In the 50ties these little cars participated in the most glorious races across Europe. Not only did they participate, they even won their classes or the overall races. And we are talking LeMans, Rally Monte Carlo and the Mille Miglia.
This is a Renault 4CV has a Gordini engine and Mille Miglia race history.
This 1955 Renault 4CV has an interesting story to tell. It started its life as a daily driver in France. It has stickers dating from that time (Proof of insurance and an Automobile Club de l’Ouest sticker on the front window). Little is known of the early days, but the condition and the milage prove that this has been a cherished car. From being a friendly family wagon it became a full-blown road racer. The previous owner (from 1991) wanted to participate in the re-enactment of the Mille Miglia.
Also the new Mille Miglia is a very tough road race. If you want to participate in the race the car must be older than 1957 and needs to be the same model as previously raced at the original Mille Miglia. A registro guarantees the eligibility of the car for the modern re-enactment of the race, which takes place every year in the month of May.
The Renault 4CV participated and competed in the 1956 Mille Miglia driven by Jean Rédéle and co-driver Louis Pons.
Jean Rédéle created the well-known brand Alpine in 1955 after falling in Love with the handling of the Renault through the Alps at the Coupe de Alps.
This car was built as a tribute to the Rédéle car in the early 90ties. Both blue and 1955/56 models. To be able to cope with the hard race, the engine was changed to a Gordini engine which was rebuilt and tuned. The Gordini engine with 850 cc is fitted with 30/32 Weber carburettors, a sports camshaft, a special manifold/ header and sports exhaust (Build by the exhaust guru Jack “The pipe” Stenslet)as well as a modified inlet manifold. Bringing the original power up from 21 BHP at 4,100 rpm to over 45 BHP at about 5500 rpm. The engine is very strong at all rpm´s and the sound is really good. It feels like Renaults take on Fiat Abarth.
An rpm counter from Lucas was fitted at the dashboard, so the engine does not get over-revved. Sports shock absorbers on all corners, a new four speed gear box, New Dauphine 4,5 x15 wheels with Barum 155×15 classic tires, disc brakes on all corners and more comfortable Corbau GT sports seats (seventies style) for driver and navigators’ comforts. The previous owner passed away, so papers documenting the modifications has not yet to be found.
The car was imported to Norway in 1992 and did the re-enactment of the Mille Miglia Storica in 1993 and 1994.
After that it was put into a 24 year-long-sleep until 2018. Some work that had been done after the sleeping beauty slumber.
- Fuel system cleaned (inclusive the tank) and hoses changed
- New fuel pump and new clamps
- Changed to a second-hand twin choke Weber 30/32 carburettor and adjusted it
- Adapted custom KN airfilter
- Greased suspension
- New plugs, leads, condensator, points and distributor cap/ rotor
- Adjusted the ignition
- Cleaned, rubbed, polished and detailed the car´s body
- Cleaned the interior
- Mounted yellow Carello extra lights for night stages
- Serviced brakes and check discs and pads.
Brakes and suspension are in excellent condition. There is hardly any wear on discs at all. The car rides nice and responds to the steering quickly.
Here is a Video of the newly upholstered Interior.
The Body is in very good condition. There is no visible rust under or over except a small hole at the front of the spare tire well (smaller than a penny). The paint has a nice vintage feeling and the right shine. It is repainted but that must have been done at least 25 years ago. Of course, there are some small signs of use. The right rear wing has been painted later (is showing a little more gloss than the rest of the paint). There are a few small dents, but overall the patina is great. The chrome work is mostly good, but the bumpers and some bright ware show some pitting. Doors fit good and door cards are nice but could need some detailing/ cleaning. Under the rear wings (with original paint) some paint has fallen off. This shows shiny metal. This was not repainted to show the rust free and good condition the metal is in. The underside is in very good and rust free condition with no dents after stones or similar.
The headlining is original and very nice; the dash is in very good condition. Instruments are in good nick with great patina. Rear seats are original and in good condition.
Electrics are excellent (Everything works, inner lights, instruments, lights, horns etc.). The rear lights glass the red is a little faded. The reflectors are all good.
Rims have fresh paint and no damages. The tires are correct vintage look with good thread.
The engine and gearbox work very well. The engine starts easy on the button with good oil pressure. The four-speed gearbox works as it should with no grinds or synchromesh problems. However, as on most old cars a little oil is shown on the garage floor when storing the car.
This Renault 4CV can be used as is and is ready to start a road race tomorrow. It is a rare opportunity to compete in the re-enactment of the Mille Miglia for a reasonable cost or just enjoy on the road and vintage meetings for fun. The car is great to drive and gives you tumbs up wherever you go.
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