Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Trade Directory -

Com­par­ing a car to a fruit seems a pretty odd mar­ket­ing ploy, but Re­nault did just that to boost in­ter­est in its 14.

While the 14 was seen as a com­fort­able, easy-to-drive, spa­cious four-door fam­ily hatch­back with plenty of space op­tions when it was launched in May 1976, few could see past its shape. So, in 1977, Re­nault de­cided to ma­jor on its shape ap­par­ently re­sem­bling a pear or ‘La Poire’. Sadly poor build qual­ity meant that 14s soon gained the un­for­tu­nate nick­name of ‘rot­ten pears’. Yes, it all went pear-shaped for Re­nault.

The car can’t have been all that bad be­cause al­most a mil­lion were built be­tween 1976 and 1983, though even Re­nault dealers were du­bi­ous about the four-cylin­der ‘Dou­vrin’ trans­verse petrol en­gine. De­spite a num­ber of de­tail im­prove­ments and a facelift in 1980, the car’s poor rep­u­ta­tion for rust and damp start­ing saw most head­ing to the scrap­yard with not much thought given to sav­ing spare parts ei­ther. It’s a highly en­dan­gered species to­day.

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