The R4, the new 2CV

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The R4, the new 2CV

Classic enthusiasts 1.0 will not quite get it. But for a lot of people, classics are now 'lifestyle clothes'. For example, a whole generation of young people / thirties / hipsters have turned up who is blind to 2CVs.

It is a matter of supply and demand. And apparently there are still quite a few people who have something to spend outside of their mortgage and smartphone bundles. The intermediate score is meanwhile that ducks are very stiff at the price.

And then we come to the second choice for people who 'just want such a little car', but who don't want to go for the duck in the five digits: The R4. And that choice is annoying for the pure R4 passionado's. Yet…

Presented in 1948 Citroën the 2CV. Renault did not immediately have an answer, but it did give Renault the time and the opportunity to take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the 2CV. Smart. The President-General Général, say the CEO, of Renault said so: "Design a car that is less ugly than the 2CV, but not as beautiful as the Dauphine." The new Renault had to be more urban than rural (2CV). And he also had to be able to be ridden by women. In July 1961 it was time. The new front-wheel drive Renault only shared the engine block with its predecessor the 'bowler hat'. He no longer had a self-supporting chassis, but a platform chassis.

In France they spoke of the "4L" (pronounced "Quatrelle" or "Quatre ailes", which means "four wings")

It had become an 100% practical means of transport. The bottom plate, for example, was flat and the wheels were independently suspended with torsion bars. The often forgotten R3 was the absolute entry-level model, it was a chrome-free box on wheels with an 22,5 pk 603 cc block. The R4 had an 747 cc engine that was 26,5 pk strong and that made the car 100 km / h fast compared to the 95 km / h of the R3. The R4 Super was a wild luxury beast with a capacity of no less than 32 hp. The first gear of the three gearbox was not synchronized yet. The end of 1962 came to an end.

The R4 then evolved over the years, until the concept was technically and in terms of environmental requirements overtaken over time.

Just pay attention

The platform is - just like with ducks - rust sensitive. View the longitudinal beams and the mounting points of the torsion bars with some suspicion. The camshaft chain is a point of attention, just like the rubbers of the front train. The technical parts supply is okay, but specific parts for R4's from the sixties are hard to find. Think of grills, three-speed trays and six-volt electrical company.

But all in all, the limitations of such an R4tje AMK reader Hans Beltman and his partner do not prevent R4 from traveling to Italy and back. "You must not be in a hurry, pay attention to comfort, or complain about noise production."

That's how it is. The R4 did not get the cult status that the Citroën 2CV has, but is busy catching up. The car was so general that preserving or cultivating the car was simply not done. Fortunately there are still quite a few survivors.

The cult status of the R4 has only increased in recent years. As mentioned, helped by the price increases of the ducks. In the Netherlands the R4 was for sale as far as 1986, but production continued in Slovenia and as far as 1993. A total of more than 8 million Renaults 4 have been made.

The best-known variant of the R4 was the Fourgonnette: the R4 order

For many this is the typical car for small French self-employed people, and often from holiday memories this is also the car that people think of when hearing the Renault 4. The Fourgonnette came in two versions, the F4 and the F6, of which the F6 was the largest. The order version was for years the best selling in its class.

The last 1000 Renaults 4 were given a farewell name

That was the Bye Byeseries, where every car was provided with a number that counted back to 1. This series was only sold in France. The Bye Bye was produced around the turn of the year from 1992 / 93.

But for the Real Duck lovers, such an R4 is of course no alternative ...




Give a reaction

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
cover 8 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

Volvo PV36

Volvo PV36

Rudolph Diesel

The disappearance of Rudolph Diesel