Re­nault’s Six­ties win­ner is ready to rock again

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Fred­eric Manby fred­eric.manby@ypn.co.uk

IT has been out of pro­duc­tion since 1994 but that’s no rea­son to ig­nore the 40th birth­day next year of the best-sell­ing French car of all time and, for ob­so­lete mod­els, the world num­ber three af­ter the Beetle and the Model T. Citroen’s 2CV was a fa­mil­iar sight when the essence of the Re­nault 4 was oc­cur­ring to Pierre Drey­fus in 1956. The Re­nault chief wanted a “ver­sa­tile, in­ex­pen­sive car with a world­wide call­ing which could match the changes in so­ci­ety that were be­ing ob­served as the 1960s ap­proached.” The 4 had its de­but at the 1961 Paris Mo­tor Show. It was Re­nault’s first ve­hi­cle with front wheel drive. Bri­tain had the Mini but the boxy R4 was more ver­sa­tile with its full-length tail­gate. It didn’t drive as sweetly as a Mini but was a fine ex­am­ple of util­ity with fun, was made in 28 coun­tries and sold in 100 mar­kets. Re­nault took it rac­ing, with en­tries in the 1962 and 1963 Monte Carlo ral­lies and a third place in the gru­elling 1980 Paris-Dakar event. To kick off the 40th cel­e­bra­tions, three works 4s have been en­tered in the Monte Carlo rally on Jan­uary 27, driven by Jean Rag­notti, Manu Guigou and Michel Du­ver­nay. The Rag­notti car will be given away in a prize draw, held at the 4L In­ter­na­tional meet­ing in Thenay, Loir-et-Cher, in July.

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