Wednesday, June 4, 2008

29 years in the making...

My twin brother Mario and I turned 16 in the Fall of 1979. About a year earlier as we had begun our Driver's Ed program at our Suburban Chicago High School, our Aunt Arlene purchased a magazine titled "Elite Cars" for us to read while visiting her. The magazine featured the likes of Rolls Royce, Aston Martins through Mercedes and Avanti. One car featured was the newly introduced Clenet Series I. We were both immediately drawn to that car! We would soon be driving and the cars we wanted spanned from Mustangs to the Mark V! The Clenet stuck with me ever since reading that magazine.

To this day, I have no idea why that Clenet has stuck with me. The other Neo-Classic vehicle of the era was the Excalibur, however for some reason, the Excalibur just didn't do it for us! There was something about the Clenet...that long hood, its low profile or perhaps the original prototype being built on a Lincoln chassis. We immediately recognized the Lincoln grill shell and the MG Midget cowl, however we saw the Clenet as a whole car...graceful in our eyes.

Fast forward to late May, 2008. I'm at home in Chicago catching up with some friends while on-line when my brother sends an e-mail to me. I open the message and I see a white Clenet (or what appeared to be a Clenet) for sale with just four words contained in his note: "Should we buy this?" I opened the ad and saw that the vehicle was a 1981. Knowing that the Series I production ended in 1979, I knew that the car depicted was not a Clenet...but perhaps a Corsair or other similar knock-off. It was listed in the upper $20's which kept my interest. For a week, I studied the ad, the pics and even called the seller to inquire, however it wasn't a Clenet and I wouldn't give up that easily.

While at his home is S.W. Michigan over a weekend, we discussed buying a Clenet and agreed that we'd somehow make it happen. Search after search on Google took us to a few later model Clenet's for sale, however we were adamant about finding a Series I. We found many that have sold over the past 24 months, however of the 249 Series I cars made, none were officially for sale. I started contacting the known dealers of Neo-Classic and Special Interest vehicles, all replied that none were available.

We agreed to give it a rest and would wait for one to come on the market. That next Monday as I returned to my home and job in Chicago, I sat at my laptop and put Google to task. I entered many combinations and phrases with the hopes of finding fresh pages and web-sites that might have a Clenet Series I for sale.

BINGO... Who knew that by entering the words "Consignment" and "Clenet" into the search engine would find the car of my dreams? There it was...waiting for someone to give it a new home! My heart was racing...I had to call my brother to tell him that I just found "the car" for us. I couldn't dial the phone fast enough...

More to come...
Ron Zarantenello

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

J'ai fait comme vous, je suis tombé amoureux de la Clenet Serie I. En cherchant sur Internet Jour et nuit, j'en ai enfin trouvé une en France n°199très belle. Mais le propriétaire ne voulait pas la vendre après avoir longtemps discuté j'ai fini par lui acheter. J'en suis très content, elle est vraiment très belle. Si vous voulez je peux vous en envoyer des photos.

Ron said...

I like you, I fell in love with the Serie Clénet I. In searching the Internet day and night, I finally found one in France No 199très beautiful. But the owner did not want to sell it after a long discussion I ended up buying him. I am very glad, it is very beautiful. If you want I can send you photos.

Thank you for your kind comments and information. Yes, I would enjoy seeing photographs of your Clenet. Congratulations on the purchase of vehicle #199!
-Ron

Ron said...

Je vous remercie pour vos aimables commentaires et d'informations. Oui, je voudrais profiter de voir des photos de vos Clenet. Félicitations pour l'achat de véhicule n ° 199!
-Ron

Anonymous said...

Est il possible d'avoir les coordonnées de l'heureux propriétaire de la n°199. Je suis en France et je suis propriétaire de la 224. Bien cordialement.
st.remond@orange.fr