We’re told that the number of classic car enthusiasts is dwindling with each new generation, but we know there are still plenty of youth eager to keep that aged metal on the road. Well, the newest member of our car care team, Giuseppe Iatarola, is one of them, and he puts that passion to work on MotorWeek’s “Your Drive!”

GIUSEPPE IATAROLA: When I was here last year, I saw this Renault Dauphine in the back, so I asked the producer: ‘Can I get this running at my shop?’ So he said, “sure, we’ll give it a shot.” So, when it came to my shop, here’s what I did.

So, here’s what we found out so far. The engine is completely seized. As you can see right here… doesn’t turn.

The first thing I’m gonna do is take the valve cover off, and see if anything is seized on top. If not, we take the oil pan out and see if the crankshaft is seized or…

Renault Revival 1

I turned the engine by hand with a ratchet, and I noticed that the bottom end was turning but the top end wasn’t. So, after a little bit of time of heating it up, all the rocker arms, turning them, a little bit of that, I got everything all loose.

I’m taking the last bolt out for the timing cover and see what’s under here. It’s just what I thought, the idler gear is plastic for a breaking point. That’s exactly what happened. It’s all smashed.

The crankshaft gear chewed it all up, so… so we’re waiting for this, a new one to come in. So, while we’re waiting for that, I’m taking the carburetor off, because the linkage is seized… because there’s dirt, it’s all rotted, it’s all jammed up…

The book I was reading, I think it said Solex… who makes the carburetor. Uh, yes! It is, Solex! Right there…
You have to put a rag in here. If you get a washer or something in here and you go to start the car, you’re going to break something and you’re going to blow an engine. So, you don’t want that.

We pulled off the top of the carburetor, and look what we found inside. I have a lot of cleaning to do!

This is one of your most important parts on a carburetor. In here is the accelerator pump diaphragm. If this doesn’t work, your car doesn’t accelerate.

Renault Revival 2

So we found out that the starter is no good. We don’t even know where we’re going to find one, so we’re going to be doing it with a drill just temporarily to see if it runs.

On this project, it took about two weeks to get running. It’s not something that you go over the weekend and you try to get running. It’s something that takes a lot of time to do. In my case, waiting on parts from France, rusted bolts, stuff like that.

So now, the moment that we have all been waiting for. Let’s crank it up!

It’s alive!

Don’t give up on your old car.. if you have any questions or comments, reach out to us here, at MotorWeek.