|CHARLES lipscombe||01/08/2019 03:20:15|
|88 forum posts|
Re postings on another thread:
Is my somewhat unreliable memory playing tricks on me? I always understood that the Renault Dauphine was something of a disaster of a motor car with a dangerously poor weight distribution at the front end. Certainly one place I worked at, one of our people was blocked off in the parking lot when he wanted to go out at lunchtime. The problem was solved by two not particularly hefty blokes picking up the front end of the Dauphine and moving it aside.
I also thought that the insurance companies had refused to insure Renault Dauphines after a while because they were a) unreasonably represented in accident figures due to the weight distribution b) prone to catastrophic rust problems that compromised safety.
Anyone remember this?
|1108 forum posts|
My uncle had one in the sixties but soon replaced it. The Dauphine wasn't the only rear engine car of that time, both VW, Porsche and Fiat had rear engine cars, I remember the beetle could be tricky to drive on icy roads.
149 forum posts
Wasn't that the car that had the petrol tank right behind the front bumper?!
|Mick B1||01/08/2019 06:33:19|
|1151 forum posts|
There was a bit of a fashion for it - the Hillman Imp and NSU Prinz were also popular for a time.
|Michael Gilligan||01/08/2019 06:38:06|
13800 forum posts
People are remembering it through the mists of time, Charles
... and the rear-view mirror is rose-tinted
|Sam Longley 1||01/08/2019 06:55:07|
|719 forum posts|
The TV advert, a film of the car with a big box on the roof & the family inside.
"It holds the road whatever the load, it's the Renault Dauphine"
|John MC||01/08/2019 07:41:29|
173 forum posts
Well known for their ability to rust! I think it was an American journalist wrote that the corrosion problem was so bad you could almost hear them rusting!
|Michael Gilligan||01/08/2019 07:44:59|
13800 forum posts
Nice one, Sam
Thanks to the magic of t'internet ... I've just found the lyrics to two Dauphine adverts, here: **LINK**
Edit: Also found a great cut-away drawing here:
Edited By Michael Gilligan on 01/08/2019 07:54:35
|not done it yet||01/08/2019 08:24:20|
|3240 forum posts|
Too far back for me to remember, but Gran drove one in the middle 50’s - probably one of the very first imports. She actually drove it up to the farmhouse on occasions (Granddad was always dropped off at the farm gate -1/4 mile from the house - and worked Daisy, the old carthorse, one day a week). She likely drove up to the house to show off her new car. An uncle also had a new one a few years later, so they were likely reasonably safe for the era.
Most people did not tear around on the roads back then - just a very tiny minority with proper old sports cars. Cars of the 60s were the start of that - minis and cortinas that had sporty options after the 105E Anglia (with the ‘square’ engine) that was gutless unless revved hard - unless one dropped in a 1500GT engine from a Cortina.
The first rust-buckets I remember were the Fiats (of the early 60s?). The transverse engined, front wheel drive Mini/1100 comprehensively replaced the rear engined cars in the UK market, I reckon, although the beetle and Imp were still popular..
|David Standing 1||01/08/2019 08:28:01|
|1266 forum posts|
Exactly what I had - two successive 105E's with Cortina 1500/1650 engine transplants!
|Philip Burley||01/08/2019 08:49:39|
|122 forum posts|
a friend of my Dad;s had one , often gave me a lift in it , He never had any problem with it , Mind you it did rust away , but didn't they all at thaty time
|Chris Evans 6||01/08/2019 08:59:08|
|1448 forum posts|
I bought a rusty one for £3 to rob the tufnol timing gear from to put in my Renault 4. The rest was scrapped.
776 forum posts
In the 70’s I had a later reincarnation of the Dauphine, a Renault R8, similarly rear engined with a very boxy body and four disc brakes which was quite a novelty in the time for a small family car. The R8 served me well for a couple of years, never let me down and having graduated from a VW Beetle I found its roadholding to be above average for cars of that era. They seemed to have conquered the rust problems that afflicted the Dauphine, the only mechanical problem that I had was a squealing clutch release bearing which I replaced, an engine out job, so I de coked the engine whilst the engine was on the bench. All in all a very pleasant car to drive and I regretted moving on to a bigger car, increasing family dictated a large car, the replacement was a Ford Zephyr 4, now that was a rust bucket.
|not done it yet||01/08/2019 09:07:45|
|3240 forum posts|
Did your spring hangers finish up inside the boot? Ours did! The 1650 with twin Webber DCOE40 carbs went like the proverbial off a shovel!
The Anglias were fitted with cortina Mkll gearboxes and the early capri (swept back rear screen like the anglia) disc brakes (including servo) and suspension. Needed higher-rate springs as they virtually stood on end when braking hard! We were only starting modding them at that point. Cortinas and Mkl Escort mods followed...
|4592 forum posts|
That's my recollection! Some were worse than others: Alfa Romeo and early Mini's come to mind, but most British cars suffered due to salt on the road and no factory under-sealing. Not only did they rust, they were far too heavy.
I once watched my car being MOT'd while there was a pristine 1950's Austin in the other bay. The owners face when the mechanic punched holes through all the sills with the end of a wire-brush was a picture! Then the mechanic did the same underneath...
Fixing the rust problem is one of the triumphs of motor engineering. Today's cars are in a different league.
|278 forum posts|
Interesting, during a holiday early this year I came across a Renault car club rally in northern NSW, they were staying overnight in Inverell and doing day trips around the area. Saw a number of rear-engined R10's, R8's, and a couple of Caravelle (Floride in Australia) as well, along with front wheel drive R4's, R12's and R16's and other newer and older models, all being driven quite briskly on the open road and all seeming to be in relatively good condition. Obviously some had been lovingly restored but a few appeared to be in original condition with original number plates as well. Always thought the Floride was a pretty car, much nicer styling than the Karmann Ghia which would have been one of their rivals at the time.
|1314 forum posts|
I had a Dauphine in the 60s lovely little car, comfortable and no huge tunnel in the floor unlike some of its counterparts.
Mine had been heavily modded by a previous owner and was very quick but the engine always rattled loudly which had friends telling me it was knackered, soon changed their minds when I took them out in it!
Like most cars of its age there was a short time between servicing which you missed at your peril. I think the rear suspension arms had Webbbing straps to stop too much downward movement of the arm and if the webbing broke the wheel tried to tuck under in enthusiastic cornering.
Mine eventually wrecked its gearbox and because of the extensive rusting was not worth repairing, shame because it was great fun to drive and a real wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Anybody remember the Gordini versions?
Edited By V8Eng on 01/08/2019 10:44:05
Edited By V8Eng on 01/08/2019 10:44:21
|Howard Lewis||01/08/2019 15:15:51|
|2209 forum posts|
Like all rear engined cars, (VW Beetle, Skoda 100 Series, Hillman Imp , etc ), the weight distribution was predominantly over the rear wheels. gave marvellous traction in snow, but the steering got very light, sometimes to the point of non existence!
The risk with any swing axle rear was that if you lifted off in a corner, you would either make an unwanted visit to the scenery, or turn over, as the outer wheel dug in. (Triumph Heralds, and Spitfires being front engined, but swing rear axle were also prone to this.
The R8 and R10 had much better road holding, possibly due to better weight distribution.
The odd thing about the 850 cc R4 was that the engine rotated in the opposite direction to that in the 1100 cc R6TL, although the R6 used the R4 engine. The Fiat 600 and 850 were like this also, in having engines rotating in opposite directions!.
Presumably the fibre idler gears were used, as in the Ford Taunus V4, for noise reduction, but sadly, not for reliability!
|John Duncker 1||01/08/2019 19:51:20|
|32 forum posts|
I drove a recovery truck in the 60s. I can remember attending at least 3 overturned Dauphines each with rather bewildered drivers who could not understand what had happened when they lifted off on the roundabout.
|1314 forum posts|
You had to learn the driving characteristics of individual models in those days and adapt your driving to suit or find out the hard way!
No automatic stability control systems or anti lock braking etc, all down to the driver.
Edited By V8Eng on 01/08/2019 20:54:28
Please login to post a reply.
Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.
Click THIS LINK for full contact details.
For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.