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  •   Andy Talbot reacted to this post about 10 months ago
    CAR #Renault-Caravelle / #Renault
    RUN BY Martin Buckley
    OWNED SINCE May 2019

    The Caravelle just fell into my lap back in May, when I bought it as a car for my fresh-air-loving wife, Mia, as an antidote to a succession of thirsty, loss-making Mercedes-Benz convertibles.

    Restored 30 years ago, which is when it acquired the ’80s red paint that almost everything ended up with in those days, the Renault is a 1965 model that was originally gold. The dashboard still is. It came with spare doors, bonnet, bootlid, seats and a hardtop that I doubt will ever get used and is, in any case, painted blue – a remnant of the car’s first colour change.

    Other than some microblistering, the red has held up pretty well so I can’t see myself putting it back to the original colour just yet.

    The only things that offend my sensibilities are the homemade interior door panels, but the originals are with the spares to use as patterns if I ever get the urge.

    Sold new in Swindon, the Renault was bought by its second owner, Tim Bennett, in the early ’80s. I bought it from Bennett having often spotted it parked next to the ramp in his former Renault workshop in Cirencester. It arrived with seized brakes and a pinhole in the fuel tank but was otherwise running fairly well.

    With the calipers freed and the hole fixed, Mia was itching to take to the road. I was not feeling quite so bullish about the car’s reliability and, sure enough, it conked out on a trip to Tetbury. I was amused to discover that my stepdaughter, Zoe, had never been in a car that has broken down before and the look of incredulity on her face when informed that Mum’s new Renault had actually stopped working was a picture of horror.

    Mia noted that, rather than getting abused by other drivers for blocking the road with a dead car, people were only too keen to help with pushing and advice.

    The problem was a mucky, gummed-up carburettor. Once that was rebuilt (by Gus Meyer), the Caravelle ran really well and cruised easily at 70mph. It has a delightful ride, light steering, excellent brakes (discs all round) and is generally a civilised and enjoyable car with a fun feel about it. The wonky numbers on the speedo look as if they were applied by a drunk person and even the air horns make a peculiarly camp French toot you couldn’t make up.

    With the (excellent) hood lowered you feel as if you are in a film driving this car, talking in subtitles as if playing a cameo role in Le Week-End. Actually, the best Caravelle-related film I have dug out is Road to St Tropez, an odd little short about a Parisian lady of a certain age who drives her white example for a week’s holiday and the romantic adventures that ensue.

    If you are a fan of the Edgar Wallace Mysteries on the TV, you will know what I mean when I say, as an unapologetic misogynist, that the Caravelle is the perfect sidekick/ foil to the Silver Cloud. It’s a decadent girl-about-town car for the kept woman of the ’60s stockbroker belt who, in Edgar Wallace’s world, is probably planning to murder her Cloud-driving hubby for the life insurance.

    It is a bit of a girl’s car, so much so that severe doubts about my manliness were cast by one and all when I turned up at my mate John Giacobi’s house in it on one recent sunny Sunday afternoon.

    But, by the time I had left, the Renault had picked up a whole slew of new friends; JG in particular got well in touch with his feminine Caravelle side. I’m trying to use the Renault a bit in the current good weather to prove the reliability so that Mia feels happier to venture off in it. As I write, all seems good.

    THANKS TO Gus Meyer

    The Caravelle has lived a life in technicolor – once blue, now red, it left the factory in gold Making the most of summer’s remnants. Nose script is straighter than the dials’… Minor issues resolved and the Caravelle was soon on the road – for a time, at least.
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  •   Matthew Hayward reacted to this post about 12 months ago
    Matthew Hayward created a new group
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  • Martin Buckley created a new group

    Renault Caravelle


    The Renault Caravelle is a sports car manufactured and marketed by Renault for model years 1958-1968 in a single generation — as a rear-engine, rear drive open two/four-seater designed by Pietro Frua of Carrozzeria Ghia, using the floorpan and engine of the Renault...

    The Renault Caravelle is a sports car manufactured and marketed by Renault for model years 1958-1968 in a single generation — as a rear-engine, rear drive open two/four-seater designed by Pietro Frua of Carrozzeria Ghia, using the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine.

    Outside of North America and Britain it was, until 1962, marketed under the nameplate Renault Floride.

    Renault was envious of the growing success in North America of the Volkswagen Bug/Beetle and were looking for ways they might match the Volkswagen's success with their own Renault Dauphine. At a convention of North American distributors that took place in Florida, Renault's US dealers called for the creation of a Dauphine coupé/cabriolet which would improve Renault's image in the critical US market. Renault's chairman, Pierre Dreyfus, agreed, and since the concept had been born at a convention in Florida the car instantly became known within the company as the "Renault Floride".

    The "Floride" name was considered unsuitable for 49 of the 50 states of the USA, however, since it could have implied disrespect to states other than Florida. For this reason an alternative name, "Caravelle", was from the start used for North America and for other major markets (including the UK) where the principal language was a form of English.

    Renault Floride S convertible (with hardtop).

    Renault Caravelle coupe. The sloping rear roof line was partially "squared off" in order to improve rear-seat headroom.

    Renault Caravelle cabriolet.
    The Floride was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show. A small rear-engined design by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia, it used the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine sedan.

    The Floride was launched in the United States and Canada as the Renault Caravelle a year after its introduction in Europe.

    The car was offered as a 2+2 coupe, a 2+2 cabriolet and as a convertible, the latter being a cabriolet with a removable hardtop. The 2,265 mm (89.2 in) wheelbase was shared with the Renault Dauphine but longer overhangs meant that overall the Floride was longer by a significant 320 mm (12.6 in), as well as being slightly lower and very slightly wider.

    At launch the Floride, like the Dauphine on which it was based, came with an 845 cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine mounted at the back of the car. However, the power unit on the Floride was fed using a Solex 32 mm carburetor as against the 28 mm diameter of the Solex carburetor on the Dauphine. The Florides making their French show debut on the stand at the 1958 Paris Motor Show came with a claimed power output of 37 hp (28 kW) SAE.

    By the time deliveries commenced, in early summer 1959, it was also possible for customers to specify a performance version, engineered by Amedee Gordini, which produced 40 hp (30 kW) SAE by means of various modifications to the inlet manifold and camshaft, and a compression ratio raised from 7.6:1 to 8.0:1.


    Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a three speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the upper two ratios. For a supplement of 200 New Francs customers could instead specify a four speed transmission on the slightly heavier coupé version of the car. Having regard to the car's power-to-weight ratio most customers chose to pay extra for the four speed gear box.

    Subcontracted production

    Although designed by Frua of Italy, the car's body was constructed locally, by the automobile body maker Société des usines Chausson, based in Asnières-sur-Seine at the northern edge of Paris, and known in France as the producer of many of the school bus bodies used for transporting children in country areas.

    Following the rapid economic growth experienced by France during the 1950s, and despite the fall-off in demand for the 4CV and the lacklustre market performance of the Frégate, thanks to the success of the recently launched Dauphine Renault still found themselves, in the second half of the decade, seriously short of production capacity. The main Billancourt plant, built on the Seguin island in the middle of the River Seine, was particularly ill-suited to further expansion. A new plant had been opened at Flins in 1952 and a second would follow near Le Havre in 1964, but neither of these addressed the challenge of finding somewhere to assemble the Floride in 1958.

    The heavy engineering company of Brissonneau and Lotz, better known as a manufacturer of rolling stock for the railways, had launched a small cabriolet sports car in 1956, based on the mechanical underpinnings of the Renault 4CV, but the Brissonneau coupé had been a tentative project and few cars were sold.

    Renault now persuaded Brissonneau to abandon their own automobile project and adapt their facilities for assembly of the Floride.

    Brissonneau's long standing experience with railway locomotives provided abundant relevant experience at operational and workforce level, and Renault contributed much of the investment which during 1958 and 1959 saw the main Creil plant of Brissonneau, comprising 190,000 m2 of which 41,280 m2 were covered, transformed into a production facility for the Floride: the Floride, later rebadged as the Renault Caravelle, would continue to be assembled by Brissonneau and Lotz until it was withdrawn in 1968.

    In October 1959, ready for the 1960 model year, the Floride, along with the Renault Dauphine, appeared with significant suspension improvements.

    The new suspension was conceived by the by now almost legendary automotive engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire and baptised by Renault "Suspension Aérostable", being intended to improve the car's ride and road holding.

    The addition of extra rubber springs at the front reduced roll and auxiliary air spring units (mounted inboard of the conventional coils) at the rear gave the rear wheels a small degree of negative camber and increased cornering grip.

    In March 1962, the Caravelle received a new 956 cc engine that would be also used by the new Renault 8 from June. Although the new "Sierra" series five-bearing engine shared no components with the existing 845 cc Dauphine engine, it was conceptually very similar: the engine size was chosen in order to come in (slightly) below the top of the 5CV car tax band in France.

    It had a sealed cooling system as well as a new front suspension, new rear geometry, new steering, and a new gear linkage. Moving the radiator behind the engine also freed up an extra 12 cm of space behind the front seat.

    Maximum power output increased to 48 hp (36 kW). Four-speed transmission, already included in the price at no extra cost on some export markets, now came as part of the standard with the new engine even for French buyers, although bottom gear still made do without synchromesh. The upgraded cars, first presented at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, now featured disc brakes on all four wheels: the Floride was the first French volume car to benefit from this enhancement which also reduced unsprung weight by approximately 6 kg.

    The Caravelle name also replaced the Floride name in all markets from 1962 onwards.

    In 1964, another R8-derived engine of 1108 cc was introduced to the Caravelle, producing 55 hp (41 kW). This model was tested by the British "Autocar" magazine in November 1965. The car had a top speed of 89 mph (143 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 17.8 seconds. An "overall" fuel consumption of 30.2 miles per imperial gallon (9.4 L/100 km; 25.1 mpg‑US) was recorded. The Caravelle's performance closely matched that of the contemporary Triumph Spitfire 4 under most headings, though the Spitfire was a couple of mph ahead on top speed. The British car market was still protected by tariffs at this time, but even allowing for that the Renault looks expensive in this company: The Caravelle came with a UK recommended price of £1039 as against £666 for the Spitfire 4.

    Production got under way slowly, with only 3,777 cars completed in 1959. However, in 1960, following the important "Aérostable" suspension upgrades, Renault produced 36,156 Florides.

    By the mid-1960s, the Caravelle, which had been fashionably styled at launch, was looking dated, while the reduction and elimination of internal tariffs within the Common Market led to intensified competition in France for buyers of inexpensive sports cars, notably from Italy.

    Between 1966 and 1967, annual production tumbled from 4,880 to 2,991. During 1968, only 1,438 were produced, and it was during the summer of that year that Renault withdrew the Caravelle.
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video in Renault 5
    / #1985-Renault-R5-Turbo-2 / #1985 / #Renault-5-Turbo-2 / #Renault / #Renault-5 / #Renault-5-Turbo
    1985 Renault R5 Turbo2 - Jay Leno’s Garage
    Randy Nonnenberg, Co-Founder of, bought this rare homologation rally car from
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Buying Guide. Seven steps to picking up the finest #Renault-Dauphine . From £4k buys a smart Volkswagen Beetle alternative. Here’s how. Words MALCOLM MCKAY Photography JULIAN SANDIFORD

    The first Dauphines were built at the most automated plant in the world, using mechanical robots and closed-circuit TV – heady stuff for #1956 .

    The model debuted with features as futuristic as Renault’s Flins factory, including all-independent suspension, rackand- pinion steering and unitary construction using extra-thin steel for non-structural panels that kept weight down. It was one of the fi rst cars to have a steering lock and was unusual for a small car in having an automatic choke and, from 1964, disc brakes all-round on the Gordini.

    The successor to Renault’s charming post-war #Renault-4CV , the rear-engined Dauphine aimed to improve on that car’s success with aerodynamic lines, spacious accommodation and luggage capacity for four, a top speed nudging 70mph and outstanding economy. The new car was an instant hit, becoming the fi rst French car to hit 100,000 sales within a year of starting production and ending with a sales total of well in excess of two million, assembled at 14 plants worldwide (including England, and Italy where Alfa Romeo built them).

    In Europe it was gradually succeeded by the Renault 4 and 8 from 1961 and production ended in 1967. Elsewhere in the world it soldiered on, production in Argentina only ending in 1970. UK CKD (complete knock-down) assembly at Acton ceased in 1961. Britishbuilt Dauphines had some Lucas electrical components and round rear lights. More than 100,000 were sold new in the UK; few remain but some are still broken to provide spares for Europe’s more plentiful left-hand drive cars. France is home to many specialists (see Need To Know, overleaf), and many parts are sourced from Argentina.

    Light and fun to drive, downsides included tail-happy handling and a threespeed gearbox on most models. It’s worth looking out for a car with the optional fourspeed ’box if you want to make reasonably brisk progress, and the Gordini engine tune makes the car noticeably livelier.

    1. Bodywork

    Rust is the Dauphine’s biggest enemy. This is in part due to period underseal cracking and in part because of the very thin steel used for non-structural panels – 22/23 gauge panels kept weight down, but rotted through quickly. Steel quality was particularly bad in 1959-1963.

    They rot pretty much anywhere, but the most common areas are around the wheelarches, inner and outer wings (top and bottom, front and back), sills, floorpans, chassis rails, outriggers, door bottoms and tops, the sides of the front boot and the base of the front bulkhead. Repair panels are available – for example an A-post corner costs about £22, sills £40 per side and floor triangles £41 for the pair. Getting the panels painted and fitted professionally costs from £2500 to £7500.

    2. Engine

    The engine was mounted in-line behind the rear wheels. A conventional wet-liner straight-four with three-bearing crank, it was normal to replace the pistons and liners by 50,000 miles, restoring the engine to health and avoiding a rebore. Fortunately, parts are still available, including a piston and barrel set (about £230), a crank bearing set (£60), oil pump (£67), inlet valve set and exhaust valve set (£29 per set).

    Having a gear-driven camshaft means there’s no chain to wear out, but the fibre intermediate gear (used to minimise noise) does wear, becoming noisy before it fails. Check the left-hand side of the cylinder block about three inches above the sump for a crack, which can run from front to back and render the engine useless or in need of stitching. The price depends on the severity, but expect to pay at least £180.

    The alloy cylinder head means unleaded fuel is not a problem because the standard valve seat inserts can cope.

    The Solex carburettor can be bought new if worn for about £146 for the Gordini or £103 for the standard Dauphine. The automatic choke, operating a flap in the manifold, can seize, causing starting and/or running issues. Some owners prefer to convert to manual operation, but no commercial kit is available – it’s a DIY job.

    3. Transmission

    Gearboxes improved over the years, increasing from three to four speeds, with – two, then three, then four synchromesh on the top gears. Check for worn synchros and ease of engagement (though poor engagement may just be down to wear in the linkages).

    The optional Ferlac electro-magnetic clutch eliminated the clutch pedal and works well if used with respect – there was still no synchro on first gear. The more it wears, the sharper it gets, so if the change is jerky it may be approaching time for specialist relining. A switch beneath the dash locks it in for bump-starting and for engine braking downhill, but must be switched off immediately after use. It’s extremely durable, but does need careful setting up if it’s gone out of adjustment, and not many people know how to do it. Ferlac clutches are pretty rare, which makes it difficult to give a going rate for these jobs. The unusual spring-loaded gear selector returned to approximately the central position after selecting a gear, which made it difficult for Ferlac owners to know if they were in gear and if so which gear. It was discontinued in 1962 when synchromesh appeared on first gear on three-speed gearboxes; four-speed ’boxes got it in 1964.

    4. Suspension

    The suspension was sophisticated for a small Fifties car, but needs caution. Leaving the road tail-first is always a possibility with swing-axle, rear-wheel drive cars.

    Cornering speeds have to be high before the rear end jacks up, but could catch out the unwary especially when driving solo; a full load of passengers and luggage increases total weight by 50 per cent. Renault sought to solve this in late 1959 (mid-1960 in UK production) by halving the rate of the coil springs and adding rubber/air cones to come into effect when laden. Flawed and abandoned for 1962, Aerostable rubber Finding a rust-free example like this is your biggest challenge cones are hard to find in good condition, but a set of springs and dampers costs about £108 per axle. Check front kingpins for wear – a pair costs about £106 plus £25 per kingpin for bushes and seals.

    5. Brakes

    Brakes seize up and need rebuilding on little-used cars. The all-drum brakes work perfectly well, but fade if used hard repeatedly – hence the move to all-discs on Gordinis from 1964. A set of new master and slave cylinders, plus shoes and drums costs about £270, or £640 for master cylinder, front and rear calipers and pads.
    6. Tyres

    Michelin X 135/145SR400 tyres are expensive at about £500 for a full set, but are the best; less costly Toyos, available from North Hants Tyres for £50 each plus delivery, are an acceptable substitute.


    ‘I drive it exuberantly and have had few problems’

    John Turnell, Sheffield

    ‘A Dauphine was my first proper car 53 years ago. It was a 1957 semi-auto: I was apprehensive about that, but it was fi ne. ‘I was always nostalgic for the Dauphine – they were so pleasurable to drive. For my retirement my son Ryan and I looked at several but they were expensive and didn’t have MoTs, so Ryan bought a Gordini on eBay for £550. It was rotten, but Ryan rebuilt the engine and I made all the repair panels. Some were difficult to shape and I made the sills in sections then butt-welded them together.

    ‘Including purchase, the whole thing cost £2500-3000 – plus a lot of hard work. Apart from petrol and insurance, it’s cost nothing to run. I wouldn’t say no to another Dauphine – at 75 years old, restoring keeps me fi t!”

    Leonard Kiff, Hertford

    ‘I worked on a few Dauphines when I was an apprentice in the Sixties. They were lovely cars – streets ahead of British small cars at the time. More recently I almost bought one from a friend in France; that fell through but I saw this one advertised and grabbed it. It had only done 7000 miles from new and had been cocooned in a barn for 35 years. It only needed servicing. Even the original tyres looked like new, but I did change them.

    ‘It’s very cheap to run – servicing it myself, £50 a year covers it. The most expensive thing apart from the tyres was an original-style 6-volt battery costing £83.

    ‘I’ve had several classics but I particularly like the Dauphine and have met a really nice group of people through the club.’

    Tony Topliss, Grantham ‘I’ve had my 1959 Acton-built Gordini for 22 years. Normally they rust while you watch, but mine’s been OK – the original owner told me he had it Ziebarted from new. I drive it exuberantly and have had very few problems.

    ‘I look after it myself – I don’t do bodywork, but my father was a mechanic and I learned from him. I have the original Renault tools and I rebuilt the engine with new pistons and liners, a new fi bre timing gear and a new clutch. I don’t need to spend more than £250 a year on it.

    ‘My wife and I have five Renaults, but still do 1500-2000 miles a year in the Dauphine. It’s a rare model in pale blue with wire wheels, the same as one presented to the Queen when she visited Acton.’

    Introduced in February 1956, the Dauphine was an instant hit. North American-market cars had more substantial bumpers and polished alloy rocker covers instead of painted. Performance improved in September 1958 with the addition of vacuum ignition advance and compression raised from 7.25:1 to 7.75:1 (8:1 for USA); economy also improved. Aerostable suspension was introduced in late 1959 (later in the UK) and a four-speed gearbox could be specified at extra cost from early 1961. Standard compression went up to 8:1 for 1962, when Renault also changed from 6-volt to 12-volt electrics. Prices: £1000 for a rusty project, £4000-7000 for a good usable car and £10,000 for one of the best.

    THE #Renault-Dauphine-Gordini
    Launched in September 1957 (early ’59 in UK), the Gordini had a four-speed gearbox, 7.6:1 compression and special manifolds giving 38bhp @ 5000rpm, plus 5.50/145 instead of 5.20/135 tyres and a claimed 79mph top speed. In April 1961 the Deluxe Gordini was launched in Britain with fully adjustable front seats, whitewall tyres on wheels slotted for brake cooling, brake limiting valve and a fully-lined boot, though the engine used a modified standard ’head instead of a special ’head as before. In #1964 Gordinis got disc brakes all-round and an all-synchro gearbox. Prices: £2000 for a project car, £6000-9000 for a good runner and £15,000 for the ultimate.

    THE #Renault-Ondine

    From early 1961 Renault France built a Deluxe Dauphine called the Ondine, with optional fourspeed gearbox. Prices as for standard Dauphine.

    THE #Renault-Dauphine-Rally 1093

    For 1962 came a homologation special of which at least 1000 would be built. All were left-hand drive with blue side stripes. With 9.2:1 compression, domed pistons, double valve springs, special cam and higher top gear, Renault claimed 55bhp @ 5600rpm and a top speed of 87mph. Prices 20 per cent above #Gordini .


    From the start Renault offered tuning options that helped Dauphines finish 2/3/4 in class in the 1956 Mille Miglia and win the Tulip Rally, the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally and the 1959 Alpine outright. Today, rarity means there isn’t a wide range of modern tuning kits available. Instead, owners fi t period tuning gear, especially by uprating standard Dauphines to Gordini spec. Very little is available in the UK, so enthusiasts visit French autojumbles to sift through parts.

    In period, high compression, special conrods, manifolds and carburettors boosted power to 42bhp and four- and five-speed gearboxes were produced for competition. Doubled-up rear dampers aided handling.

    In 1959 Shorrocks offered a supercharger kit that improved 0-50mph acceleration from 24.7sec to 13.8sec and top speed from 66.4mph to 81mph. Ruddspeed conversions featured negative-camber rear wheels and a quick steering rack, dramatically improving handling.

    SPECIFICATIONS #1956 - #1967 #Renault Dauphine

    Engine 845cc, in-line four-cylinder, ohv, single #Solex carburettor
    Power and torque 30bhp @ 4250rpm – 40bhp @ 5000rpm; 48lb ft @ 3300rpm
    Transmission Three-speed (or optional fourspeed) manual, optional #Ferlac electro-magnetic clutch, rear-wheel drive
    Steering Rack-and-pinion
    Suspension Front: independent, coil springs, twin wishbones, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: independent, coil springs, swing axles, telescopic dampers. Rubber auxiliary springs front and rear from late 1959
    Brakes Hydraulic drums front and rear; discs front and rear from 1964
    Length 12ft 11in
    Weight 649-662kg (1428-1456lb)
    Performance Top speed: 66-74mph;
    0-60mph: 35.7-28.2sec
    Fuel consumption 35-50mpg.
    Cost new (1959) £716; £848 for Gordini

    Full engine rebuild £1000 (DIY) to £2000 (professional)
    Gearbox rebuild £500
    Bodyshell rebuild £2500-7500
    Full retrim £1500
    Who can help?
    Renault Owners Club
    Renault Classic Car Club
    Auto4a, 0033 5 56 724711
    Bretagne Auto Retro, 0033 2 40 914218
    0033 2 37 524325
    0033 1 64 813100
    Neo Retro,
    0033 5 55 483858


    1967 Renault Dauphine.
    Features 1.8-litre engine with crossflow cylinder head providing 145bhp to 165bhp, full rollcage, FIA-approved seats and fuel tank, alloy dampers. €39,500

    Owners opt for period upgrades to give the 845cc straight-four extra zip.
    Finding a rust-free example like this is your biggest challenge.

    Aerodynamic lines and lively (for the Fifties) performance make the Dauphine an attractive package.

    Interior is hard-wearing, but complete carpet sets are available for about £440.

    ‘It debuted in 1956 with features as futuristic as the robots that built it’


    Ryan Turnell is a 4CV owner who encouraged his dad John to fulfil his dream of owning a Dauphine again. Since then Ryan has ended up working on numerous Dauphines.

    John Henderson has owned Dauphines for more than 30 years, clearing out former dealers’ stock whenever possible. Those spares came in handy when his own Dauphine recently had its second rebuild.

    Alasdair Worsley is Dauphine Registrar for the Renault Owners Club and an expert on the Ferlec clutch, one of which he runs in his 4CV. He also acts as a historic vehicle ambassador for Renault UK.
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  •   Glen Waddington reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    / #1990 / #Renault-25-Baccara / #Renault-25 / #Renault / #1990-Renault-25-Baccara

    / #Audi-100-CD / #1984-Audi-100-CD / #Audi-100-CD-C3 / #Audi-100-C3 / #Audi-100 / #Audi / #1984 / #Audi-100-Type-44

    After the two oil crises of the 70s, more efficient cars are being sought. In addition, there are concerns about the environment. Better aerodynamics is one of the ways to make cars consume less and emit less. The Audi 100 (C3-generation) and the Renault 25 are considered to be the most streamlined limousine in the world. At the same time they spoil the motorist with luxury. We contrast them.

    For the first time the streamline of cars in the 1930s was central, in the 1980s there was renewed interest among car manufacturers. Everyone is convinced after the two oil crises of 1973 and 1979 that cars really need to be more economical. In addition, one Bernhard Ulrich is warning about 1981 because entire needle forests in Central Europe, according to him, die off due to acid rain.

    To this end, the emissions of cars are held jointly responsible. In the press, a large-scale alarm is triggered, so that the car manufacturers are forced to take measures. (Incidentally, Ulrich withdraws his alarm again in 1995 due to lack of evidence, but that is not widely reported ...)

    Following the United States, the choice is made for the three-way catalyst in combination with fuel injection. This, however, entails costs, namely for the catalyst itself, in which the expensive platinum is processed, and for the conversion to unleaded petrol. A catalyst does not tolerate lead. Naturally, this switch does not go from one day to the next.
    A faster and cheaper solution is to better streamline cars to reduce consumption and thus reduce emissions. You can see that in new models of that time. Rain gutters disappear, door handles no longer protrude outside the bodywork, windows are fitted flat on the bodywork to make them completely slippery and spoilers are no longer reserved for sports cars, but they improve aerodynamics into the top segment.

    Two of those smooth guys are the Audi 100 of the third generation (internal designation Type #44 ) and the Renault 25. Both are the most streamlined series production limousine of that year, namely 1982 for the Audi and 1984 for the Renault. . Audi reaches a Cd / Cx value of 0.30, Renault even a value of 0.28. Both brands also do a throw to the top with these top models from their range. They want to compete with brands like Mercedes-Benz W124 and BMW E34/E28.

    We therefore contrast the thickest versions to see how they tried to achieve that. For the Audi this is the CD equipment, for the Renault de Baccara. Meanwhile, we know that the Audi finally succeeded in penetrating the premium segment and Renault did not. Can we see that coming here?
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  • Glen Waddington created a new group

    Renault 25

    Renault-25 1984-1992

    The Renault 25 appears in 1984 and is a design by Robert Opron in collaboration with Renault-head designer Gaston Juchet.

    The futuristic dashboard is designed by Marcello Gandini. The 25 follows the 20/30 series and has been developed for low air resistance and low...
    Renault-25 1984-1992

    The Renault 25 appears in 1984 and is a design by Robert Opron in collaboration with Renault-head designer Gaston Juchet.

    The futuristic dashboard is designed by Marcello Gandini. The 25 follows the 20/30 series and has been developed for low air resistance and low consumption. The the most economical version consumes 7 litres/ 100 km and the CD/CX is 0.28.

    The 25 is available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder carburettor engine, a 2.2-liter four-cylinder injection engine or a 2.7-liter PRV-V6. The equipment levels are TS (2.0-liter, entry-level version), GTS (2.0-liter, power steering, central door locking, power window control and flank protection), GTX (2.2-liter, on-board computer, tinted windows, rear wiper, light - metal wheels, radio with steering wheel control, options: ABS and air conditioning). The V6 Injection has double headlamps, electrically operated exterior mirrors and side windows and is available with three-speed automatic transmission.

    For diesel drivers there is a 2.1-liter TD and a turbo diesel in two trim levels: the Turbo D and the Turbo DX. In March 1985 a V6 Turbo will be available with a 2.5-liter engine of 182 hp. Heuliez also has a Limousine version with extended rear and extremely luxurious, separate seats in the back. This version can be combined with the 2.7-liter V6, 2.5-liter V6 Turbo or 2.1-liter turbo diesel. It will be the means of transport of the socialist president Mitterand. After more than 830 copies this version expires in 1987. In the same year a TX version with a 2.0-liter engine of 120 hp and electronic injection appears. A catalytic converter is available on the TX and GTX. The V6 is also available with a catalyst and receives 2.8 liters of capacity to compensate for the power loss. The three-speed automatic transmission is now available on this 2.8 V6i and on the GTS and GTX, other versions have a manual five-speed gearbox. Halfway through 1988, a facelift follows, the Phase II.

    Nose, bumpers and rear lights are changed, but more important are the better build quality and rust prevention, because the Phase I proved to be rust-sensitive. The luxurious top version Baccara also appears, in combination with the V6. The standard version includes climate control, cruise control, a talking board computer, leather upholstery, wood inserts, ABS, electrically operated front seats with inflatable cushions and a clothing cover under the parcel shelf. If a catalyst in France is required in 1990 for engines of more than two liters, the 2.2-liter will be replaced by a 2.0-liter engine with twelve valves and 140 hp.

    Both the TXI and the TI have this engine. All versions can now be delivered with variable power steering. The V6 Turbo is also available in Baccara version from the 1990 model year.

    Production is ended in 1992; 780,976 copies were then manufactured. Succaro is the Safrane.
    Several limited versions of the Phase I have appeared, such as the Manager, Fairway, Auteuil, Méribel, Camargue, Beverly, Courchevel and Olympique. Of the Phase 2, the Manoir was only released especially for the USA / UK and Netherlands.
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