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MR_BOL'S EUROSHITE SCANS - New Jan 2018 - Renault 4 built by Alfa Romeo


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#181 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 11:30 PM

PS I reckon thats the biggest post in AS history


I'm sure quite a few of Hendrys posts beat it.
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#182 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 11:32 PM

yeah you might be right actually!!!


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#183 OFFLINE   garethj

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:55 AM

Top work - I'm going to read through that again tonight and watch the videos with the volume to da max!

 

Very bizarre that those different engines were available, their journalist seems as bland as in your previous reports so I wonder if they were afraid of upsetting the manufacturers even back then?  For them to call the Perkins engine "borderline dangerous for overtaking" I wonder how bad it really must be?


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#184 ONLINE   RoadworkUK

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:36 AM

Superb effort, Bol, truly above and beyond.

 

Flipping dreadful review, though. If any 'normal' reader was looking for actual advice on which car to buy, I doubt they'd make it halfway through the first paragraph. It reads more like engineering porn than consumer journalism.


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#185 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:59 AM

Amazing effort, I reckon you put 34x as much time into translating that as they did writing it in the first place. I love how the discussion of bore and stroke or how many pistons rings they have takes up more space than coming to a meaningful conclusion.

Does sound like there were some desperate measures in place. Engines straight out of boats with 4000rpm redlines and yeah, what's with three different 131 models?

Cheers knackers.

#186 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:12 AM

....Very bizarre that those different engines were available,....

 

The Spanish new car market was probably unlike any other in Western Europe, and my understanding was that it was a bit of a closed shop until after 1982 when Spain joined the EEC.


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#187 OFFLINE   Volksy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:27 PM

Having grown up partially in Valencia, this road test shows pretty much every vehicle representative as Taxis at Valencia Airport at the time I was travelling out there.

 

Some Seat 131's had a hefty bonnet bulge, so I assume one of the diesel lumps was taller than the others.

 

Other favourites were Renault 18 Diesels, Renault 21's (in later years), but there was still the odd Renault 12 knocking about.  

 

Oddly I don't remember any VW's or Mercedes which now seem to be the staple taxi fodder.


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#188 ONLINE   skattrd

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for doing the translations Mr_B, I shall re-read when I have more time to digest these properly,

 

I now want to go to Spain/Portugal and get a 131 (or 132) although probably not a diesel.


84781.png185691.png314493.png364358.png351235.png411795.png609608.png773970.png

 


#189 OFFLINE   Dave_Q

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

I'm chuffed that they decided the 4 headed monster is the best of the lot.

 

The VM diesel is the winningest engine in all of history, as eny fule kno.


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#190 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:48 PM

I love the old 4-headed monster I do! Probably my favourite diesel engine with the Perkins Prima close behind.

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#191 OFFLINE   1duck

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:20 PM

my mother had two autobianchi minis, one of which is actually parked under a tarp in italy rusting away. To consider that the thing was a complete pear when it was put away...circa 24 years ago, i'd guess not a lot remains under the woodpile/tarp.


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#192 ONLINE   NorfolkNWeigh

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:21 PM

That test made a Motoring Which? Test read like an LJKS column.
No wonder we didn't really do diesels in this country until the 90's.
I had no idea what a Perkins 4108 was so looked it up, basically a diesel B Series that was thought a bit underpowered for cars in 1958 , obvious choice for a large family car in the 1980's.
Seems most in canal boats or as auxillary engines for sailing boats- not powerful enough for a main engine!
https://sites.google...07-4-108-engine

#193 OFFLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:37 PM

I am imagining that most if not all of those old heaps would create a major hazard in Spanish traffic today. Yes please to any one of them!

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#194 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:46 PM

Too right. I would cheerfully swap my seemingly redundant knackers for any of those turds, even the Ritmo
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#195 OFFLINE   somewhatfoolish

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:23 AM

Those 180s are teh secks, even next to the thinly warmed over 1970s chod from SEAT and the solitary poojoe they're solid gold shite.


post-9424-0-06631200-1530529320.jpg


#196 OFFLINE   bramz7

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:05 AM

I'd love a diesel 180. They're just so wonderfully crud, and paired with a Talbot badge too!

Shame Spain didn't get the 2.0 Rekord diesel. Small engine tax special which topped out at 82mph, presumably downhill with no one on board.
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#197 OFFLINE   AnthonyG

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:49 PM

I found a handbook for a Farina Morris Oxford diesel at the weekend, the sheer omph of 1489ccs of oil burning power (40 bhp) must have made the 1622cc pez ones seem like an AC Cobra.

The article is weird, as you say it goes into great detail and damns with faint praise, it seems mad a car as developed as a 505 Srd would be compared to a Chrysler 180 with a 1950s marine engine!
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#198 OFFLINE   andrew e

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:42 AM

Great stuff, lets get this massive undertaking back on the front page. From a totally off topic point of view how is your Spanish coming along Senior Bolleaux?
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#199 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:37 PM

Aw cheers! Not too bad thanks! Been doing some hour-long Skype lessons with someone in Venezuela. I can keep a conversation rumbling along now but it is very clunky and mistake-filled! I need to just keep on putting the time in. Downloaded a couple of programmes of Spanish radio to listen to while garaging on the 323 tomorrow too.

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#200 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:25 PM

Got a new article for you here shidders, its from this mag which looks like a sort of dream euroshite catalogue, its a special edition of French classic car mag'YOUNGTIMERS':

 

10498107_287789614735293_258783511819454

 

 

Its actually a lot like that 'Retro' mag in that its got some nice cars and nice photos in, but the quality of writing and level of interesting info is pretty piss poor TBH. Still, who wouldn't want to see a few nice pictures of an early GS? Make sure you click through to see em properly.

 

txkItqY.png

 

The world of classic cars has its foibles. Certain models are almost fetishised while others barely get a look-in among collectors. Indeed, until recently even the most hardcore Citroenistes weren’t big into the GS model. A sales failure? Hardly; The 1971 car of the year was for a long time Citroen’s highest-selling product, apart from the 2CV of course. So perhaps it needs looking at differently. Its designers achieved quite a feat in bringing it to life at all.

 

During the 1960’s, the chevron marque was one of extremes; between the minimalist 2CV and the opulent DS, there was little or nothing to see. Javel tried to disguise the situation with the remarkable Ami 6, and with the ‘basic’ ID version of the DS, but those couldn’t truly cover up the gaping hole in the middle of the Citroen catalogue that stretched from 3 to 11CV. That was a deliberate coice of the then boss Pierre Bercot, who believe that the singular technology of the marque could only really apply to specific models like the 2Cv and DS, which both represented a sort of quest for the absolute, either for economy or high-comfort long-distance travel. According to Bercot, the very idea of a ‘middle-sized’ car was a compromise, a mediocrity, that was not appropriate for Citroen. Nevertheless, projects trickled away in the background and the Ami6 became a sort of ice-breaker for something much more ambitious.

 

Eventually, the ‘project F’ got moving, and was intended to be sold with a range of different engine, suspensions and bodyshells, not unlike the old Traction Avant. But, despite verbally getting the green light from Bercot, it was eventually judged ‘too dowdy’ and was canned at the point where factory tooling started to arrive at Rennes!!! An about-turn as costly as it was salutary, the project F was, according to its protagonists at the time, probably better off dead.

 

 

 

LbXiBAD.png

 

In the meantime, as cars like the Peugeot 204, Simca 1100 and BMC 1100 were hitting the roads, Citroen launched a new project – the ‘G’, under great pressure from a new, young and energetic sales director Calude-Alain Sarre. This time, there was a serious urgency about the project; we’re in mid-1968 and the company went all-out to get the G to market by Autumn 1970. When the moment arrived, the GS received an enthusiastic welcome, and much respect for the fact that Citroen had managed to design, develop and productionise a completely new car in 2 ½ years!

 

It wasn’t perfect though and thanks to the huge rush to get it to market, the marque ended up (much like the Traction) letting the first customers complete the test and development programme. Modifications raind down during the first 12 months or so; engine, gearbox, accessories, electrical, trim & finishing, all was under a programme of intensive ‘polishing’ and honing to get a reliable product. After a few difficult months the GS did reach a good level of maturity although it was stained with a reputation for unreliability (and thirst) that it never quite shook off. Much like its image of being a little on the slow side, a fault of engines which were perhaps a little short on size and horsepower. But, the GS was a hit with the motoring press who didn’t miss an opportunity to point out areas where the GS was years ahead of its competitors. Customers must have been listening as sales climbed steadily, reaching a high point 8 years after launch!!! So overall there are lots of reasons to look again at the GS.

 

h9sRkIp.png

 

  • The GS's on-road abilities hold up amazingly well today with a brilliant comfort/handling compromise and millimetric precision on the road.
  • Replaced n 1977, the large honeycomb grill pattern feeds large quantities of cooling air to the aluminium flat-four

 

Theres certainly a lot stylistically to distinguish it from its concurrents, even if its profile seems to contain something from the Alfasud (launched 3 years later). The styling approach is of a similar vein to the CX, even if the CX’s longer, lower lines carry it off more elegantly. Its pure and

nicely sculpted in details, the GS has charm, notably its distinctive face marrying huge headlights and a trapezoidal grille with a honeycomb pattern. The vertically chopped-off tail might have raised a few eyebrows but it’s in line with aerodynamic practice of the time. As a whole it certainly has finesse.

The interior is seductive, notably due to the strange, aerial beauty of the dashboard. The finish is perhaps not the best, but neither was that of many of its competitors at the time. The GS at least bids for your attention with stylistic and ergonomic treats; ‘honeycomb’ motif on the door panels, drum speedo & stylised rev-counter, horizontal dash-mounted handbrake, useless but stylish ashtray…. And, in true citroen style, wide, well-designed squashy seats. The driving position doesn’t elicit any particular praise or complaint, although you notice the pedals do not have any rubber pads on them which looks a bit ‘raw’.

 

XJ9BONO.png

 

  • Despite a modest width compared to todays cars, the GS offers a good space to its rear seat passengers. Just beware of the effect the soft suspension can have on young stomachs!!!
  • As is often the way with flat fours, the 1015 is almost invisible, hidden underneats a rats nest of tubes, pipes and wires. It takes a while to warm up but is amazingly flexible and responsive at higher speeds.

 

A quick tour at the back shows you that the rear passengers have plenty of space generally, though if they’re very tall they might find the roofline a little low. More aerodynamics! The boot also has good and bad about it; its like looking into a large microwave oven with its vertical opening door revealing a large, squared-off compartment. Theres no loading step though, so its easy to load although you have to bend down to do it..

 

sPR6tQw.png

 

  • Can you think of any other family car with a dashboard as styling and original as the GS?
  • Putting to one side the famous drum speedo, the stylised circular-arc rev counter certainly is not lacking in flair
  • Originally the GS was conceived with a dash-mounted gearlever (like the 2CV) but it didnt make the final cut for production. Instead, the pull-out handbrake is located here;
  • The boot has a hood volume and is almost a pefect 'cube' shape - its easy to load but mind your back!!!

 

 

But, the best is yet to come – behind the wheel. If the high-pressure pump is a little slow to get the car ready to go, you do get a moment to appreciate the amazing ‘discretion’ of the little flat-four, despite it being cooled by air. Less so with the gearbox, which is a little clunky and rough when shifting. Slightly heavy when stationary, the steering is an absolute marvel of precision when youre moving, allowing you to place the car with millimetre accuracy while the suspension silently soaks up the lumps and bumps in the road.

No surprise, the hydro-pneumatic suspension wraps a thick duvet round the wheels, and you float on a sea of oil that barely registers obstacles in the road. Its fun to drive, with less body roll than expected, and certainly less than its ID/DS/CX/SM sisters. Don’t forget the sweet little engine, devoid of any noticeable vibration, lively at speed and docile low down, even if the rev counter tends to be registering higher than you might expect. Add brakes that are amazingly capable once you are used to the ‘pedal’ action and you have a great recipe - it’s the gold standard for a small 1970’s family car. Like a little ID – it could even take that car on.

 

rbyMq9c.png

 

Sometimes, the best finds happen when you're not even looking. Such is the case with this GS, which has barely covered 10,000 km!!!

 

Owner Jean-Pierre Hurtevent says: I've been a Citroen fan for a long time, although my parents were more into Peugeots. The day I got my firs BX, it was a revelation; the safety, the comfort, the reliability (!!!) .....which, over time led me to start accumulating examples, several BX's, a DS, a C6 and so on. As for this GS, it belonged to a grandparent of my wife's nephew. He was a Citroen agent, and he'd had it stashed since 1982!!! It had come in with engine problems, as happened to many similar examples, being an early (Nov 1970) 1015cc version. I wasnt particularly searching for one of these, but I snapped it up, and have been working my way through it. The engine needed a new camshaft and followers, and since changing those its run perfectly and always turns loads of heads!!!!!!!


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"THE 2.3 POWERTRAIN IS A SILENT IS AS A FISH, AND IT PULLS LIKE A GREAT"
"Full luxury cream leather with walnut fascists"

"Car shows are full of mentals talking tosh"

"I had no doubt it would pass, but unbelievably, to mine and the MoT tester's amazement, it passed"


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#201 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:38 PM

The Spanish new car market was probably unlike any other in Western Europe, and my understanding was that it was a bit of a closed shop until after 1982 when Spain joined the EEC.

 

Actually it already started to open up right after Franco had died. One of the first results of this was that the Fiesta plant was built there,

which required a huge amount of red tape removal in the run up.

Before that, Spain also had difficulties in exporting to Western Europe, since nobody wanted to be seen driving a car made in a dictatorship.


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1979 Mobylette AV89.............................................................running

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#202 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:01 PM

Got a new article for you here shidders, its from this mag which looks like a sort of dream euroshite catalogue, its a special edition of French classic car mag'YOUNGTIMERS':

 

https://www.youngtimers.fr/wp-content/up...

 

 

Its actually a lot like that 'Retro' mag in that its got some nice cars and nice photos in, but the quality of writing and level of interesting info is pretty piss poor TBH. Still, who wouldn't want to see a few nice pictures of an early GS? Make sure you click through to see em properly.

 

https://i.imgur.com/txkItqY.png...

 

The world of classic cars has its foibles. Certain models are almost fetishised while others barely get a look-in among collectors. Indeed, until recently even the most hardcore Citroenistes weren’t big into the GS model. A sales failure? Hardly; The 1971 car of the year was for a long time Citroen’s highest-selling product, apart from the 2CV of course. So perhaps it needs looking at differently. Its designers achieved quite a feat in bringing it to life at all.

 

During the 1960’s, the chevron marque was one of extremes; between the minimalist 2CV and the opulent DS, there was little or nothing to see. Javel tried to disguise the situation with the remarkable Ami 6, and with the ‘basic’ ID version of the DS, but those couldn’t truly cover up the gaping hole in the middle of the Citroen catalogue that stretched from 3 to 11CV. That was a deliberate coice of the then boss Pierre Bercot, who believe that the singular technology of the marque could only really apply to specific models like the 2Cv and DS, which both represented a sort of quest for the absolute, either for economy or high-comfort long-distance travel. According to Bercot, the very idea of a ‘middle-sized’ car was a compromise, a mediocrity, that was not appropriate for Citroen. Nevertheless, projects trickled away in the background and the Ami6 became a sort of ice-breaker for something much more ambitious.

 

Eventually, the ‘project F’ got moving, and was intended to be sold with a range of different engine, suspensions and bodyshells, not unlike the old Traction Avant. But, despite verbally getting the green light from Bercot, it was eventually judged ‘too dowdy’ and was canned at the point where factory tooling started to arrive at Rennes!!! An about-turn as costly as it was salutary, the project F was, according to its protagonists at the time, probably better off dead.

 

 

 

https://i.imgur.com/LbXiBAD.png...

 

In the meantime, as cars like the Peugeot 204, Simca 1100 and BMC 1100 were hitting the roads, Citroen launched a new project – the ‘G’, under great pressure from a new, young and energetic sales director Calude-Alain Sarre. This time, there was a serious urgency about the project; we’re in mid-1968 and the company went all-out to get the G to market by Autumn 1970. When the moment arrived, the GS received an enthusiastic welcome, and much respect for the fact that Citroen had managed to design, develop and productionise a completely new car in 2 ½ years!

 

It wasn’t perfect though and thanks to the huge rush to get it to market, the marque ended up (much like the Traction) letting the first customers complete the test and development programme. Modifications raind down during the first 12 months or so; engine, gearbox, accessories, electrical, trim & finishing, all was under a programme of intensive ‘polishing’ and honing to get a reliable product. After a few difficult months the GS did reach a good level of maturity although it was stained with a reputation for unreliability (and thirst) that it never quite shook off. Much like its image of being a little on the slow side, a fault of engines which were perhaps a little short on size and horsepower. But, the GS was a hit with the motoring press who didn’t miss an opportunity to point out areas where the GS was years ahead of its competitors. Customers must have been listening as sales climbed steadily, reaching a high point 8 years after launch!!! So overall there are lots of reasons to look again at the GS.

 

https://i.imgur.com/h9sRkIp.png...

 

  • The GS's on-road abilities hold up amazingly well today with a brilliant comfort/handling compromise and millimetric precision on the road.
  • Replaced n 1977, the large honeycomb grill pattern feeds large quantities of cooling air to the aluminium flat-four

 

Theres certainly a lot stylistically to distinguish it from its concurrents, even if its profile seems to contain something from the Alfasud (launched 3 years later). The styling approach is of a similar vein to the CX, even if the CX’s longer, lower lines carry it off more elegantly. Its pure and

nicely sculpted in details, the GS has charm, notably its distinctive face marrying huge headlights and a trapezoidal grille with a honeycomb pattern. The vertically chopped-off tail might have raised a few eyebrows but it’s in line with aerodynamic practice of the time. As a whole it certainly has finesse.

The interior is seductive, notably due to the strange, aerial beauty of the dashboard. The finish is perhaps not the best, but neither was that of many of its competitors at the time. The GS at least bids for your attention with stylistic and ergonomic treats; ‘honeycomb’ motif on the door panels, drum speedo & stylised rev-counter, horizontal dash-mounted handbrake, useless but stylish ashtray…. And, in true citroen style, wide, well-designed squashy seats. The driving position doesn’t elicit any particular praise or complaint, although you notice the pedals do not have any rubber pads on them which looks a bit ‘raw’.

 

https://i.imgur.com/XJ9BONO.png...

 

  • Despite a modest width compared to todays cars, the GS offers a good space to its rear seat passengers. Just beware of the effect the soft suspension can have on young stomachs!!!
  • As is often the way with flat fours, the 1015 is almost invisible, hidden underneats a rats nest of tubes, pipes and wires. It takes a while to warm up but is amazingly flexible and responsive at higher speeds.

 

A quick tour at the back shows you that the rear passengers have plenty of space generally, though if they’re very tall they might find the roofline a little low. More aerodynamics! The boot also has good and bad about it; its like looking into a large microwave oven with its vertical opening door revealing a large, squared-off compartment. Theres no loading step though, so its easy to load although you have to bend down to do it..

 

https://i.imgur.com/sPR6tQw.png...

 

  • Can you think of any other family car with a dashboard as styling and original as the GS?
  • Putting to one side the famous drum speedo, the stylised circular-arc rev counter certainly is not lacking in flair
  • Originally the GS was conceived with a dash-mounted gearlever (like the 2CV) but it didnt make the final cut for production. Instead, the pull-out handbrake is located here;
  • The boot has a hood volume and is almost a pefect 'cube' shape - its easy to load but mind your back!!!

 

 

But, the best is yet to come – behind the wheel. If the high-pressure pump is a little slow to get the car ready to go, you do get a moment to appreciate the amazing ‘discretion’ of the little flat-four, despite it being cooled by air. Less so with the gearbox, which is a little clunky and rough when shifting. Slightly heavy when stationary, the steering is an absolute marvel of precision when youre moving, allowing you to place the car with millimetre accuracy while the suspension silently soaks up the lumps and bumps in the road.

No surprise, the hydro-pneumatic suspension wraps a thick duvet round the wheels, and you float on a sea of oil that barely registers obstacles in the road. Its fun to drive, with less body roll than expected, and certainly less than its ID/DS/CX/SM sisters. Don’t forget the sweet little engine, devoid of any noticeable vibration, lively at speed and docile low down, even if the rev counter tends to be registering higher than you might expect. Add brakes that are amazingly capable once you are used to the ‘pedal’ action and you have a great recipe - it’s the gold standard for a small 1970’s family car. Like a little ID – it could even take that car on.

 

https://i.imgur.com/rbyMq9c.png...

 

Sometimes, the best finds happen when you're not even looking. Such is the case with this GS, which has barely covered 10,000 km!!!

 

Owner Jean-Pierre Hurtevent says: I've been a Citroen fan for a long time, although my parents were more into Peugeots. The day I got my firs BX, it was a revelation; the safety, the comfort, the reliability (!!!) .....which, over time led me to start accumulating examples, several BX's, a DS, a C6 and so on. As for this GS, it belonged to a grandparent of my wife's nephew. He was a Citroen agent, and he'd had it stashed since 1982!!! It had come in with engine problems, as happened to many similar examples, being an early (Nov 1970) 1015cc version. I wasnt particularly searching for one of these, but I snapped it up, and have been working my way through it. The engine needed a new camshaft and followers, and since changing those its run perfectly and always turns loads of heads!!!!!!!

 

 

This pretty well describes the GS I had. The engine is indeed amazing, it feels more like a turbine,

there is no perception of reciprocating masses whatsoever.

It also requires the OMGRPMs of a turbine and takes equally long to wind down to tickover, thus engine braking is pretty nonexistent,

which doesn't matter though, since the brakes are superb and it has the best ABS of all ever, large diameter wheels.

They vastly exaggerate the available rear headroom, though, which is a bit shit.

Even people my height have to sit like John Milner did in his chopped Deuce.

The front seats are like bags stuffed with Marshmallows and when cornering they provide the lateral support of a Space Hopper.

But best of all, driving one by night, the orange glow from that daft speedometer makes everyone in the car look like Mephisto.


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1967 Renault 16 GL.............................................now with floor and MoT

1979 Mobylette AV89.............................................................running

1992 Mercedes-Benz 230E.....................too bloody sensible, whatever that is
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate..................now with aircon and brakes


#203 OFFLINE   Noel Tidybeard

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:15 PM

how cool is that rev-o-meter on the gs!


07 Civic spaceship- daily
93 Renner 19 RNi- sulking
89 Sunnay L premium- hiding

 




Only a complete wank-puffin has a personalised licence plate on a Ford Mondeo!


#204 OFFLINE   carlo

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:20 PM

I love that cloth you got in early GS models, looks so inviting.  



#205 OFFLINE   egg

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:11 PM

Our next door neighbour had a yellow GSA in the early 80s, even as a kid I appreciated this must have meant he was a man of distinction!

1993 Ford Mondeo 1.6 base, 1993 Ford Mondeo 1.6 GLX , 1995 Mazda 323c 1.5 auto.


#206 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:18 PM

A great read as usual. Thanks Bo11!
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#207 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:52 AM

I try and pick up a copy of Youngtimers on my annual French hol's. Interesting to see what they feature and the classified ad's, even if I don't read very much of it.


The home of one previous owner Japanese cars:

1973 Datsun 1200 B110 2dr; 1980 Laurel 2.4 C230; 1988 Sunny 1.6 LX N13
1992 Camry 2.2GL (definitely just for spares now); 1993 Camry Estate 2.2GL on the road again!!

And a couple of modern Toyotas


#208 OFFLINE   cros

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:57 AM

That test made a Motoring Which? Test read like an LJKS column.
No wonder we didn't really do diesels in this country until the 90's.
I had no idea what a Perkins 4108 was so looked it up, basically a diesel B Series that was thought a bit underpowered for cars in 1958 , obvious choice for a large family car in the 1980's.
Seems most in canal boats or as auxillary engines for sailing boats- not powerful enough for a main engine!
https://sites.google...07-4-108-engine

Far from not doing diesels in this country, it would have been hard to find a more powerful automotive compression ignition motor of this size in the world when this engine first saw the light of day. We just didn't want them under the bonnet of our cars.
The 4 108 was developed in the mid 1950's, starting life as the 4 99. Design work had begun using a 1500 'b' series petrol crankshaft in a fabricated block, and testing included installation in a Vauxhall Velox car. The unit was cutting edge in its day and went on to power a wide range of vehicles from MF tractors, Volga taxis, CA vans and Transits. Thousands were fitted to refrigeration units on semi trailers across the world where it functioned reliably for extended periods without attention (one example notched up a total 33,000 running hours).
Predating BMCs small diesels, it was very long in the tooth by the time it powered the Spanish car, and with only 3 main bearings it's no surprise that it fell behind acceptable levels of refinement. My preference would be for a 4.107 powered Alfa Giulia Nuova Super diesel because it's probably even worse than a Marina 1500d.
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#209 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:21 PM

Got a new article here if anyone's interested. Great story this one, its from gazoline not those lamer Spanish mags. Its the story of a thoroughly half-arsed attempt to build Renner 4's in Italy that turned into a right washout. History, politics,wonky wheelarches - theyre all here!!

 

kbXzKfu.png

 

Yes, it’s definitely a Renault 4. But Italian. Assembled in the Pomigliano d’Arco factory, near Naples, on Alfa Romeo’s production line. The fruit of an agreement that lasted a few fleeting moments between two nationalised car manufacturers, at a moment when Europe’s borders were opening up to the Common Market. The 4L was produced for just 2 painful years, by two partners who made barely the slightest efforts to reconcile their differences and turn this trial arrangement into a big success. And all this in a delicate context, Fiat doing all it could to stymie this fragile alliance, seen as a treason by the Turinese company. This atypical model nevertheless had everything it needed to succeed in a country which had no comparable product of its own to offer to customers.

 

IkvDJbu.png

The R4 was only assembled on the Italian production lines for 2 years. Not enough to tranform it, but enough to adapt it to the Italian legislation.

 

March 1957. The Treaty of Rome signed by France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg marked the beginnings of a ‘Common Market’ which, as the name suggests, was an economic lever to liberate the circulation of products and services throughout Europe. Exit stage right the customs posts and border officials working to protect the partisan interests of each country’s manufacturers, particularly Fiat, ferociously protective of its ‘own’ territories. A key point: Italian legislation at the time levied a heavy tax on imported cars, although any cars assembled on Italian soil were exempt. Volkswagen suffered because of this, and set to evaluating the idea of building a factory in Sicily. Ford eyed up a site near Naples. But Fiat started huffing and puffing, threatening to campaign for an extension of the tax on any cars built on Italian soil for sale outside of Italy (!) and heaped on the pressure to ramp up energy costs to these sites. Wolfsburg and Cologne decide against an Italian satellite and back off. Not Renault though. Maurice Bosquet, then director of external affairs at Renault, and colleague Andre Rosenthal, explored another avenue; that of partnering up with a local manufacturer. But even that was fraught with difficulties. Lambretta and Innocenti said ‘no thanks’, Innocenti having been warned by Fiat that its operations would be ‘strangled’ should they proceed with this venture.

 

58W6V6A.png

A few differences jump out when you clock an Italian R4: Bumpers equipped with small overriders, tiny front numberplate and Carello headlights

 

Only one option remained, which was to open dialogue with another nationalised company – Alfa Romeo. This time, discussions took place under great secrecy and “as quickly as possible, because Alfa was also terrified of the might of Fiat” with the IRL, the state organisation that oversaw  activities at Alfa. Its president, Dr. Aldo Fascetti, saw an opportunity to meaningfully challenge Fiat and tried to facilitate progress in the negotiations, going as far as discussing possibilities for technology-sharing between the two companies (such as Alfa engines in the Floride and Estafette van) and combining dealer networks across the world, particularly in Brazil where both companies were big players. Pierre Dreyfus and Fascetti both dreamed of making the Project 115 (which became the Renner 16) a Franco-Italian collaboration. But, the Milanese company itself was a lot more guarded. It saw only trouble in an association with Renault, considered a builder of sturdy, popular, practical vehicles, with none of the sporting flair of its own products. Dr Mangano, the chief, was even less enthusiastic about his own engineers working on the development of an 8-900cc small car of low performance, supposedly built at a rate of 1000 units per day and sold at the price of a Fiat. Nevertheless, he didn’t have a lot of say in the matter and on 1st October 1958, he signed an agreement to assemble the Renault Dauphine in the Portello, Milan factory and to sell Alfa cars through the Renault dealer network. The agreement covered an initial period of 8 years. However, it would very quickly start going pear-shaped.

 

VHtllxO.png

 

4th June 1959, the alfa dealers received their first Dauphine models ‘Italianised’ by a few external details and they got a warm welcome among customers for whom a Fiat 600 was too small and an 1100 too big. IN this early phase of the cooperation, a sort of ‘gentlemans agreement’ seemed to be holding but the death of Dr. Fascetti in 1960 and his replacement by a Giuseppe Petrilli destroyed the fragile balance. This man was close to the Agnelli family and was keen to defend their interests against these insolent Frenchies by bringing in a crew of yes men. The first of these was Giuseppe Luraghi, back at Alfa after a secondment to Lanerossi. 7th April 1961, in a meeting with Pierre Dreyfus, Bernard Vernier-Pallez and Maurice Bosquet, he explained why he didn’t want to assemble the new Renault 4: “It will be extremely difficult for us to market and sell a car that directly competes with Fiat, thus potentially reducing Italian production and causing job losses. Alfa Romeo therefore cannot be complicit in this activity by making its sales network available to Renault”. The collaboration was now being buffeted by countless external influences. Everything was now subject to interminable negotiation. Renault backed off on the production site and allowed the R4 to be built at the Pomigliano site, near Naples, which was a key part of the Italian government’s strategy of Industrial Decentralisation. In return, Renault was granted access to a dealer network separate to Alfa Romeo in which it could sell its R4 model. Furthermore the duration of the collaboration was extended to February 1972.

 

n1eOqsy.png

There was nothing to match the R4's versatility on the Italian market, especially at this end of the market. The large hatch and low sill make loading a piece of cake.

 

                  Thus, everything was in place for the last act in this convoluted and slightly farcical story. At Pomigliano d’Arco, the first R4’s began dropping off the end of the production line. ‘Dropping off’ is not an insult, in view of the horrendous numbers of quality defects found on these cars. In a letter dated 4th July 1963, Mr Siouffi of the R.N.U.R (no idea what that is) wrote to Alfa’s executive team that he’d counted “142 defects, against 139 in January”. He deplored the “persistence of recurring problems, particularly relating to the application of mastic, internal paintwork, sealing …. very clearly inadequate on the first seven cars tested, (upper door seals, quarter windows, screen vents, battery box, pedal box)….” He lists the most serious worries “almost systematic clash between the OSF door and doorframe, sliding window latches not working, tracking out, malformed front wheelarches, steering column not centred properly, driveshaft boot perforated, fixing screw missing from starter motor cable…” He concluded his report in a brusque manner and listed an average of 10.7 defects per car against 8.8 in January, and 3.3 of which were severe enough to render a car unfit for sale.

Confronted with this, the production department took its time in responding. It does so in note PR/1981 dated 12th October 1963, copied also to the President Director General of Alfa Igninio Alloisio and cynically headed: “Obstacles raised by Renault to the production of the R4 model”. The document states, for example “The screw 10 220 808 09 supplied for fastening the front bumpers (2 per car) is not correct, havng a 90mm length instead of 80mm. This slows down assembly as we have to use washers to compensate”. Another note with the same date on, complains that with bulletin no. 57 Renault introduces a modification to the tailgate lock. No-one has mentioned this to us and we have not been supplied with the dedicated too for this operation. This is why we have supplied vehicles incomplete in this area”.

 

IYlZtI2.png

1) This 'Cipa' mirror is pop-riveted onto the A-pillar.

2) ON the front wings, small circular repeaters are fitted. These are obligatory for the italian market. They're marked Carello.

3) Only one lock on the car - on the drivers door

4) The only Alfa identifier on the whole car - the chassis plate in the engine bay.

 

                  Paris accuses Pomigliano, who in turn accuse Paris. And what about Milan? It was kicking off there because the R4 production rate was a fraction of that specified in the schedule from Renault. The 29th of March, 1963, the engineer Sassi, responsible for the Naples factory, was invited to correct the situation quickly, and if not, wrote M. Casseville, “I will be obliged to begin directly importing vehicles which will have the effect of ending production at Pomigliano”. In truth, it was already a done deal, as a new tax calculated on the length of a car rather than its engine capacity (a Fiat idea, surprise surprise) has sounded the death knell for the R4; it measures 3.66m and the Fiat 850, its direct competitor, 3.57m. 9cm which make the difference between a tax-exempt small car, and a heavily taxed ‘medium’ car.

 

 

rbmnIpA.png

1) Marco shows us the button that pops the bonnet open

2) Just a simple rod to support the open rear hatch

3) The rear lights are special Italian-market items. They look suspiciously similar to those on the Fiat 500 Giardiniera

 

Through 1964, Renault therefore cancelled production of the R4 and the Dauphine, selling cars off until stocks fizzled out in 1966. And after this abortive effort to get ‘embedded’ in the Alfa dealer network, the French company retreated back across the Alps and left the Italian car market to the Italians, having built 41,809 Renault 4’s of two different models: an R4 1120 with panelled rear quarter windows, and an R4 R1123 with glazed ones, both fitted with the 845cc engine of the R4 Super. The ‘Italianisation’ was limited to a few aesthetic touches; Carello lights and indicators, dedicated tail lights similar to those of the Fiat 500 Giardinera, with a wider steel base, small quarter bumpers, indicator repeaters lifted from the Alfa Giulietta saloon, and an Italian fusebox. And that’s more or less it. No Alfa badging on the front or rear. Though the Dauphine appeared in contemporary Alfa literature, the R4 never did. It remained a Renault, the brochures discreetly mentioning that that the car is built in the Pomigliano d’Arco site and that its sales are handled jointly by Renault and alfa Romeo. As discreet in fact as the motoring press of the time who seemed to be almost completely unaware of the car. The only Italian road test of the R4 in period was not even of the Italian version, but a 747cc French model. It appeared in the March (doesn’t say what year) edition of Quattroruote, over 24 pages, which talked of the forthcoming assembly at the Naples site which “should profit from the technical expertise of Alfa Romeo to facilitate the introduction of a model of unexpected technical characteristics, which has no equivalent in Italy or the rest of the world”.

 

 

pg06RJu.png

1) Italian market R4's get the 'full fat' 845cc engine

2) Hardcore fans might notice the revised gear linkagem adopted form chassis 75092 of the R.1123 model to improve precision

 

 

The only reference to the Italian heritage is found under the bonnet, on the black plate riveted to the bulkhead, giving the chassis number and homologation number. To be even clearer, the Italian R4 was more of a CKD set-up (built from imported components) than a true locally-produced car. The example of Marco Peverelli was registered in April 1963 in the administrative region of Turin, and sold new by the Renault dealer Michaelangelo Berruto of Cirié, as testified by the rear wndow sticker. “I saw an advert for it in 2010”, explains Marco. “it was only 20km or so from my house and seller had had it for 10 years. He said it was clean, but it was much better than I expected. Its been repainted, and the seats replaced with more modern ones, but the original tube-frame seats had been kept. Unlike most of the Italian R4’s, this one has 6v electrics, like the French versions. This doesn’t help its usability, with barely visible indicators and headlights what seem like they have sunglasses on. But, being well-maintained, the car starts immediately via a rotary switch under the steering column. The single key serves only to lock the passenger door and the tailgate. Did someone say rustic? Its all good though, including a pedal box which, for the Italian that I am, has an interesting feature: I get the impression that when I press the clutch pedal, the brake pedal moves too?!?!?! Of course, they share the same pedal shaft, but I needed to look a little closer. In fact, I really struggled to find a seating position that actually worked and was comfortable. The tubular seat frames really stuck into my shoulder blades and the seat base offers no support at all. I find the driving postion more ‘atypical’ than comfortable, far from the Alfas that I’m used to. But the strangest is elsewhere, in the ratios of the 3-speed gearbox. I love the umbrella gearknob and its impressive precision despite the heavy convoluted mechanism between it and the selector forks. But I amazed by the gaping hole that exists between 2nd and 3rd gears. So much so that I quiz Marco about whether I am actually driving it properly and not missing an extra ratio. “No, no, theres defo only 3” he says. Thankfully 2nd is just about tall enough that, driving round town at least, you can more or less avoid completely bogging the engine down in top.

 

0aszdcF.png

1) Tubular-framed seats with a simple stretch fabric cover & webbing straps stapled and hooked in position

2) This tiny mirror is fixed on the dashboard

3) cream-coloured rocker switches for the wipers and heater fan

4) Easily-regonisable 1st-gen Renault 4 features: Manual washer pump on the dash, handbrake with no moulded handle, rotary starter switch; but the fusebox is an Italian-market special

 

I’ve driven loads of Renner 4’s in the past. But always more modern and more powerful. IN this one, you’re not going to be driving with any ‘swagger’. Despite the good shock absorbers and sharp steering, it’s still a fairly tall box with the drag coefficient of a shoe box which is thus susceptible to large reactions; most of them vertical. At times I feel like I’m on a see-saw, the springiness of the seats only adding to the phenomenon. I notice also that its better to stomp the brakes on entering a corner, transferring weight to the front thus keeping the front wheels from understeering terribly as they are prone to do. I remember once in an R4, managing to get two wheels off the road, and making the mistake of braking while steering into the corner. This manoeuvre ultimately left me and the car upside down in a most undignified manner. A fitting parable for the story of the R4 in Italy. Unlike Renault though, After the incident I got straight back behind the wheel of….. a Lancia.

 

 

gEsgE09.png

 

Alfisti to the core!!!!

 

When you have an Alfista's soul, like professional accountant Marco from Lesmo, you're up for collecting any interesting model from the marque, even if its a tiny blip in the company's history. Such is the case with this 4L, the oldest in his collection, which sits alongside the much more classical Alfasud & Alfetta models seen in previious Gazoline issues, plus a good cross-section of Alfas post war cars. "Waht always amuses me is the reacions of my friends when i rock up in this Renault" says Marco. "We thought you were an Alfa man", they always say. "So I pop the bonnet and point them towards the alfa chassis plate. That shuts them up!!!!!"


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#210 OFFLINE   Zantimisfit

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:35 PM

Alfa didn't just build the Renault 4. No this was a relationship to be exploited to the full, so we also had the Alfa Romeo Dauphine and the Alfa Romeo "honestly its not a Renault 8", Renault 8 with a rather nice restyle to distinguish it from its rather common French relation (not sure this ever got made...but it should have)  

 

Dauphine-07-1.jpg

 

Alfa%20Renault%20(7).jpg


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