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Tomorrow car: the R5 for 40 years

I was a student with a passion for vintage cars. Penniless, without a parent or friend to introduce me to the joys of unsuspected mechanics, I was determined to "sell" my services to those who would accept me into his garage. Clearly, I proposed to sweep and Nenette in exchange for some mechanics course.

The first to respond to my ad was an old doctor, not a penny but handy for the owner of two beautiful "bourgeois": a Ford TS 20 million to the exotic and an almost unbearable Citroën SM bronze, the same as the famous brochure published at the launch.

A craft fascinating and frightening at the same time, which was emerging just in purgatory where we scrap it rather preserves.

The good doctor did not revealed to me the mysteries of the carburetor body double of his Ford. No more secrets of the high pressure hydraulic his Citroen. Seeing me as a mad dog, he wanted to spare me the error, however, that commits the beginner generally: paying the price of gold came the first bin on the grounds that it is a prestigious emblem.

To thank him for his concern and to prove the extent of my new wisdom, I resolved to make my arms on a small Renault 5. "Maintenance is within my reach, and for now, it's a car that nobody wants. But we must preserve the finest examples because one day, for sure, the R5 will be a classic car," said I in a resolute tone.

We were in the early 90s and, far from being a dream car, the "Supercar" and felt the Balladurette Juppet full nose My new mentor burst into a loud laugh "A car collector, the R5? Never "I took umbrage at this mockery to the point of giving up my plan Oh The ardor of youth I knew, however, that the future would give me reason.

For as surely as those of his generation worshiped at the 4 CV of their childhood, those of the mine would eventually succumb to nostalgia for their old R5.

Twenty years have passed and here we are at last. Renault makes the Salon Rétromobile a tribute to that which is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2012 and was "the first modern urban and engaging." Dixit its constructor. Fiat could argue that it is to him and his 127 back that honor.

In 1972, the date of sale of the Renault 5, the title of Car of the Year due on the Fiat 127 which will see, as the French, a long and successful career is in the Italian, like the French, as a small 3-door coach, even if the "back door" down down less than, full of the R5.

The tuners, however, is more modern today as it retains the provision of universal transverse engine driving the front wheels The R5, she inherits the 4-cylinder longitudinal R4, once placed in door overhang to the back of the 4 CV.

Leads to two particular characteristics: the R5 "core", a shifter type "cow's tail" a mechanical voice unmistakable This is a subtle blend of sounds from the small suction Solex carburetor, ringing in the cast iron block and hoots of gears the gearbox.

A printed forever in his ears of generations of French people, children, watched the arrival of the postman yellow van on the day of their birthday.

The Renault 5 was born from the observation that in the mid-60s, the return to prosperity encourages motorists to make new demands. The extension of the sprawling cities and the emergence of new patterns of consumption increasing reason to take the car to get to work, for shopping at the supermarket and to get away this weekend.

In 1968, the Renault 4 was at the height of his popularity his body comfortable, nervousness (for the time) and worry-free maintenance make it an ally of the citizens of the country people as the top-end, the R16 was successful his bet by clearing the road to Berlin Travel and modular, designed the interior for the well-being of its passengers rather than as a foil saturated with ostentation.The consulting firm was already thinking in these terms to a modern small car, able to take over a R4 which no one dared predict the longevity to be his own But the young Bernard Hanon (who later became head of the Board) convinces Pierre Dreyfus of the need to build on a brand new car, which does not replace another.

A great car, handy and elegant women to seduce a car useful but not ugly.

In an internal memo written on the eve of its launch, Renault said the R5 she "can not be rejected in any class: vehicle typically urban or economic or firmly reserved for the fairer sex.

It must accomplish the feat of not being socialist and not give its owner an image of modern logic "We know how successful this approach was bold promise ....

Renault, as elsewhere, the BMC Mini is scrutinized: should be as short and as light? If the architecture of the front wheel is never in doubt, Renault wants to settle for a cheaper solution than the transverse engine of the little English. The R5 future will be short, in order to sneak into town, but not as much as the Mini. History allow more space and comfort.

The specification is fixed around a length of 3.45 m to 3.55 m These are the designers of the house, and Michael Gaston Boué Juchet who invent almost the first time its essentials: an almost blind grille framed by a mischievous look, two large side windows, no door handle, a large hatchback and a pair of inclined rear lights as high as vertical.

The novel pure reinforced to withstand the weight of the years between 1968 and January 1972, launch date, the style will change only in small steps.

The same year, Peugeot launched its 104 he presents as "the four gates is shorter in the world": the competitor make fun of the two gates of the R5 and commercial Diamond are made to doubt their chances of success. They keep the memory of the failure of the pre-war Juvaquatre Louis Renault attributed readily to his own two doors. Reason enough to make a 4-hp four doors in 1946.

More than its aesthetic, its architecture is that the Renault 5 people talking, but confident, the board shall correct that time, the Department said: "It is important to remember the purpose of the model's Renault 5 is not intended for regular transportation of four or five adults, like the Renault 4 or 6.

Whether alone or for young families, access to rear seats is never a problem against the other, this approach makes the vehicle more stylish, less expensive and safer ... sometimes. "

On the other hand, a division of roles was planned between Peugeot and Renault: the 104 will be a 4-door and R5 a 3-door, hoping to spare them each a direct competition too. An agreement will not prevent the Peugeot 104 Coupe out or Renault R5 released a five-door. But not before 1980, however, and certainly not because of poor sales.

The Renault 5 inherited the practical qualities of the R4. It was designed to stick to his day, and it is the time that it ends up sticking to the skin. It was designed to survive the urban jungle and the city was never defeated her. Thanks in part to its famous bumper resin, a first for a car of mass!

That is probably why Supercinq that replaced him was like so: she merely modernizing a concept born ahead of his time, and amplify the qualities remained valid.

Launched in 1972 at the option of advertising famously, the "Supercar" is initially available in L, with the engine of the Renault 4 (782 cm3 36 hp) and TL, with the engine of the Renault 8 (956 cm3 and 47 hp) Only the TL has the right to arms, a rear parcel shelf, a windshield wiper two speed, etc..

The famous sidebands surrounding the bottom of the box appear with the GTL 1976.

Immediately, the success of the Renault 5 exceeds all expectations and delivery times are quick to grow. Plants no longer able to adapt their production to orders. 72 to 92 (Supercinq included), it will be produced 5,325,890 units of the Renault 5, the best-selling vehicle in France for ten years!

- 1974: a sporty version, called LS, is unveiled. 1289 cm3 engine, 64 hp claim. DIN enriched and equipment. The following year, she received the same seats "full".

- 1976: GTL version is equipped with a 1289 cm3 42 bhp with economic, contrary to the impression given by its displacement The big news of the year, however, the R5 Alpine She has a 1397 cm3 , which is rated at 90 hp.

It is distinguished by its specific rims and his front bumper incorporating fog lamps in 1977, this model will receive the beautiful rims for three slots of the Alpine A 310 that year, L sees its engine replaced with a 845 cm3 of 36 bhp.

- 1978: is the sale of the Renault 5 automatic, equipped with a 1300 cm3 55 hp. recognizable by its vinyl roof.

- 1979: see the launch of the 5-door. On this occasion, the range is reshaped and L versions, TL and society receive the 1108 cm3 45 hp. The instrument panel is thermoformed and new seats appear. But above that same year, shows a "bomb" in every sense of the term, the Renault 5 Turbo (see below).

- 1982: Renault 5 TX is a deluxe version that foreshadows future versions of Baccarat. The R5 Alpine sees that same year, his power from 93 to 110 hp. through the adoption of Garrett turbo.

- 1984: Renault 5 enters its last year of production in France under that name. All versions: base, TL, GTL, GTS, TSE and take the title winner. Indeed, that year is the Supercinq. But that is another story ...

1979. When the prototype, in blue, is unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, athletes, even in their wildest dreams, had imagined such a phenomenon. Indeed, all that remains of the Renault 5 that the characteristic silhouette, but bloated with enormous wings, shields and spoilers to rival the "silhouettes" of the time.

Not until the Brussels Salon in January 1980 to see the final version. The most extraordinary is in the body. The engine is no longer at the front but in rear center position, just behind the front seats. 1397 cm3 of the Renault 5 Alpine is force-fed by a turbo Garrett and develops 160 hp.

In 1983, the Turbo 2 features a simplified Many interior components are in fact borrowed from the Renault 5 Alpine The body loses its opening in aluminum house, doors and tailgate are now made of sheet steel engine produces 160 hp more flexibility, thus facilitating daily life leave sales and 3.

424 units will fall in line until 1986, the final year of production.

Rational to seem sadly utility at its output, the Renault 4 was born mat to resist, like the Citroën 2CV, the bad roads of the countryside.

The Renault 5, she was born but not useful utility, smart but not futile: she played congestion, laughing at the storm Caddies loaded aboard, was carrying toddlers and trinkets from school to stage, stage a home living legend, a friend dear to our hearts that has yet to win a place in the collector but to the point! It's not too late to get an offer ....

A nice little car, tmoin era of urban or still bears their name, and do not yet developed into s'taient tanks like today. The first sketch makes me furious to think the AMC Pacer ... who copied who?

This is not Michael White who was driving a brand vinyl roof R5 SOS Physicians? I do not know what film ... It's funny, I remember his car without mnagement shakes, too soft on its suspension. A whole era!

To read the ractions is believing that all of your R5 taient eats up the bone! I had an orange I laurate grows up 160,000 km without any problem, until a clutch chang around 125,000 km. No rust of the seats but too soft.

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