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Renault 4

Renault 4 (France, 1961-1994)

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About

The 4L, Renault's first "voiture à vivre" or "livable car", was based on a simple idea: A versatile, go-anywhere sort of car, convenient for all occasions.

The Renault R4 was presented in July 1961. It was a 5-door vehicle with a tailgate and modular cabin. The rear seat could be tipped forward to turn the car into a van, if required.

This versatile car doubled up as a commercial vehicle, Renault innovated by fitting the car with a roof flap that let users transport long objects not usually carried on this type of vehicle.

The 4L was designed to be both easy-to-maintain and economical. The 747 cc engine and 3-speed gearbox were built to last. At the same time, Renault developed a cooling system requiring no top-ups with anti-freeze. The Renault 4 also did away with lubrication points, thus avoiding regular visits to the garage.

Simplicity became a philosophy, reflected in the appearance of the first vehicles that were deliberately uncluttered. The cabin had a minimalist dashboard with little use of chrome.



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1963: The Parisienne

In 1963, Renault joined forces with women's magazine Elle to launch a campaign entitled "She (Elle) takes the wheel".  A total 4,200 readers test drove a 4L – a version called the Parisienne – for 48 hours. The bodywork was black with straw-colored "canework style" painted door handles.

Renault then went to produce more luxurious, urban models


 

 



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Production

Produced in more than 8 million units and exported to more than 100 countries, the Renault 4 ended its career on December 21, 1994.

Today, the Renault 4 continues to be coveted by collectors all over the world.



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Renault


Louis Renault, his brothers Marcel and Fernand and his friends Thomas Evert and Julian Wyer established the company in 1898, after several orders began being placed for Louis Renault to build cars. Then, Société Renault Frères was founded in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, and the headquarters is still placed there today. Louis was an engineer himself and was responsible for the engineering and des...  more

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