Monday, March 4, 2019

About This Renault: 1971 Manic GT

This next car is going to be a bit of a history lesson for even the most astute French car collector, because it is French in language and basic components, but not assembly. Yes, this is the rare French Canadian built machine, with assembly of the custom fiberglass body of Renault 8 parts byLes Automobiles Manic Ltée, of Granby, Quebec back in the 1970s.  It was the brainchild of a Quebecois named Jacques About (pronounced...yes...a-booh.  Très Canadien) and you can listen to this fascinating vintage 10 minute radio interview of Monsieur About from the CBC archives and read about them on Hemmings here. Find this 1971 Manic GT offered for $15,000 in Port Angeles, WA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

 From the seller:

1971 MANIC GT 
VIN: 00132 
condition: good 
cylinders: 4 cylinders 
drive: rwd 
fuel: gas 
paint color: orange 
size: compact 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: coupe 
This car was stored for 42 years by my father, the previous owner. There is no rust or corrosion issues with the frame of the car as a result. The car is in running condition, and comes with a Renault Gordini motor installed, and the complete original long block motor as well. There is also a spare radiator as well as some other minor spare parts which will go with the car. 
It is a running driving car, as recent work included a complete brake rebuild, carburetor rebuild, new fuel pump, and some other minor work. The car was repainted in the correct color about 25 years ago, and is in reasonable condition, with a set of period correct Cosmic alloy wheels, and NEWMichelin MTX tires mounted when the car was painted - the labels are still on the tires. Parts are easy to come by, as the car's frame, drive line, and running gear were all sourced from Renault R8 and R10 automobile parts.

The interior is all original from seat upholstery to dash and carpeting. There were approximately 160 cars built for the entire production run of the car. When the Manic GT Registry was still on line, there were fewer than 40 cars documented as still being in existence. This car is as close as anyone could possibly get to opening a correct original car. It is a unique piece of Quebec history, and a fascinating story. Wikipedia has the best detailed history of the car, and how it came to be Quebec's only production automobile made.

See a better way to drive something from Canada?


  1. Believe it or not, I remember the Manic GT very well. I remember watching Canadien car guru Jacques Duval testing one at Le Circuit Mont Temblant (former site of F1, Can-Am, and Trans-Am racing, back in the day) on his weekly TV show "Prenez le volant" ("Take the wheel"). I even have an original sales brochure, acquired at a car show in the early 70s. I am really glad to see one of these cars kept in basically original configuration. It brings back a lot of memories.

    1. By the way, DT, is that left hand icon Poutine!?! I hope that is not what you use for all "Canadian" tags!

    2. Bobinott -- regretfully, that is the only Canadian (or should I write Canadien) icon/badge that I've got!! And I don't get to use it very often...but if you have any ideas for a badge that represents the True North Strong and Free, hit me up with an email ( and I will get logo guru Kaibeezy on it! -Vince

    3. How about the CN Tower, or the Centre Block building in Ottowa?

    4. If you're going with a pretzel icon for Germany and a teapot icon for England, you have to go with the stereotypical maple syrup jar for Canada. It's either that or a hockey stick and puck. To the rest of the world, that's Canada in a nutshell. Sorry, eh.

      By the way, where has Kaibeezy been? Ever since he moved to the other side of the globe he's been MIA.

    5. Hi DT. I was just yanking your chain. You are welcome to use Poutine, Moose, Maple Syrup, in fact ANYTHING but hockey (please!?!). Or just something that symbolizes an apology......

  2. Interesting vehicle, I think that as we get older, our kids end up having to clean our garages! At least they will always remember us (perhaps not fondly). I never liked these kit cars, always found that they looked better to the person building them than to me. $ USD 15K seems a bit steep for someone else's dream? Especially with ONTARIO plates on it

    1. These were not kit cars. They were sold fully assembled and road registered. Ontario plate is an interesting observation, as the vast majority were sold and registered in Quebec.

    2. Ontario plates aren't that odd as we border Quebec. The big question is why it doesn't have AMERICAN plates on it.

  3. By the way, DT: it is "Renault" and not "Renualt" as in your headline. (Sorry, can't help myself. Bobinott, former technical editor)

    p.s. if I recall correctly, it is difficult or impossible to fix a title under WordPress, so I understand if you leave it as is

    1. Fixed! And DT isn't a wordpress site as of yet -- still using blogger (bleck!). It was a late night last night when I was writing this thing up.

    2. Thanks! Don't know why I assumed this site was WordPress. Keep up the good and entertaining work.


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