Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1967 Renault R10 - A Rare Survivor

Just how bad does a car company's reputation have to be for it to launch a new car with an ad reminding people of just how bad their old ones were? That's exactly what Renault did back in 1967.
"The Renault for people who swore they would never buy another one" is what Renault touted the R10 as being when they introduced it in the United States.

Renault's reputation took a beating with the Dauphine. Meant to compete with the VW Beetle, the Dauphine was wholly unreliable, a problem that was made worse by poor parts availability and poorly trained mechanics at the dealerships.

The R10 (which was an upmarket R8 and sometimes known just as the "10", with no "R" in front of it) was meant to change all that. Like the Dauphine, the R10 was meant to compete with VW. On paper it was a much better car the the Beetle. Like the Beetle, its engine was in the rear but, unlike the Beetle, it was water-cooled and you were able to get real (non toxic) heat into the passenger compartment in the winter. The R10 had 4 doors (the rear doors had neat little sliding windows instead of roll downs) and an interior that, compared to the VW, was almost luxurious. The R10 also came with a fully independent suspension and 4 wheel disc brakes.

Reliability-wise the R10 was certainly better than the Dauphine, but the people "who swore they would never buy another Renault" stuck to their word and the R10 never sold well in the US.

The R10 being offered on eBay is in amazing condition. It looks great in white with the red stripes and the fog lights give it a great Euopean rally car look. Most likely this car has Renault's 1100 cc engine in it. It's a good, tough engine, but it doesn't move the car very quickly. However, there are loads of aftermarket R10 performance parts available in Europe and it's fairly easy to drop later, larger Renault engines in this car if you don't care about originality.

This car has dealer installed air conditioning. The installation of the unit is pretty interesting, with the control panel (and the relocated radio) being screwed into what was the glovebox. It looks like hell, but not many R10s were sold with A/C and I suspect this is one of only a few to survive.

This is another one of those cars that you could buy today and attract a crowd at a car show (or anywhere, for that matter) tomorrow.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this Renault R10

You can find Rene's Renault Pages here. The site has an amazing amount of information about the Renault R8 / R10 and many other Renault models.

1/20/10 Update - This car is back on eBay. You can find the new listing here.


Anonymous said...

I had one of these when I was in college in 1973. It was the slowest car I ever owned. I swear it seemed like it took 30 seconds to get to 60 when I had 3 friends in it and a case of beer in the trunk.

I got rid of it when I bought a new Chevy Vega. The Vega was a lot faster, but it made the Renault look like a paradigm of relaible cars. I wished I had kept the Renault.

Unknown said...

How much would a 1967 renault R10 be going for these days email me back at Danielvengoechea@hotmail.com