CAR OF 1976 RENAULT 14
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.