Renault R5. From before globalization

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Globalization is a thing. In the time of our classics, there were people who chose a brand with conviction. Others took a broader view and thought it would be good if their car - or let it have been a motorcycle - came from France, Germany, England, Italy or Sweden. And then we got globalization.

Volvo? That is a Chinese brand

The ever famous MG? That is a Chinese brand. An Opel? That German brand with American adoptive parents (General Motors) is now under the care of PSA. The makers of Peugeots and Citroën. Jaguar is from the Indian Tata, Mini is no longer British, but is from BMW. Rolls-Royce belongs to BMW and there was a fuss about Bentley and VW. Skoda is from VW. Dacia belongs to Renault. Apparently everything belongs to someone else than you think and you are a bit in front of Jan Maliepaard when you say 'I drive Swedish. I drive Volvo. A Volvo is now 'only' a great car.

The trade in brands and names ran and runs in the motorcycle world just like with the cars

Benelli is a Chinese brand and the days when Harley was The All American Bike are also long gone. There was once a rage about the fact that there were Mahle pistons in Evo blocks. Now a Harley consists of parts purchased largely abroad and even Harleys are made in India. That's just the way it is.

What if a modern car has the biggest point of sale that it offers the ideal platform for your smartphone?

I quit there a long time ago. It will undoubtedly also be a generation or age thing. But with cars from after 1995 I have little to nothing. When electronics became the master of mechanics and plastic pancakes hung over engine blocks, the fun for me as a mechanical engineer was pretty much over. I still got the diagnosis plug in my 1991'er Oldsmobile. That was read at the level of Miffy. But electronic ignition and ABS? I think that is the best invention after the black and white yarn and the draft beer.

Our classics usually come from the time when they were still purebred

And that we dream away about the highlights of that time. Ah. That's a boyhood thing. Recently we saw a Renault R5 Turbo 2 in quick succession for just a ton. At the time, advertiser Voitures de l'Est had an ordinary R5 from 1984 in just as pristine condition. And it cost much less than a ton. While a regular R5 is much more iconic than such an overwhelming Turbo. Because there was a time when R5s were just as common in France as bottles of red wine. It was a car that contributed massively to Renault's earnings model. It was teeming with it. 1972 were made between 1986-5.500.000. And that's not bad for a car that was sketched as 'project 122' in the free time of designer Michel Boué. Funny: In the first sketches, the taillights ran all the way to the tops of the C pillars. We only saw that much later with the Volvo 850 station wagons. The technology of the R5 was based on that of the R4 and R8. They shared the engine and torsion bar suspension. But the R5 no longer had a platform chassis, but a self-supporting body.

The R5s came in all flavors.

From a 782 cc with drums all the way through to the vibrant turbo's. Left or right: really cool copies are scarce. Ordinary performances were often driven on. The sporty versions often came to a violent end.

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Also interesting to read:
- Renault 5. Successful compact and at home in all markets
- Renault 12 TS. Owned by Kurt Boomgaard for 21 years
- Renault 4CV, the 'bowler hat'
- Renault 6. Familiar basic, logical program interpretation
- Seen: A Renault 3




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  1. Incidentally, internationalization is not new. Let's stay with Renault for a while: in the 50s, the 4CV was not only built in France, but also in South Africa, Australia and Japan (Hino), for example. Later Renaults were built in many more countries. Globalization is nothing new.

  2. Which brand is true as far as BMW and Rolls Royce is concerned only for the automotive sector, Rolls Royce aviation drives (jet engines) has remained independent, among others. Supplier for Airbus.

  3. The first series of fives had a technical relationship with the foursome: the umbrella button that protruded from the dashboard and with which you could stir in the gearbox.

    • That's because the gearbox is in front of the engine; the engine is behind the front axle which makes the car a 'mid-engine', hence the good road holding (just like with the 4,6 and 16)

  4. Great car, very innovative: one of the first three-door hatchbacks, first car with full plastic bumpers, compact car with mature driving characteristics. Indeed from very simple to super deluxe and / or super fast.

  5. It would be my first car, a patched (by my father) R5.
    Unfortunately he did not find it familiar enough afterwards ..
    It became an Audi 50, after a brief romance with a Peugeot 504 automatic.

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