Renault's forgotten generation

Renault 9
The R9
ER Classics Desktop 2022

In September 1981, Renault presented the 9, a four-meter sedan with a striking rectangular design. This car was named “Car of the Year 1982”. Two years later, the three- and five-door Renault 11 followed to make the 14 forget. It had a third or fifth door with a panoramic rear window.

The front of the Renault 11 was recognizable by the double rectangular headlights. While the 9 large single copies were used. The Renault 9 (ever seen one?) Received the advertising label "The talent" in 1982-1983. Well, having talent for something does not guarantee success. Certainly not if you are then asked "What for?" And when it was concluded that the Renault 11 clearly outperformed the Renault 9  Then you are somewhat in the lame comparison corner if: “I was constantly arguing with my wife. But now things are getting better. We are in a fighting divorce. ” With turbo versions, Renault tried to upgrade the case and those turbos did not even do without merit in rallies.

Also interesting to read: Renault 11 TSE from Reinder Boonstra: A pleasant Frenchman

That generation also had a big brother: the Renault 21

It was made between 1986 and 1995. That making was not only done in France, but later also in Colombia and Spain. That Renault 21 was the successor of the now forgotten R18. It was intended for the upper middle class segment.

Lacking money to develop a high-torque engine compact enough to be installed transversely, Renault had to come up with two clever solutions for the Renault 21. One with transverse engine for the 1.7 liter petrol and 1.0 versions, 9 liter diesel (“ F engines ”), the other with a longitudinal engine for the 2 liter petrol and 2.1 liter diesel (“ the Douvrin engines ”). The well-known 2-liter petrol since the Renault 20 TS from 1977 was offered in a new version with fuel injection. The approach was 'reliability'. However, the finish quality and the quality of the plastic parts and the wear resistance of the covering was 'average' to put it mildly. However, the handling and fuel consumption were fine.

Also interesting to read: The Renault 21. You see them a lot ...

The Renaults simply sold well in France

At the time, France was at the end of the once self-evident phenomenon that French people bought French cars. It was no longer a mortal sin to buy and drive a German car. The French also suddenly had the choice to buy Japanese cars. And after an initial caution in that area, it left me wanting more.

All in all, quite a few of those now almost forgotten Renaults have been sold on the home market

But to date, few people have cared about their fate. The reason for a possible love could only be nostalgia. Technically and historically, the Renaults were not models of historical value. But nostalgia is a great reason to want to cuddle and cherish such a Frenchman? It hardly ever happens. In France you can still see these cars in traffic. You can see from their appearance and occupants that they are on their last rides.

The end is near

The appearance of most survivors is French, with many minor damages and a lacquer that really does not deserve the word 'patina'. The drivers and / or occupants are usually recognizable as people from the lowest social classes who can afford a car. Think of the French equivalent of the Flodder family. Too bad. The press photos from our archive testify to better times.

Of course there are also beautiful copies. But are also difficult to sell. If interested, buy a perfect copy for a bottom price. And enjoy the old France.

The Turbo and rally versions are quite popular in France. We found 'our' copy at AutoMeca is the French Signes. That company rents out classic rally cars. But not now.

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  1. The Renault 9 is an important car, heralded a new era: largely galvanized, which finally chased away the rust ghost. In addition, the R9 is also very spacious inside, partly due to the special front seats that were mounted on closely spaced rails, so that there is a lot of legroom for the rear passengers (put feet under the front seats). Other novelties such as electronic ignition and modern dashboard also made their appearance on this car of the year. The R11 did a few more things, especially with the Electronic version: digital dashboard (yes in 1983!), Thick Philips stereo system with separate display and steering wheel controls (very innovative at the time, now commonplace) and the futuristic computer voice that passed on certain warnings (lights on, door open, lamp defective, seat belt loose, etc.). The Renault 21 is simply a fantastic (travel) car: super comfortable, excellent road holding and reliable. Extremely spacious as Neveda (estate car), even with a second rear seat, and as Turbo not to be sneezed at!

    • How the R9 went in the Netherlands I dare not say, but the R11 did well here .. and big brother R21, thought it was also beautiful cars to see.
      The Douvrin blocks were also in the loafer / carb Citroën CX (RE and TRS); fine engines, but no efficiency monsters ...

    • So you see again how good cars can be undervalued. But everything comes in its time. My Lief was already driving BX when those things were thrown away when the ashtray was full. Now, five BXs on, those hydrauliques are starting to get the credits they deserve

  2. In my opinion, this generation should remain forgotten. Didn't see those cars when they were new. Not everything gets better as it gets older.
    But please continue writing.

    • Tastes differ. Maybe not everything gets better with time. But nostalgia is good make up. And in terms of getting older & more beautiful I have sometimes wondered what a handsome older lady Patricia Paaij would have been like if it had not been restored.

    • How the R9 went in the Netherlands I dare not say, but the R11 did well here .. and big brother R21, thought it was also beautiful cars to see.
      The Douvrin blocks were also in the loafer / carb Citroën CX (RE and TRS); fine engines, but no efficiency monsters ...

      • No, those Douvrin blocks were not in Citroëns. The block you mean (I think) concerns the 1.2/1.4 liter block that came about in the Peugeot-Renault collaboration.
        Was among others in the Peugeot 104, Renault 14 and in the BX.

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