Tag Archives: Dakar

Inspired By Dad – KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck

In 1969 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided that a new plant for manufacturing supersized vehicles was to be built in Naberezhnye Chelny which is now in the Republic of Tatarstan a federal subject of Russia.

The first trucks started rolling out of the KamAZ, Kamskiy Avtomobilny Zavod – Kama Automobile Plant, facility in 1976 and since then the company has built over 2,000,000 vehicles.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

It’s factories are now also found in; Afghanistan, Chile, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

KAMAZ has also built an enviable reputation on the Dakar Rally where it’s T4 competition vehicles have won the Truck class of the Dakar Rally 14 times.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Today’s featured 20,000lb / 9071 kgs KAMAZ T4 is powered by a 17.2 litre / 1049cui turbocharged diesel V8 that produces 730hp mounted behind the front axle that drives all four wheels through a sixteen speed gearbox.

Suspension is by leaf springs, 15 on each corner at the front and 10 leaves on each corner at the rear, which are supplemented by Reider Racing shock absorbers.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The cargo area carries two fuel cells with a combined capacity of 230 gallons / 1000 litres with tools and spares supplemented by two 50″ Michelin XZL tyres mounted on 20″ wheels, the tyre pressures on the truck are monitored and adjustable from with in the cab.

The #507 seen here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was driven to victory in the 2015 Dakar Rally by Ayrat Mardeev, Aydar Belyaev and Dmitriy Svistunov ahead of two more KAMAZ crew’s who finished 2nd and 3rd with a 4th KAMAZ place 5th.

KAMAZ T4 Dakar Truck, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Ayrat Mardeev who was competing on his 4th Dakar Rally is the son of Ilgizar Mardeev a former KAMAZ Rally Raid driver killed in a quad bike accident in 2014, Aydar Belyaev the navigator was the most senior member of the KAMAZ team while mechanic Dmitriy Svistunov was taking part in his first Dakar Rally.

Thanks for joining me on this “Inspired By Dad” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t for get 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 !