French company Mini Express, which has two brands, OttOmobile and GT Spirit, has approached us regarding their new Vel Satis model. Released in late 2015 with the reference OT175, the model is of the facelifted car from 2005 and is produced to the scale 1/18.
If any Vel Satis members might be interested in adding this model to their collections, they have extended a trial offer to us. You will need to create an account on their website and then enter the discount code VELSATISFORUM at the payment stage, which will result in free postage fees. This offer is valid until the 26th of February 2016.
Some years ago I started collecting data on the number, specification and prices of Vel Satis cars for sale, as found on AutoTrader. Over the years, numbers have dropped from around 20-30, down to only 2 or 3, which is the current situation.
In contrast, the number on eBay being offered for spares or repair/dismantling has increased. What’s wrong with them, I can’t help wonder. It’s probably because they are prone to developing various expensive, difficult to diagnose faults. Thankfully my own one has not been too bad. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t not have said that..!
View of the unit on a dismantled suspension assembly
One problem that I fixed on another Vel Satis lately was a seized O/S handbrake cable, identified on its last MoT, along with a corroded brake pipe. I asked the garage that carried out the MoT to price the jobs up and get back to me. Typically, they were unable to obtain a price for a handbrake cable, so off I went doing all the usual internet searches and enquiring local non-Renault companies, as one does. Drawing a blank I finally resorted to my local Renault dealership, Kineholme in Otley. After looking on their system, they realised it has an electronic parking brake, so advised me that they could only supply the whole unit. I can’t remember the exact price quoted but it was around Continue reading
Posted in Vel Satis Stories
Tagged braking brake, cable, hand brake, handbrake, parking, refurbish, Renault, replace, satis, scrap, seized, spare, unit, vel, velsatis
A French chap on Facebook has just informed me of this thread on a forum, after a guy saw a Vel Satis in Mumbai. I wonder which other far-flung places Vel Sati have ended up in! – Ed
In a story hitting the media today, it’s been revealed that French president Francois Hollande has had to wheel his bulletproof 3.5 V6 petrol Vel Satis out of retirement for the state visit next week from our very own queen, as his Citroen DS5 and C6 aren’t tall enough to accommodate the queen’s tall hats!
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, her majesty will have the privilege (pun intended!) of being chauffeured around in a Renault Vel Satis. We doubt her experience will be enough to convince any of our royal family to snap up a used Vel Satis as an inconspicuous run-around, but we hope she will at least enjoy her taste of what a Vel Satis has to offer.
Posted in Vel Satis in the Media
Tagged 70th, armoured, bulletproof, C6, Citroen, D-Day, DS, DS5, Elizabeth, France, Francois, French, Hollande, news, presidential, Queen, state visit, Vel Satis
It’s often the way, finding or discovering things when you least expect – and that’s just what happened last night. I was briefly using Google Maps’ Streetview to plan a route and subsequent parking, when I suddenly thought ‘I’ve just scrolled past a Vel Satis, haven’t I?’, so did a u-turn on screen to have a look. Sure enough, it was indeed a Vel Satis, parked up the kerb along a road running through an industrial estate in Manchester.
Excluding obvious ones like your own or a known owner’s car parked in a driveway, I thought I’d start a thread where we can all post screenshots if we happen to randomly spot another Vel Satis on Streetview. Nobody may come across a single one, but it’s worth a try. Cheers!
Renault Vel Satis dealer presentation box up for grabs – make us an offer!
- EXTREMELY RARE – literally only a few hanging around in the UK
- Aluminium box/case weighing approximately 3.5KG
- VEL SATIS writing on one side
- Opens with a leather strap
- Hinges open beautifully to reveal leather & cloth fabric samples inside, along with magnetic blocks with the exterior paint samples, plus magnetic blocks with interior trim (wood and aluminium) samples.
- The magnetic blocks and fabric samples are beautiful and will be appreciated by all Vel Satis owners who cherish their cars.
- Renault also sent some dealers SHEETS OF STICKERS aiding buyers to see what the pain colours looked like.
- All the magnetic blocks and fabrics are labelled on the back. See photos for examples.
- A LETTER ISSUED BY RENAULT TO DEALERSHIPS IS ALSO INCLUDED
- AND SO IS AN OFFICIAL RENAULT VEL SATIS BROCHURE ADDENDUM WITH CORRECTIONS TO THE BROCHURE
- Some of the fabric, trim and or bodywork samples may be missing. None of them seem to be damaged though.
- It’s like a toybox for a Vel Satis enthusiast!
- These boxes were given to Renault dealers, but only the special “haute de gamme” (“top of the range”) ones, which were allowed to sell the Vel Satis (some call it a Velsatis/Valsatis/Val Satis) and the Avantime
- RARE, RARE, RARE!
- Many people spend £10+ on a common Vel Satis or Avantime brochure or user handbook manual, or £50 on a Vel Satis branded watch merchandise – whereas this dealer box is much rarer.
- We will post next working day by courier which will require a signature. We will not be responsible for any damage in transit or on delivery but we will ensure it is packaged securely and robustly.
- No returns are accepted for any reason.
- Grab this rare piece of Renault automobillia / collectors’ item before someone else does!
1. No refunds will be given for any reason. If you buy it and then do not like it, or don’t think it is worth the money, or you don’t think it matches our detailed description, we will not offer any refund and/or exchange. You can re-sell it yourself on somewhere like eBay. We list items in as much detail as we can, in good faith.
2. Payment must be made by PayPal and we only accept PayPal buyers from the European Union, the United States, Canada and Australia. Please note the £20 postage price is for the UK only. For postage to anywhere outside the UK, contact us and we will provide a quotation for you. We reserve the right not to post to certain countries, in which case we will issue a refund.
3. This listing has been produced accurately to the best of our knowledge but E&OE and we will not be held responsible for any errors, as the listing has been created and worded in good faith. Without examining every tiny section of this item, it is, to the best of our knowledge, free from any significant rips, tears or any other blemishes, but has possibly a few pieces missing, as per the description we have written. It’s a used set issued to dealers so can’t be expected to be in pristine condition.
4. The item will be posted robustly and will be posted by a courier who will require a signature for our mutual peace of mind.
5. We will not be responsible for any damage in transit or on delivery but we will ensure it is packaged securely and robustly.
6. Not in perfect condition but these boxes were often sold off by dealers when they closed down. It has been stored safely and cherished since. A few samples are missing (as may be other pieces) but this box is so rare it’s to be expected.
In a way, I’m sure many of you fellow Vel Satis owners out there will be equally pleased to learn that Autocar columnist James Ruppert has based his Used Car Bargains section in this week’s Autocar magazine (14 August 2013, with the blue Jaguar XFR-S on the cover) around the Vel Satis – and in particular, the V6 diesel variant.
Obviously I’m unable to provide a full copy of his article but hopefully the above teaser will whet your appetites enough to go and buy a copy of this issue of Autocar.
I have no doubt that several of you will be smirking at James’ comment that buying a 3-litre V6 diesel Vel Satis “needn’t cost a fortune to run”, as he surely knows they’re not the most reliable of used car finds. But they certainly are cheap to buy these days as of summer 2013, with plenty of decent 3.0 dCi Initiale examples for under £3,000.
James spends quite a chunk of his feature discussing CO2 emissions and road tax, which many of you Vel Satis owners will find interesting. No, the road tax on a 3.0 dCi isn’t cheap in a standalone sense, but relatively, it’s actually not that bad compared to some other cars. Our Luke will no doubt be pleased to see James recommend a V6 Laguna, too.
Anyway, I just wanted to alert you to this little Vel Satis feature. Go out and buy Autocar, then let us know what you think.
Just had a call from a guy near London called Graham. Much to his amazement, his wife discovered that a Vel Satis club exists! Here’s the low-down:
- 2.2 dCi Vel Satis
- Owned it since 2004 when he paid £9k for it
- He’s done 265,000 (you read that correctly!) but it’s had a new engine mid-way
- Bodywork in excellent condition. No bumps or accidents.
- Front tyres good, rear tyres bad
- On its 2nd intercooler
- Spent £12k on maintaining it over the years
- Got new clutch
- Gearbox recently overhauled
- Driver’s door window doesn’t work
- On its 3rd windscreen
- In daily use and still drives well, but time to move on with his new car
- Taxed til end of July then will be on SORN
- On private plate at moment but will revert to 03 plate
- Make him an offer – he’ll accept mid hundreds
- Graham Sharp 07768 614 890
Those of you who own a 3.0 dV6 Vel Satis with the 3-litre Isuzu-sourced diesel engine, should be planning to get the cambelt (timing chain) replaced as your Velsatis approaches 10 years in age or 120,000 miles. Those of you who can afford to do so may be in a position to pay for this major job sooner and if you’re someone who has done this, we commend you.
It’s true that many Renault main dealers or franchise network dealers/garages will quote Vel Satis 3.0 dV6 owners figures of between £800 and £1,750 for cambelt replacement. The kit itself, with the tensioners and other components, isn’t cheap on its own, at about £200 for a ‘pattern part’ kit and £300-500 for an official Renault kit.
So Renault Vel Satis owners in the North West of the UK and in nearby North Wales may be particularly interested to know that the VSOC founder-manager Oliver and his father David have both had the cambelt in their 3.0 dV6 Initiale Vel Sati replaced, several months before they technically needed to do so if going by their Renault service booklet intervals.
‘Good for them!’, you might be thinking. But the gem is, it only cost them in the region of £600 (each) to get the cambelt in their 3-litre Renault Vel Satis cars replaced. And no, it wasn’t at some back-street garage with no experience of this type of engine whatsoever. It was actually at a Saab specialist, the relevance being that Saab used a 3.0 diesel engine in some of their 9-5 models, which is very similar indeed to the 3.0 engine in the Renault Vel Satis. Vauxhall also used a very similar ‘lump’. We provided the SaabTec team with a print-out from Renault’s own technical manual, giving them the instructions on how to do it, involving the removal of the driveshaft, etc.
The garage? SaabTec, independent Saab specialists in Glossop, Derbyshire. Glossop is fairly convenient as it is very close to Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire and would only take 60-90 minutes for Vel Satis owners in North, West and South Yorkshire and Liverpool to reach. David and Oliver would like to extend a big ‘Thank you!’ to Richard and his mechanics at SaabTec and we hope some more Renault Vel Satis owners will make use of their new-found Vel Satis cambelt replacement expertise! It may even be worth the trip ‘up north’ for many of you Vel Satis owners in the South…
In case you’re not already familiar with it, PistonHeads.com is one of the largest car forums and websites out there. And one feature which has really gained momentum since they introduced it is “Shed Of The Week” (SOTW for short) in which they sum up a bargain motor someone’s spotted for sale.
This week, much to my delight, our beloved Renault Vel Satis fills this feature. And my goodness has it attracted some attention, to say the least. The author, Tony Middlehurst, is very fair in his summation of the Vel Satis, singing its praises on the one hand, and pointing out its many flaws, and high running costs, on the other. Here are some highlights:
- “Unabashedly ugly but utterly wonderful, this week’s Shed is a barge de choix”
- “It rode like a Roman chariot, its new-age suspension having cleverly substituted jarring choppiness for the old-gen Renaults’ silky compliance.”
- “As a kind of Citroën DS de nos jours, the Vel Satis was richly endowed with Gallic ‘up yours’ ugliness. It’s a timeless sort of ugliness though, one that looks no worse now than it did then.”
- “For trivia fans, that’s the wood Fender has used for its Stratocasters since the 1950s.”
- “The auto ’box never gives up in its ceaseless search for optimum torque, an admirable trait in one way but a pain in the backside in another.”
- “As with last week’s Peugeot 406 Coupé, running costs can catch you out.”
PistonHeads articles attract a lot of forum discussion and the Vel Satis SOTW feature has already reached 8 pages within 24 hours of its publication! And, well, if you’re a Vel Satis lover like most of us here are, you might want to ensure you’re seated comfortably before reading the thread. Actually, you might want to pour yourself a stiff drink, too. No, the majority of the comments are far from favourable. But it’s good to see our very own 3.5-owning Dave Ardley sticking up for the Vel Satis, along with an earlier post from me, which happened to reap no responses whatsoever!
As far as the Vel Satis, we all just need to remember that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’, to coin a phrase. Anyway, “enjoy” – if that’s the right word…