Tag Archives: 4

Neither Nor – Renault 16

While Citroën was busy trying to develop a suitably innovative vehicle known as Projet F with a wankel motor and torsion bar suspension to fit between it’s successful small 2CV and and successful large DS models Renault’s Gaston Juchet was developing today’s featured Renault 16 with an aluminium straight 4 motor and torsion bar suspension for exactly the same market.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

Like the Renault 4 launched in 1961 the 16 featured front wheel drive, umbrella stick gear change and an asymmetrical wheelbase thanks to the torsion bar suspension.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

Another similarity with the smaller Renault sibling was the five door body style, neither car was offered with anything else for private use, though in the case of the 16 the rear door was noticeably more inclined toward the front.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

Motoring Illustrated in May 1965 reported that “The Renault Sixteen can thus be described as a large family car but one that is neither a four door saloon (sedan) and nor is it quite an estate (wagon). But, importantly, it is a little different.”

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

The important neither nor word the journalist was struggling for was of course “hatchback” a term that was not coined as a body style until the early 1970’s.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

European Journalists were so impressed with the Renault 16 that it became the first French car, after the Rover 2000 and Austin 1800, to named European Car of The Year in 1966.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

Initially the Sixteen was launched in Grand Luxe and Super variants both powered by a 1470cc / 89 cui motor producing 54 hp.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

At the 1968 Geneva Motor Show the TS version was launched with a 1565cc / 95 cui engine, an all-new instrument panel that included; a tachometer, water temperature gauge, two-speed windscreen wipers, column shift, rear defroster, passenger reading light, and optional electric powered windows.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

In 1970 no less a luminary than Stirling Moss was quoted as saying “”There is no doubt that the Renault 16 is the most intelligently engineered automobile I have ever encountered and I think that each British motorcar manufacturer would do well to purchase one just to see how it is put together”.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

By the time production of the facelifted Renault 16 ceased in 1980 over 1.8 million examples had been built, and most European manufacturers had a similar 5-door hatchback in their showrooms.

Renault 16 TS, Cotham, Bristol,

It is said that when the Renault 16 was launched Citroën cancelled it’s Projet F because of the similarities of the 16 and F amid rumours of industrial espionage, however these remain unfounded possibly in the light of the similarities of the Renault 4 and 16, possibly because the truth was the planned Wankel engine Citroën hoped to use could not be made as reliable as they would have liked.

Unlikely as it may seen among my earliest motor racing memories was seeing a Renault 16 being raced in Zambia at typically Gaulish angles on the corners by a chap called de Decker who tried in vain to keep up with a similarly standard Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV driven by Sergio Pavan at Nchanga.

The left hand drive non UK spec ’68 model year Renault 16 TX seen in these photographs taken in Bristol was not registered in the UK until October 2008.

Thanks for joining me on this “Neither Nor” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Rising To The Top Again – Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan

With the dropping of the Park Lane and Montclair models in 1961 the the fifth generation Monterey was reinstated at the top of the Mercury model range when it was launched in 1961.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Styling of the new Monterey was similar to the 1961 2nd Generation Ford Galxie but with many detail differences in the trim detailing which was more refined on the Mercury.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Initiallly a choice of either 4.8 litre / 292 cui Y-block, or 5.8 litre / 352 cui and 6.4 litre / 390 cui FE V8’s was offered.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

The engine choice was supplemented for the 1962 model year only with a 3.7 litre / 223 cui Milage Maker straight six for the 135 hp Monterey Six for “Top of the line luxury and power for the big car man”.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

The big luxurious Mercury with a 120″ wheel base was offered with 2 doors in hard top and convertible form and three 4 door
versions were estate/wagon, pillarless hard top and sedan.

Mercury Monterey 4 Door Sedan, Goodwood Revival,

Today’s featured 1962 Sedan, seen at Goodwood Revival some years ago, is powered by a 5.8 litre / 352 cui motor FE motor that in this application were marketed as a Marauder engine up until 1962 after which it was marketed as the Monterey pending the arrival of the bigger 6.7 litre / 406 cui motors for the 1963 model year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rising To The Top Again” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


’64 TdF Class Winner – Triumph Spitfire

To keep development costs down the Triumph Spitfire was based on the Triumph Herald chassis and running gear and like the Herald the bodywork was designed by Giovanni Michelotti.

Despite the unrivaled demand for British Sports cars it was a sign of the times that Triumph had to wait until it merged with Leyland before the Triumph Spitfire 4, later known as the Spitfire Mk1 could go into production in 1962.

Triumph Spitfire, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

For the 1964 season Triumph built four Spitfires in pale blue for the works and one in pale green for Stirling Moss to take part in tarmac based rallies alongside the four green Spitfires built for endurance racing at Le Mans.

Stirling Moss entered his light green Spitfire for his secretary Valerie Pirie in five events of which she only recorded a finish on the 1965 Tulip Rally.

Triumph Spitfire, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Of the rally cars today’s featured car ADU 7B was the most successful having taken part in 5 events from ’64 to ’65.

Rob Slotemaker and Terry Hunter won their class driving ADU 7B on the 1964 Tour de France and Terry Hunter drove with P Lier in the co drivers seat of ADU 7B to finish second overall and first in class on the 1964 Geneva Rally.

Triumph Spitfire, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

In 1965 an additional left hand drive Spitfire was built for Finish works driver Simo Lampinen.

It is believed ADU 7B is the only survivor of the series of Spitfires built for rallying.

Triumph Spitfire, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Mark Field of Jigsaw who was responsible for the recreation of the ADU 1B Le Mans racer found ADU 7B and restored it to it’s current condition which included returning the steering wheel to right where it had been when used by the Triumph works.

Thanks for joining me on this ” ’64 TdF Class Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Goodwood Revival #2 – Rover 2000TC

Welcome to the 365th edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ when I started this blog one year ago I thought I might struggle to make it last a week, I can’t quite believe that my enthusiasm now is stronger than it was then, this is in no small part due to every one of the 44,000 plus hits that I have had from over 20,000 views.

I’d like to thank every one who has popped by, all those who have left comments and especially all those who have generously given, tickets, invitations, time and effort donating photographs details on the vehicles and stories for me to publish. Over the next couple of weeks I will be powering up a dedicated GALPOT website for these blogs, all of the existing blogs will be kept on line, you will receive timely updates as the new website progresses.

Today’s car the Rover 2000TC is a personal favourite, identical to a little Corgi model I had that featured jewel head lights, a sky roof and golden jacks so that I could swap the wheels. I must have driven that toy Rover 2000TC several hundred thousand miles on my hands and knees and changed the wheels several thousand times too.

Rover 2000 TC, Goodwood Revival

Launched in 1963 the Rover 2000 was originally supplied with 104 hp single carburettor 4 cylinder motor, by 1966 Rover launched an export model with a more powerful 124 hp Twin Carburettor (TC) motor.

Rover 2000 TC, Goodwood Revival

Initially the 2000TC was only made available to export markets, officially because the twin carb manifolds were in short supply and because of a 70 mph speed limit introduced in the UK in 1965.

Rover 2000 TC, Goodwood Revival

Six months after the 2000 TC was launched supply of twin carburettor inlet manifolds improved and the 2000 TC was made available in Britain.

Rover 2000 TC, Goodwood Revival

Unlike rivals like the Citroen DS and Triumph 2000 the heavily sculpted rear seats of the P6 meant only two passengers could be carried in the back.

Rover 2000 TC, Goodwood Revival

The de Dion rear suspension used in the construction of the P6 limited the amount of space in the boot and many P6’s used to carry a spare tyre wrapped in a purpose made vinyl bag, on top of the boot lid.

Additional P6 blogs can be found on the following links, P6 Cabriolet, P6 2200SC, P6 Estoura.

Thanks for joining me on this 1st anniversary edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again for the 366th edition tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Asymmetrical Anniversary – Renault 4 GTL

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With the demise of the Renault 4CV in 1961, Renault needed a new utility vehicle to compete with the ubiquitous if agricultural Citroen 2CV which had been in production since 1948.

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Renault Chairman Pierre Dreyfus came up with an urban vehicle that was superior to the 2CV in almost every aspect in the form of the front wheel drive Renault 4.

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Built from 1961 to 1994 the Renault 4 was powered by a variety of motors from 747 cc 45.6 cui to 1300 cc 78.7 cui all water cooled in line 4 cylinder engines. In the first year there was a baby R4 with a 603 cc 36.7 cui engine marketed in France only as the R3.

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Over 8,300,000 Renault 4’s were built, the 1st million had been built by 1966 in just over four years. Renault 4 was built / assembled at Billancourt, France in Australia, Spain, Belgium, Colombia, Slovenia, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Ireland, Morocco, Algeria and from 1965 to 1964 41, 809 R4’s were built under licence by Alfa Romeo in Italy.

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Few people outside Renault and the motor industry realise that the Renault 4 has an asymmetrical wheel base with the left hand rear wheel being mounted just ahead of the right rear because each wheel is sprung by its own torsion bar mounted across the width of the chassis.

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Like the 2CV the Renault 4 has a box chassis unlike the 2CV the R4’s chassis stiffness is dependant on all the body panels being attached.

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A 20hp Renault 4 was entered in the 1962 Monre Carlo Rally in which it was classified last, an all wheel drive Sinpar version came 3rd in the 1980 Paris Dakar Rally and to celebrate it’s 50th Birthday a team of three Renault 4’s were entered in the 2011 Monte Carlo Rally.

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Renault 4’s are great fun to drive with dash mounted umbrella gear sticks and hand brake levers,
happy Golden Anniversary Renault 4 !

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for reminding me of this anniversary.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s asymmetrical edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for another 50th Anniversary. Don’t forget to come back now !


Under US Influence – Morris Minor 4 dr

When the Morris Minor was launched in 1948 it featured headlights set either side of the radiator grill, making the car look rather like the scariest Sci Fi creatures known to man the ‘Cybermen‘.

In 1949 the Minor was introduced into the US market with the headlights set higher in the wings to meet US regulations giving us the Minor look that is familiar across much of the world today. All Morris Minors post 1951 featured the high mounted US spec lights that can be seen on this early Series II model from 1953.

The centre bonnet contours came about as a result of the car being widened by 4 inches between the prototype and production stages in 1948.

This early Series II model is powered by the same 30 hp Austin designed 803 cc / 49 cui motor as the late Series II Tourer featured yesterday. This engine all though a full 115 cc / 7 cui smaller than the original MM Series engine of 1948 – 1952 was 2.5 hp more powerful than its predecessor.

The extra power improved the Minors top speed performance from 58.7 mph to a full 63 mph, it could accelerate for the first time to 60 mph in just 52 seconds. These improved performance figures were traded against a 6 imperial mpg rise in fuel consumption from 42 mpg to 36 mpg.

One of the stranger things I remember as a child and vehicle passenger in the early sixties in Cyprus is wondering why vehicles ahead would often slow down for no apparent reason then veer into the centre of the road, this happened many times and most times just before the vehicle ahead came to a complete stop in the middle of the road a funny orange coloured pointy thing would seemingly randomly suddenly appear somewhere on the right hand side of the vehicle.

This vertical piece of chrome in the B post is the top of one of those pointy things more commonly known as a Trafficator fully developed by Max Ruhl and Ernst Neuman in 1927 with internal illumination and solenoid operation.

Hard to believe indicators as we know them today on the four corners of the car did not become a legal requirement on new vehicles until the mid sixties in some parts of Europe, the Morris Minor made the switch from Trafficators to corner indicators in 1961.

I mentioned yesterday how the Tourer had big rear lights from 1962, here you can just how small these units would have been on the Tourer when it was new.

I hope you have enjoyed todays edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres, I’d like to wish all of my American readers and particularly all those who have actively contributed so much fun to this blog a Happy Thanksgiving.

Don’t for get to come back for a Ferrari Friday now !