A Vel Satis in Mumbai, India. Yes, really.

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

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super-cars-imports-india/20651-spotted-rare-renault-vel-satis-mumbai.html

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Hollande wheels out his bulletproof Vel Satis for the queen!

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.

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Planning a route using Google Streetview and stumbled across a 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.

Vel Satis on Google Maps Streetview Manchester UK

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!

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James Ruppert Fancies a V6 Diesel Vel Satis – Autocar Used Car Bargains

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.

2013-08 August 2013 AutoCar James Ruppert Renault Vel Satis V6 used bargain

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.

Oliver Hammond

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265,000-mile Vel Satis For Sale (still going strong!)

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

 

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Vel Satis Cambelt Replacement in the North West

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.

Renault Vel Satis 3-0 dV6 diesel engine cambelt timing chain replacement SaabTec Glossop specialists

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…

Cheers!

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Rare Vel Satis Haute de Gamme Dealer Presentation Box For Sale

Renault Vel Satis dealer presentation box

  • EXTREMELY RARE – literally only a few hanging around in the UK
  • Aluminium box/case weighing 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.
  • All the magnetic blocks and fabrics are labelled on the back. See photos for examples. Hessian is missing as an exterior colour but all others are present to the best of my knowledge.
  • No paperwork or other printed materials are still present in this box. What you see is what you get.
  • Some of the fabric samples are loose. Some are attached to the case itself inside, which I think all of them were at some time. None of the fabric samples or exterior and interior trim samples are 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 but 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!

Disclaimers/Terms:

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 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 £15 postage price is for the UK only. Postage to anywhere outside the UK will cost £60. 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 rips, tears or any other blemishes, but has possibly a few pieces missing, as per the description we have written.

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 but 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 fabric samples are missing but this box is so rare it’s to be expected. No paperwork or other printed materials are still present in this box. What you see is what you get.

7. This item is listed on eBay also. If you buy it via the Buy It Now PayPal button on the VSOC website but someone has already bid or bought it on eBay, we will refund you promptly. And vice versa – if someone buys it via this the VSOC website and then someone else bids on eBay, we will cancel the eBay bid and remove the item.

 

 

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Trust PistonHeads’ Community to Largely Lay Into the Vel Satis! It’s their SOTW

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.

PistonHeads SOTW shed Renault Vel Satis 1

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!

PistonHeads SOTW shed Renault Vel Satis 2

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…

Oliver Hammond

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500 up! Our Register of UK Vel Sati hits a milestone

500-on-UK-Renault-Vel-Satis-owners-register-database-list

Yes, that’s right – if the figures provided by www.howmanyleft.co.uk are anything to go by, our vehicle Register here at the UK Renault Vel Satis Owners Club now includes comfortably over 50% of the remaining population of Vel Sati in the UK! With 837 Vel Satis cars still registered in the UK and 77 currently SORNed, we are very proud to have fastidiously collated and maintained a list which has now reached 500 Vel Sati out of the total 914.

Back in March, we published version 3 of our Register, with 368 vehicles listed – which means we have added a staggering (in Vel Satis terms, of course!) 132 extra cars in the last 8 months or so. The Register is all down to ‘our Luke’ who updates and maintains it. The rest of the club representatives and members alike are appreciate of Luke’s hard work. If you like in the UK and your Vel Satis is missing, or even if you used to live in the UK and the Vel Satis you once drove isn’t listed, we’d love to hear from you. Contact luke@vel-satis.org with your vehicle’s details.

To view and download the latest 500-strong version of the Register, you need to be registered. Then you just need to visit this page – simples!

http://www.vel-satis.org/owners-club/vel-satis-register

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Vel Satis Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 – Sywell Aerodrome

Date: Saturday November 24th 2012
Location: Sywell Aerodrome & The Aviator Hotel, Northamptonshire
Weather: Very wet and foggy!

A warm and sincere ‘thank you!’ goes out to all those who braved the elements and travelled from far and wide to attend the Vel Satis Owners Club meeting today at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. We really appreciate your efforts and it was wonderful to spend time with you all, meet your cars and go for a drive. Loads of photos (mostly from Kasia, Robert and Izzy!) and our official write-up can be found by clicking here

Renault Vel Satis Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 - Sywell Aerodrome Aviator Hotel Northamptonshire - photo group at museum

Renault Vel Satis Owners Club UK Meet November 2012 - Sywell Aerodrome Aviator Hotel Northamptonshire - photo group at Pitsford

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