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Réparateur d'automobiles

Chronicles of a Shabby Renault 4

Hello all, I've been here a while and not posted much but I suppose I best introduce my R4. I believe it's no stranger to these pages, having been owned by at least one forum member previously.

For a while I'd been feverishly searching online for a decent Renault Supercinq, having always had something of a thing for them. My eBay searching eventually led me to stumble upon a Renault 4 in Leeds, listed with a starting price of £1500 but with no bids. I was in the area anyway so thought I'd take a look out of morbid curiosity. Given the pictures made it look like a total no-hoper you can imagine my amazement when I arrived and found that - whilst aesthetically challenged - the little Renault was in remarkably good nick: the chassis was found to be in very good condition, as was the body, with the rust mostly confined to bolt-on panels. Even the rear suspension mounts appear to still exist. It proved to be mechanically sound for the most part, too, aside from a few 'characterful' bodges that will no doubt provide plenty of material for this thread in due course.

The seller, who'd been using the Renault every day to commute around West Yorkshire, was keen to be rid of it as it could no longer accommodate his growing number of grandchildren and he'd already sourced its replacement. Coupled with the complete lack of interest from anyone else - probably due to the aforementioned pictures - this meant I was able to make a lowball offer which was then accepted and I suddenly found myself a Renault 4 owner.

First impressions were all good. For the majority of the driving I do the R4 is perfect with its small dimensions, excellent handling and soft, loping suspension. Conforming, like all the GTL models, to Renault's late-70s/early-80s obsession with high torque and high gearing, it's surprisingly useful on Peak District hills and performs remarkably well on the open road. In fact, provided you don't do lots of motorway driving it's all the car you could ever need.

Not only are the seats great at carrying people, they're great for carrying bread and tomatoes too.

Naturally being a cheap Renault 4 there are some issues, perhaps the biggest being the absolutely appalling partial blowover it's had in that rather tedium-inducing shade of silver. In fact I don't think I've seen such a bad paintjob in a long time. Look at the interior shots and you'll notice the original colour was completely different (and substantially better). The plan is to paint it a nice, bright solid colour once summer arrives.

Let's take a look at some of the other bad bits.

The only major bit of grot on the bodyshell is here at the corner of the boot floor. The half-arsed filler job doesn't really improve matters.

Speaking of half-arsed filler jobs, this bit on the rear wing is a work of art. More worrying is that someone found that filler cap in any way an acceptable fitment.

The filler isn't the biggest problem with the rear wing, though.

Those bits aside, the only areas of grot on the body seem to be one a small hole on the front bulkhead and some surface corrosion on the bonnet, which is luckily still repairable.

Anyway, I'll cut this introductory post short here. In the next instalment I'll document some of the work that's been carried out on the R4 in the months since I bought it.


Great, it looks like another one is going to be given some love. Looking forward to seeing your progress :clapping:


Not normal for Norfolk
Wymondham Norfolk
This looks like a remarkably good purchase! It IS likely though the rear chassis will need some welding and those boot corners are a bugger to repair. But I can see great potential - feeling the urge to do another now:D


Pepper The One and Only!
Looks great, welcome to the forum, the joint between rear wing and body under the windows is really difficult to fix. Mines full of filler...

Metallic Renault 4's always rust worse than flat colours for some reason..

Good luck with the tidy up.