Renault 8 (1962-1973): Do you remember it?

Renault 8 (1962-1973): Do you remember it?

You know them. And somehow it is not. We are not talking about our own neighbors, but about cars that have remained so invisible that only high-profile fans know them to this day. Such models may not have been flops, but they did run under the radar of a typical car buyer. For an unusual series we find here under the heading “Do you remember him?” such vintage and youth from the fog of forgetfulness.

Approximately four meters tall, rear engine, 40 hp, weighing 750 kg. At first glance, that sounds like a VW Beetle. Not right! Today we will talk about the Renault 8, which entered the market 60 years ago.

The small family salon was built a total of 1,329,372 times between mid-1962 and mid-1972. With technical features such as round disc brakes and a balanced 4 gearbox, it was on its part in the 1960s.

Previously planned as the successor to the famous Dauphine, Renault produced both parallel cars until 1968. The technical base also came from Dauphine, the wheelbase was approximately 2.27 meters. The Renault 8 had a rear engine based on the tested and tested model, which ensured traction, playfulness and smooth operation even without servo support.

The 956 cc four-cylinder engine was a modern design with a five-bearing crankshaft and a high camshaft, which powered 29 kW (40 hp). A special feature was the closed cooling system and therefore non-maintenance according to the Renault 4 model seen in 1961. The top speed was 130 km / h.

Previously power was passed through a 3-speed manual transmission, followed by 1963 and a 4-speed transmission in which two to four gears were matched – not uncommon in the automotive world of the 1960s. Also from 1963, a single transmission for one with an electric clutch were found. It was operated using the buttons on the tool panel.

Four standard disc brakes were also not common for a car in this class. Only the models built by the Spanish subsidiary FASA-Renault for the Iberian market had drum brakes.

In 1964 the Renault 8 “Major” came on the market with improved hardware, more chrome trim and a larger engine. Its 1,108 cc four-cylinder cylinder came from the Coupé Caravelle luxury car, delivered 33 kW (45 hp) and enabled a top speed of 135 km / h.

From 1967, the most powerful engine was also used in the standard version of Renault 8. A year later, the sedan became the pioneer of the brand that is popular today: from 1968 to 1970, the R8 was manufactured under license in Romania as the Dacia 1100. Total Dacia 1100 26,582 were repaired.

Renault 8 (1962-1973)
Renault 8 (1962-1973)

The Renault 8 Gordini, acquired from 1964, was the hottest. In this version of the sport, the 1.1-liter unit from “Major” collected 63 kW (86 hp) and accelerated light weight, weighing only 795 kg, up to 170 km / h – a value that was achieved in the mid-1960s itself. it was an exception for the big sedan.

Industrial electrician Amédée Gordini achieved this with hemispherical combustion chambers, double carburetors and spark plugs centered between the inlet and outlet valves. Also ongoing: All four front gears were aligned. Reduced body, shortened suspension transport and hydraulic shock absorbers enabled better road grip.

The main “Gorde” logo, as the factory-designed Renault 8 is called by its fans, is an inevitable color in the color of the French race “Bleu France 418” and double white lines on the trunk, roof and bonnet cover.

Renault 8 (1962-1973)
Renault 8 (1962-1973)

In 1966, the Renault 8 Gordini experienced an increase in performance: four cylinders were worn up to 1,255 cubic centimeters. Instead of the old Solex carburetors, two Weber carburetors now took over the mixing process. As a result, 65 kW (88 hp) was obtained. The top speed increased to 175 km / h. The 5-speed manual transmission was a sensation in the compact drive section.

Two extra lights gave the Renault 8 Gordini a more powerful look. “Gorde” made history in another respect as well: in 1966, Renault created the mother of all subsequent trophies to make one, “Coupe Gordini”.

In the summer of 1965, the French car manufacturer introduced the Renault 10 with a long front end as a major variant of the Renault 8, the “Major” version was replaced with the R10 “Major”. The last variant appeared in 1968, the Renault 8 S with additional high-beam headlights in the Renault 8 Gordini style. The special yellow paint made the Renault 8 S eye-catching. Thanks to Weber’s two-barrel carburettor, the 1.1-liter certified engine rated 37 kW (50 hp) and allowed a top speed of 140 km / h.

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