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Bench seat

La Poste

Enthusiast
Messages
100
Bonjour,

I was helping a friend empty his barn the other day, and found what looks like it could be a front bench seat from an early (3-speed) R4. Somewhere I've got an enormous pile of old R4 brochures, which of course are ideal for positively identifying such things, but goodness knows where..... I asked a couple of my cats whether they thought it was from an R4, but they weren't much help (clearly they're not related to Clementine) and just left a trail of footprints on it. Can anyone confirm its identity, and if it is from an R4 does anyone want it? It's a bit grubby, but should clean up fairly easily.

La Poste
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Staff member
Messages
4,299
Location
Bedford UK
I thought maybe I was becoming a bit obsessive about Renault 4 bench seats, so it's good to find others who share my interest. I had a look at my 1963 handbook and there is a drawing of a bench seat:

bench-seat.jpg


The drawing is from the other side, but the seat frame does look very similar. I'd say you have a bona-fide Renault 4 bench seat there. I think the cats probably knew - you've just got to know how to ask them. Believe me - frogs are worse.

:clementi:
 

Mr Jelly

Enthusiast
Messages
57
Just had a look in the Album Renault 4 book, and yes it does indeed appear identical to the front bench seat from an early R4....
 

Pieter

Enthusiast
Messages
74
Looks very like the one on the '64 model I had. That was the cheapy version and I think you'll find it in R4 parts catalogues for some markets until the seventies. I'll go and have a look. Not the "deluxe" one though. If you're not careful getting in you can comprehensively 'Nad yourself on the sideframe! But are you sure its not a bench for a small Citroen? Wouldn't surprise me if they had something similar.
 

La Poste

Enthusiast
Messages
100
It's definitely not from a Citroen (one of my 2CVs has a front bench, and although superficially quite similar, when you put them side by side they are very different), so it looks like my suspicions were correct. All I need now is an early sixties R4 to go with it. Actually, there is a garage up the road with an early (pre-68) bonnet on its rubbish pile - perhaps I should build one from period parts.... :idea:
 

Liam4R4SPARES

Enthusiast
Messages
208
I may be wrong but i am sure its a pre 65 van seat.Very rare but also not exactly sort after unless you own a pre 65 van . I have spoken to a owner of a very rare early van in the U.K [a 63] it sits in the open unused and rotting. he refuses to sell it but that about it on the early commercial front that i know of in the U.K.
The seat is definately worth saving as is the early bonnet you mention.
 

La Poste

Enthusiast
Messages
100
That's very interesting (wish I could find my brochure collection to confirm it, but it sounds like you know your stuff!). Maybe I should put it in my post office van, although the van being an '87 model it would probably look a bit out of place. Anyway, fear not, it won't be thrown away - one of the advantages of old French farmhouses is having plenty of space to store old junk, er... priceless French automotive history... :wink: Next time I go past the garage I might stop to have a look at the bonnet to see whether it's worth saving, although knowing the general disdain with which most French garages and scrapyards look down on old R4s they probably folded it in half when they removed it from the car...

On the subject of early R4 vans, I seem to recall seeing a blue F4 in the paddock at the Goodwood Revival a few years ago . I can't remember whether it had the pre- or post-1968 front (it definitely didn't have a plastic grille), but I'm sure it had a 1960s registration. I don't think it was a genuinely old one though, as I'm sure it had a plastic vent under the windscreen rather than the nicer metal flap, and possibly even post-1983 hidden door hinges... Does anyone know anything about it?
 

Mr Jelly

Enthusiast
Messages
57
Think it was actually a 1983/4 F4 with all the relevant old bits. Looked quite nice though....
 
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