Friday, September 30, 2022

After more than 60 years, R4 fevers surprises in Argentina with hundreds of restorations

Over 300 units were restored in Argentina over the past 5 years, representing the world's highest original car recovery rate for the R4.
Over 300 units were restored in Argentina over the past 5 years, representing the world’s highest original car recovery rate for the R4.

Introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 21, 1961, it was completely discontinued in 1992 at any Renault plant in the world. It was the brand’s first front-wheel drive passenger car, a concept intended to compete with the already successful Citron 2CV, but with slightly more mechanical and body strength. The Renault 4, born as the 4L, was one of the symbols of an era, but also a bold and intelligent bet by Renault. just finished 8 million units in 31 years.

Gear levers for the dashboard, glass sliding windows in half, and a tailgate that was not known until then allowed the rear seats to be folded into a cargo van, They were personal brands. For all that, it was a wonder in its nascent years, and it is again now, when being restored, leaves an R4 to the careless observer who comes to see what it is from their mouth. Is.

The headlights were separated from the grille, which contained the mouth of the famous whale, as it was called.  At the rear, a gate emerged in the styling of the existing hatchback.  quite foregoing
The headlights were separated from the grille, which contained the mouth of the famous whale, as it was called. At the rear, a gate emerged in the styling of the existing hatchback. quite foregoing

Although it was officially introduced in Europe in 1961, it began production in Argentina in 1963 and remained in its 4L version until 1972. From the start, the mechanics were always a little 850 cm3 engine and 33 hp powereven when in 1968 it stopped being called 4L and was called R4 “Dry”. The interiors are different with better dashboard and seats.

There was a version called the Parisienne, which was inspired by a unique model that had such an impact in France that it became a production car. 100 units were built that were identified with two-tone decorations that combined a full color and a pattern with another tone in which it was re-incorporated.

The rear seat rebuttal was to give the 4L a van or rural utility from the beginning of its manufacture in 1961
The rear seat rebuttal was to give the 4L a van or rural utility from the beginning of its manufacture in 1961

In 1970 a second version of the R4 was born, called the 4S. There were visual changes to its grille, which was no longer known as the whale’s mouth and now expanded into a larger area to include the headlights. But mechanically there was a surge in power, thanks The inclusion of a 1,020 cm3 impeller which allowed it to reach 48 CVs with a single gearbox, which now had four gears. In addition, the torsion bars were changed for larger diameter ones, giving the car better stability than its predecessor. At the equipment level, 4S heating included, Something that however seems incredible, was not in the original R4.

This was in the late 1970s when Renault 4S The second series that gave birth to the GTL. he was known as “Jeans on Wheels”an advertising slogan that tries to reflect The feel of the car, has now been modernized with plastic baguettes and details that resemble the image of the vehicles of the time. Chrome was disappearing and plastic was fashionable. Retrieved this version The larger displacement engine, now it was 1,100 cm3. and inside, new seats but at the top a full change on boardRenault took the line of 5 which was already a success in Europe, with a more elaborate design.

Levers on the dashboard, first with three gears and finally with a four-speed gearbox, are the R4 .  a feature of
Levers on the dashboard, first with three gears and finally with a four-speed gearbox, are the R4 . a feature of

At the end of 1978, the Renault 4 entered the Paris Dakar rallyWhich will start running with the first minutes of 1979. brothers Bernard and Claude Mureau They were encouraged not only to face the African deserts Renault 4 Sinpar 4×4But managed to finish the race.

Manufacturing stopped in Europe in 1988 and global production of the history-making car was interrupted in 1992., but in particular made an impression. Something very curious happened in Argentina. Just 5 years ago, a group of about 30 R4 enthusiasts and fans decided to create a unit To atomize them and allow the recovery of hundreds of cars that long ago stopped roaming the streets.

"R4 restorer" Born 5 years ago with the premise of recovering the Renault 4 with its original mechanics and appearance
The “R4 Restorer” was born on the basis of recovering the Renault 4 with its original mechanics and appearance 5 years ago

was born like this “Renault 4 Restorer”On the basis of recovery of cars while maintaining Factory originality. They did not imagine that in such a short time, they could achieve that the restoration of the Renault 4 is the largest in the number of recovered units. Between 2018 and 2022, They have managed to bring back 300 to 350 vehicles on the roads of our country. group today It has 32,000 members and is one of the largest Renault 4 restorer clubs in the world.

“Restoring a car is the cheapest psychological”dice Walter Cavigliatoa member of the club, who also explains that “In the group we usually say that, to be complete, a man must have a son, plant a tree, write a book and restore a car”.

"jeans on wheels" It was a slogan advertising a car that was versatile and economical and that appealed to the youth.
“The Gene on Wheels” was a slogan used to advertise a car that was versatile and economical and that appealed to the youth.

The difference between this group and other very important people such as France, Spain or Portugal, that is, in those countries, the car is not restored for personal use, but for collecting. There are also groups of restorers in an area such as Uruguay, Chile or Colombia, where the brand is very strong, but cars are modified in that country, and there is some customization in the restoration.

But the Renault 4 also gets great value due to today’s “The symbol of a generation that created a future for its children aboard the R4. It was an accessible car that could be used for both work and personal pleasure.says Cavigliato.

In Argentina, the Renault 4 was a very successful car, and is part of the phenomenon that today allows over 300 original cars to be restored over the past 5 years.
In Argentina, the Renault 4 was a very successful car, and is part of the phenomenon that today allows over 300 original cars to be restored over the past 5 years.

In the 1980s, its quality as a versatile vehicle that was economical and fun at the same time, like few others, can be considered. Was the forerunner of today’s SUV conceptespecially since with Front-wheel drive and very low weightMany more powerful cars can pass through difficult areas.

Through its passage through the Argentine automotive industry, the Renault 4 produced 148,170 sedans, 100 of which were of the special edition called Parisienne. In addition, 8,972 cars of the van model and 173 of the pickup version were built.

It marked an era and electric mobility allowed him to be reincarnated in the project Renault 4ever planned for 2025. It will be new but retain the same spirit. But with the lever on board the R4 will remain unique.

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