of us!

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugnut1 View Post
    That looks pretty much like a Peugeot 403 ute. The tell tale I guess is the shape of the cabin rear windows - the Peugeot windows are rather more rounded at the corners!
    It does indeed - VERY like a 403 ute. But definitely a Renault as described.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    Hi Simon, small world it is. The prairie in the photo you attached was bought by a guy i know who only lives about 1km from my house, i have left my number there for him to contact me but i haven't heard from him yet. I have emailed the Canberra club so they may respond with any luck, i really dont want to take the drive line to the recycler. When i stripped the car i couldn't get over the fact of how well built it is, every driveline nut had a tag or wire through it especially in the motor.
    The diamond tags in the engine bay have been ripped off but the chassis one is still there, R2090 3916, according to a book i bought that makes it's birthday october 1951. The car was on its way on a flat bed to Sims metals when a guy waved him down and then sold it, close call!
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Rod
    Hi Simon and Rod, I still know the owner of the Colorale and Prairie from Canberra - he sold them on but I'm not sure who to. It was around 1986 when he had both sitting in his driveway in Curtin so some time has passed now. I can ask him off line if needs be.
    cheers, Ian.

  17. #17
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Well, you'd have to say it should stop quite well. With the V8 it might GO quite well too.

    Please keep the photos coming - this is a pretty unusual one for most of us!

    Cheers
    +1 on that. Not the strangest thing I've seen in my career, but it sure as hell moves the meter rather a lot. Get on with your bad self HotRod, and I also wanna see some pics!
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    Well the body is off, i have had to reinforce it prior to removing as it has lost structural strength due to rust in the sills etc. It's also because when i cut the firewall out there will be very little left to hold it together. It's booked in this week for sand blasting then the panel beater/body builder is coming to have a look. The work has been progressive but it will need to end soon as our business goes into the "on" season, gotta make some money so i can spend it!
    Renault Colorale Praire-bare-chassis.jpgRenault Colorale Praire-bare-shell.jpg

  19. #19
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    The work has been progressive but it will need to end soon as our business goes into the "on" season, gotta make some money so i can spend it!

    Yah, building a streetrod tends to need that....


    Am I correct, that chassis looks deceptive? Looks like a fat lot of room for an LTx/4L60e combo. Are you also using a Jag rear end, or a Ford 9"?

    The possibilities are almost endless.
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    The chassis is great for rodding due to it's simple structure. Unfortunately the "K" member is too far forward and the turbo 700 which i am going to use is also too wide so early next year i plan to remove the original "K" frame and build a custom one to suit all. It will run a mild/stock 350 chev. The idea is to build it using cheap and common local parts so that for years from now i can run repairs with ease.
    The good news is that after hours of research into what is the best, affordable, most likely to fit diff i ended up using one from a 1991 ford station wagon ED falcon. It is now tentatively mounted and looks like i will be able to run 7" Halibrand mags with a 4" back space with 235 65 series tyres . It's great because it is a strong local diff and doesn't have to be modified, easier for parts etc. The best thing is that the spring mounts on the diff are in the right place so i dont have to move them or even have to worry about calculating the pitch angle of the diff.
    I take it "Hotrodelectric" that you in San Diego, do you have these in the States? My wife and I were in LA 2 years ago, had a ball and went to many hot rod shows.
    Renault Colorale Praire-img_4693.jpg

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    Well the body is off, i have had to reinforce it prior to removing as it has lost structural strength due to rust in the sills etc. It's also because when i cut the firewall out there will be very little left to hold it together. It's booked in this week for sand blasting then the panel beater/body builder is coming to have a look. The work has been progressive but it will need to end soon as our business goes into the "on" season, gotta make some money so i can spend it!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I wonder how many on this forum, me included, have ever seen a Prarie chassis exposed? Please keep the photos coming, when you get back to it that is.
    JohnW

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  22. #22
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    The chassis is great for rodding due to it's simple structure. Unfortunately the "K" member is too far forward and the turbo 700 which i am going to use is also too wide so early next year i plan to remove the original "K" frame and build a custom one to suit all. It will run a mild/stock 350 chev. The idea is to build it using cheap and common local parts so that for years from now i can run repairs with ease.
    The good news is that after hours of research into what is the best, affordable, most likely to fit diff i ended up using one from a 1991 ford station wagon ED falcon. It is now tentatively mounted and looks like i will be able to run 7" Halibrand mags with a 4" back space with 235 65 series tyres . It's great because it is a strong local diff and doesn't have to be modified, easier for parts etc. The best thing is that the spring mounts on the diff are in the right place so i dont have to move them or even have to worry about calculating the pitch angle of the diff.
    I take it "Hotrodelectric" that you in San Diego, do you have these in the States? My wife and I were in LA 2 years ago, had a ball and went to many hot rod shows.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm assuming still using the side rails because they will allow the body to fit perfectly. A good number of Ford "T" and "A" rods were built that way.

    The SBC is always a good choice- cheap as chips, stout, reliable as all hell, and you can get parts at your local stop-and-shop. If you go a later motor, I do recommend breathing on it a bit- HP outputs were down from the mid-70's to about the late '80's. Torque outputs though are always pretty good. Try to avoid the ones with the nose-mounted dizzies- they can give problems. Avoid the Cross Fire Injection- more trouble than they're worth in your market. The Tuned Port Injection motors however are a solid bet- fairly easy to work on, parts available to go from mild to wild, and reliable. They're not tremendously expensive now either, since GM has moved generations ahead with newer systems. *AHEM* I was one of the first to build looms for these for fitting in something other than the Corvettes they were originally for (/pat on back). Of course, you could completely blow your budget, living on ramen noodles for the next 10 years and buy a well-optioned crate motor.

    If you do buy a TPI system (they can be added to damn near any 305 or 350) make absolutely certain you get all of the components, and try for a set of intake rams that aren't dented. Dents can be fixed, but it's a pain in the tuchas. Oh- and avoid the electrical systems from an '85 TPI. Complicated, stupid expensive to buy pieces for, and the mass airflow sensor is fragile. Systems with a MAP sensor are far better.

    I adore the idea of Halibrands- seriously old-school.

    Yah, here in sunny (read: hot ) San Diego. I don't think I've ever seen a Colorale, much less a Prairie. The last non-4CV/Dauphine/Caravelle of that era was I think an Estafette, and that was a lot of years ago.

    When were you here, month wise? November is the All French and Italian Show (as we call it, Frog-n'-Pizza). Gigantic show organized by a couple of friends. In LA, you never know- there may be a Colorale show up. I hate to think you missed that show by a couple of days.


    Bill
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  23. #23
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    Thanks for all that info Bill. As i get closer to fitting a new motor i will research it carefully. See below me taking the Reno to the sandblaster.Rod
    Renault Colorale Praire-img_4725.jpg

  24. #24
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    That chassis looks a lot like a ford pilot one my dad used on a special, many moons ago ,pugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRod View Post
    Thanks for all that info Bill. As i get closer to fitting a new motor i will research it carefully. See below me taking the Reno to the sandblaster.Rod
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And may the Renault Gods look favourably at you.

    The rest of us will be too, send heaps of pics please and don't be afraid to ask for assistance if needed.

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