2 Jul 2013

Not a Porsche

The Renault 4 is everything a Porsche is not. It's slow,utilitarian.practical,affordable,very easy to maintain,has rolly polly suspension and carries 4 people and a couple of pigs plus a few chickens,olives,baguettes and of course a few bottles of vin de pays plus some vegetables and whatever all at the same time in reasonable comfort.
Eight million,yes 8 million,R4s were made between 1961 and 1992.There were everywhere in France and its former African colonies and even in some South American countries during this period.It was launched in the halcyon era of the French motor industry and for the then state owned Renault it was a major success and a very effective counter to the equally utilitarian Citroen 2CV.
Even ten years ago you saw a lot of R4s in France.Now they are disappearing rapidly although I saw many more in southern France on my recent trip than I saw in the north last year.They are still around in rural areas doing what they have always done- provide utilitarian transport.
In Paris they have been relegated to the role of trendy urban transport.
On this recent trip I saw one in a vineyard deep between rows of vines with the workers taking a "smoko" standing around it but I was on the autoroute at the time and could not stop and capture what was a wonderful and very French image.
Anyway I caught this one in a town in the Cotes Du Rhone.Slightly battered as they all are nowadays but still going strong.Vive Le Renault 4.

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