Technology

Renault Megane Monaco | Shed of the Week

As you might expect, Shed has a man cave. As you might not expect, it’s an actual cave he hacked from the railroad track bridge that runs behind his workshop. Well, he needed a place to hide, right? There may have been some structural weakness of the bridge as a result of his excavations, but the bending of the rails when a two-carriage diagonal crawler passed on its twice-weekly trip through Shedd is nowhere near as bad now as it was when the old heavy steam engines and diesels Deltic bombs up and down the line.

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Speaking of which, the village postal clerk has donated a purple velvet couch to Shed to use in his cave, as it gradually acquires two knee-shaped gaps. In the interest of balance, we should mention at this point that Lady Shade also has a man cave. For more information on that, you should go to the darknet version of PH at you-p-head.com.

Which finally brings us to this week’s shed, the visually intriguing Renault Mégane Monaco. Before this car rips off a new car with its punchy keyboard, know that the ’90s were a good decade for the Mégane. There is a sporting heritage here, sort of. The Maxi Mégane was a serious F2 race car that served many privateers well in 2000. Shed challenges you to find another good sentence in it like this (aside from “Well, the cop said”).

As you can see, this is a 2000 example of a facelifted 1999 (or some might say second generation) Mégane. Shed isn’t sure if the K4J 1.6 16-valve engine made it to the coupe. He thinks it did, though the comfortable 89hp claimed in the ad seems more appropriate for an 8-valver. As always, Shed is ready to put it right on this one, as he’s doing so many other things with his life. Not everyone liked the front end redesign, but the second generation Megane Coupe was a comfortable and easy-to-drive car. Oddly enough, the coupe was a two-door instead of a three-door hatch, but the trunk was so small, you’d have a job finding anyone silly enough to sit in the cramped rear cabin for more than ten minutes anyway, so you didn’t miss much there.

Well, let’s deal with the appearance. Shed is convinced he’s staring at a purple car here, but his MOT certificate insists it’s brown. A shrewd mole has better eyesight than a Shed, so he’ll concede on this point but what he’s sure of is the odd farmhouse brown of the slick-looking leather seats. He’s really hoping he’s right about the purple bodywork because he hasn’t scrolled in his head from the time when purple and brown were a very acceptable and fashionable combination for the guy in town. Still the best of Shed’s Sunday is a purple Crimplene suit worn with tan brogues. It doesn’t sound like a good combination for those of us who live in the real world until you take a turn in Monaco. Admit it: Somehow, even considering the not-so-quite-matching color of the leather-wrapped wheel, it manages to convey a nice sense of elegant luxury.

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The important part of this MOT history is that it’s been pretty clean since 2006, when that six-year-old Renault got less than 10,000 miles. Between then and 2017, she hiked about a thousand miles a year. There were 26,000 miles between 2017 and 2021, with 5,000 or more accumulated in the year to May 22. The car is now priced at 49,000 and comes with another clean ticket to next May.

There are some additional badging on this car which indicates that at least one of the previous owners had a great sense of humor. In the back is a “Superleggera,” which you might have thought is more commonly associated with expensive Italian custom buses. The literal meaning of superleggera is of course “superlight,” a joke you can understand if it refers to weight loss through rust, but there is no sign of that either now or anywhere in MOT history. There is also a Gordini label on the back, in an appropriate Art Deco font. Shed doesn’t mind it because it reflects Renault’s infamous period of badge engineering when the only Gordini part was the badge, and even that wouldn’t have come from Gordini’s work.

Finally, on the near front we have the “Tis But A Scratch” sticker. Shade considers buying a box of these, not only to help sell some spur engines that run through his hands but also to stick on his forehead after Mrs. Shade deals more frontier justice with a soup ladle.

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