R4 Parisian. Elle prend le volant

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The Renault 4 will be 2021 years old in 1961. The French evergreen was launched in 1993 and produced more than eight million units. Until the beginning of 4, Renault built its evergreen, and often this was done in a special version. The R4 Parisienne was one such version. Renault initially launched this as an action model, but it was so successful that the Parisienne became a fixed value within the Renault XNUMX program for years.

A nice detail is that Renault responds to the female target group with the 4 Parisienne. In the early 4s, this is an important one for car manufacturers, because more and more women are buying their first own car. Renault works together with the magazine Elle for the design of the Parisienne. The intended action model gets a luxurious look, it is not without reason that the basis is the XNUMX Super with double bumper and the tailgate with the pocket window. The Parisienne is instantly recognizable. Large stickers with a tight diamond motif adorn the sides and the tailgate.

Debut with adjustments

The Parisienne makes its debut in December 1963. The original Parisienne design still has golden decorative piping in various places and, for example, a sticker with reed structure on the ventilation flap. They did not last long, these details disappeared after the dealer introduction. The reed-motif stickers on the sides and the boot lid remain in an adapted shape. Furthermore, the new action model is visibly benefiting from the innovations that the Renault 4 gets for model year 1964. The Parisienne gets a normal tailgate and the new chrome bumpers, supplemented with rubber rosettes. The decorative strips on the flanks remain, and the R4 Parisienne also gets sliding windows in the rear doors and closed wheel covers, which cover the entire rim.

Nice piece of marketing

The intended action model for women is catching on, not least because of the beautiful piece Prenez le valant, madame marketing that Renault applies. Together with partner Elle, the French are making a number of demonstration cars available for 48 hours, under the name Elle prend le valant. A subsequent questionnaire will investigate whether the test drivers in the R4 Parisienne see added value for the range. The promotion is very successful, and almost every questionnaire gives an affirmative answer. The Parisienne, Renault concludes, will be a fixed R4 version.


Basically, the R4 Parisienne already benefits from the options that buyers also have with the regular R4, for example. There are three furniture configurations, and it is also possible to equip the R4 Parisienne in combination with a roll top. In terms of detailing, you can also opt for a tartan.

Normal colors, even without stickers

You can also choose to let the stickers with motifs lapse. Renault also includes several normal colors in the R4 Parisienne program. The original black color is joined by a gray color, but is replaced by a dark blue tone. The R4 Parisienne is also available in burgundy, dark green and navy blue. The gray color will quickly disappear from the program. Depending on the market, the R4 Parisienne is available with the 747 cc engine (still known from the 4CV) and the 845 cc Export engine. Special: Renault mounts the Parisienne type plate on the right front mudguard, the left mudguard does not get the indication that can be found on the boot lid. And via the umbrella shifter, the driver operates three forward gears and one reverse.

Quiet to the end

In this way the R4 Parisienne continues quietly. It still benefits from the new 1967 dashboard, but in July 1968 the striking R4 version can be retired. The R4 Parisienne was a good example of how a manufacturer reached a specific buyer group with clever marketing. And conquered a place of its own within the long-running and illustrious story of one of the absolute evergreens in post-war automotive history.




Give a reaction
  1. To never forget. I was 18 years old. My first car, the R4 with 3-speed gearbox. One night I came home and hit the brakes. I was barely able to overturn the steering wheel and touched the protruding headlight of neighbor's 404! My mother stormed out and said, "Just don't think I'm paying for that!" Thinking I had been drinking. Not a drop. I go to the neighbor with apologies. He spoke the beautiful words: 'Never mind, it's only the ring, and your mother always gives me the newspaper every day for free (after reading). And so paid… Sorry, I had to say! Now 67 and many Renaults further!

  2. That reed motif (woven seat) on the sides of the car: wasn't that once some kind of hilarious stunt by Peter Sellers that caught on with the general public? I remember his Mini (taken over by Radford, coincidentally also in 1963)

    In the 80s a neighbor of mine had a white three-door Range Rover (1st series), which also had this reed motif on the sides. Can someone tell me if that joker (he liked to give his cars a personal touch) did that himself or if it could also be ordered as an option at the time?

  3. Great memories of the r4. Especially with the three gears. And the space in the front was enough to place 2 front seats of a pike for a better seat. Where is time he could only stand still.

  4. That brown-red seems to have the American Woody panels.
    A simple way to give a car more warmth and appearance.
    Very nice with those, already so nice first versions of the 4 with the 1st grill.

    After the Beetle, Mini and 4, the 500 was also a characteristic model.
    I think this decoration would have been even more beneficial if it had really become part of the construction. Would have made the car more 'French'.

    In The Hague, Bert van Leeuwen (EO) also drove 4 cars that he bought for FL.100, - on the street in the Schilderswijk. He regularly sat in the front right with his arms under the windows he steered and his feet crooked towards the pedals. As if no one was behind the wheel.
    At the time, 80s were disposable items. Nice that they are now being cherished.

  5. It's a good idea that women are automotive. Of course, the industry responded when technology became simpler. Women were much smarter than men: they opted for small, handy, user-friendly, spacious and cuddly cars. They came mainly in France with, among others, these R4, the Ami6 and LN (A) and 104-tjes.
    But nowadays there is too little to be earned, so that is why “a smart girl now drives an SUV that is not prepared for the shopping street”.

  6. Great car that is Renault 4. A truly legendary icon.
    The Parisienne is a very early action model, a phenomenon that was not or hardly known at the time.

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.

Citroën Acadian (1980)

Citroën Acadiane (1980): A worthy delivery van for Jan Gerrit. 

How the Taunus Transit became