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Renault Dauphine. Tested ...

Renault Dauphine
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Church fellowships are often endearing. Members of a municipality bring in things and sell them for a good cause. They usually do that for butter-soft prices. If there is such a phenomenon, then you have to act quickly. Otherwise you will be faced with a clever crowd of professional buyers from the flea & lifestyle corner who immediately after opening the doors go off the stands like a swarm of grasshoppers. Because you don't want to know what trendy Randstad residents pay for an authentic collection box these days.

Books and leaflets

Fortunately, the predators are out for easy loot. They ignore really important things. And as a classic enthusiast, for example, you buy an Autovisie Test Book from 1979 and a box with old car magazines. Very old car magazines. And apparently that box belonged to someone who had something to do with that car magazine. Because it once contained yellow copies of a typed endurance test report of a Renault Dauphine. A car that was apparently purchased used. We are talking about the beginning of 1957.

An endurance test in 1957

We read: Car taken over with km position 9500, final position 41.762 km.
Immediately after taking over the car, I noticed that the car developed a vibration at approximately 90 km / h. Furthermore, the gearbox made a lot of noise when braking in second gear. When braking the car showed a tendency to buck. The previous driver reported that he had already reported this to Renault. At Renault, a Mr. Wagemans had replied that the problems would disappear if some more kilometers were made.

No improvement

That did not happen and Mr. Jacobs from Renault acknowledged after a test drive that something was wrong. With approximately 23.000 km on the clock, the Dauphine went back to Renault for a week. The gearbox was overhauled and the wheels were statically balanced. That solved the problems. A week long. Then the gearbox made a lot of noise again. Mr Jacobs had meanwhile received more complaints. Paris was contacted. After a few weeks it was announced that the car had to go to Renault again to install a new clutch plate. That made the transmission much quieter. But in the meantime, bucking when braking was back again.

Positive news and caveats

Meanwhile, the Renault's handling was praised and the absence of a fourth gear was regretted. The control pedals were so close together that drivers with a size 45+ had too little foot room and the Dauphine turned out to be very poorly at temperature, with the heating also far below par. That resulted in constantly cold feet. The trunk was not waterproof. The tail and license plate light fittings tended to loosen. And the entire electrical system did its job without fuses.

Speaking of loose things: the windshield wiper motor had escaped and the carburetor was also only held in place by gravity. If the wiper motor did stay in place, the wiper blades themselves were not storm-proof. The radiator brackets had to be welded a few times. Starting problems were solved by additional ground connections at the starter motor and battery.

The Dauphine turned out to be very sensitive to crosswind and was also allergic to joints in the road surface. In corners, the small Renault was much better than American automobiles. Where a Yankank sailed through the bend at 60, the Dauphine shot through at 90.

And all in all, the Dauphine ran almost 1 in 15 and the endurance test was completed satisfactorily. Nice is not it?

Also read:
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- Renault 10, sympathetic classic
- Renault Relay, multifunctional use
- Alfa Romeo Dauphine, just like a Renault
- Renault 6. Familiar basic, logical program interpretation




Give a reaction
  1. In the Amsterdam Jordaan, to be precise in the Lindenstraat, there was a blue Dauphine in the early sixties. It belonged to Jos Vonhof, professional football player. He drove it for years to training sessions and competitions he played for DWS The club that became national champion in 1964. As a child you could not fail to view the Dauphine and study the interior. It was therefore the only car in the street. Vonhof naturally enjoyed the champion status, but meanwhile regularly kicked a ball with the youth on the asphalt. The level rose through it! The tricks he taught you turned out to be worth gold. To this day, 'Dauphine' means a delicious chunk of sentiment to me.

  2. My father took driving lessons in a 1959 Dauphine. He thought it was such a nice car that he bought it from the driving school with 30.000 km on the clock in 1962. Immediately afterwards with a driving license just in his pocket across the Gottard. From 2 to 1 he was not synchronized as the beetles were. So stop from 2 to 1 and switch back. When those Germans honk. Mom is nervous and we with 3 children in the back. For a hairpin, ma read from an instruction booklet that you had to steer to the left first and then through the hairpin. Quite an adventure in Switzerland.
    At Airolo for the Gottard had the gas pump broken. Renault-Garage was busy with it all day. License plate was BD 02-02. Colour White. Dad later switched to a new beetle from 1965. GJ 72-03. I still painted the Renault Dauphine as a Dinky-toy with the license plate on it from BD-02-02.

  3. The Renault Dauphine was the model for the Skoda 1000MB. After the management of the Czech export firm Motokov visited the Paris Motor Show in 1956, it was decided that the compact, self-supporting body with rear engine and rear drive was the future in terms of production and commerce. The Skoda designers had the 1000MB production ready in 1961, only there was no factory yet… The new production lines in Mlada Boleslav (which the abbreviation MB stands for) had to be the most modern in Eastern Europe and were also designed almost from scratch. All in all, it took until 1964 before the Skoda 1000MB came on the market. But don't worry, Skoda has then maintained the Dauphine construction method for more than thirty years.

  4. I drove a Dauphine myself, with the engine of an ondine, 1100cc instead of the + - 900cc. I then rebuilt it a bit as Renault Dauphine Gordini (yes, the beginning of the Gordini period). Disc brakes (which were worse than the drums) 1100cc engine with double carburettor, double front lights (Hella), the hood open and the spare wheel on top of the hood. Now try to do that and get through the vehicle inspection, then no problem.

  5. nice story about the Dauphine! (cars were still given beautiful names then ...)
    my grandfather had such a car and my parents were allowed to borrow the Dauphine to take it
    to go on a honeymoon to Switzerland in January 1958!
    that must have been quite an undertaking in that car then ...

  6. Sounds like our 4CV from the same year of manufacture. And yet wonderfully comfortable making the rounds around the proverbial church (read: Veluwe). Everything can have its charm and that charm can also compensate for a lot of suffering ...

  7. When happiness was common! You were happy with a Dauphine, you were 18 and almost the only "kid" in the street with a car. Then you (at least my mother had to) took your neighbors with you now and then for a ride to Bussum, or even far away to Soestdijk Palace. Most of the mothers on my street had never seen before. The Dauphine, the R8 and the Caravelle still have a spot in my heart.
    Laugh again at the phrase “Gehaaide randstad dealers”, and I'll drop dead if it's not true.

    Greetings from a full or smoke YVR

    • Not to mention, teaching your sister to drive your Dauphine when I was 14 or 15. Thanks again for that and also for the confidence you had in me to “just” lend me your car when I was 15, under the saying, you know where the brake and the accelerator are and always come back home no matter what! You have been a good teacher because I have always and still enjoy driving all kinds of cars.

  8. As a child, I often rode in the back of my uncle and aunt's bright red Dauphine and compared to my parents' ancient Opel Olympia, it was a lot fresher and more modern.

    My uncle said he had bought the Renault second-hand, from a dealer, but nevertheless not cheap. Shortly afterwards he got the shock of his life on the N15 near Wassenaar when an enormous thumping noise came from the back of the engine compartment. Car quickly pulled over and the engine turned off. Then a passer-by appeared who considered himself a car connoisseur and said: "Well, start it!". Again that terrifying thumping deep from the engine. "It is completely out of its crankshaft bearings, just turn it off and not drive another meter!" said the man.

    My uncle had the car picked up by the Renault dealer. Quarrel at home because of the evaporated savings and unforeseen car problems. The next morning the garage called: "Come and pick it up, Mr. De Zwart, we fixed the dynamo and then everything was fine again".

  9. My girl next door had a Dauphine in the 60's. A great fun car. She lived in Alphen and had to go to Uithoorn regularly. All my memories of that car have disappeared because of my cold sweat. How bad that child could drive. 20 cm high concrete bridge sections were no problem for her. She just drove over it with 2 (right) wheels. I thought the Dauphine would tip over regularly. But the Dauphine could handle all that. Curves were cut, so that entire stretches of verge were used as roads. The Dauphine bumped on and on. Fortunately, I was able to buy a moped and did not have to drive anymore. I don't remember where the Dauphine went. Well that she has been driving it for a long time.

  10. If you read it like this, our 1950 Juvaquatre is not that bad. Was somewhat improved with a Dauphine engine as Dauphinoise and served as a pre-war rascal until the R1960 in 4. Here is the whole repertoire of Renaultjes with rear engine, which you could not make a station car, skipping.

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