1963 Renault R4L (Alfa Romeo)
chasiss no. 3785205 - engine no. 48650
- The highest selling French car in the world, produced for more than 30 years.
- Rare version produced in Italy by Alfa Romeo.
- A treat for collectors of the brand.
- Restored, in excellent condition.
- Simple, versatile & reliable.
Continuing the by now legendary French rivalry between Louis Renault and André Citroën, the Renault R4 (since 1965, simply Renault 4) was created to challenge its main rival, the revolutionary Citroën 2CV. It was specifically at the request of Renault’s president, Pierre Dreyfus, that the 112 code-project was launched under precise instructions of the president and entrusted to Fernand Picard. The new Renault R4 was presented in 1961. The Renault R4 was a revolutionary and very versatile car, making the best use of space and making loading much easier, with its large tailgate and removable rear bench. It was a utility car but also a sort of "crossover" vehicle ante litteram. Its flexibility in terms of space, it’s comfort, its ability to move on all terrain without effort combined with its low cost soon assured the car worldwide success at; just think that it was assembled in 27 different countries in Europe, Africa, South America and Australia and allowed Renault to become Europe’s leading manufacturer in 1977. 1992 marked the end of the car's career, after more than eight million units produced and a 30-year career. It was one of the most beloved and well-known cars in the world.Between 1959 and 1964, Alfa Romeo and Renault were the protagonists in a revolutionary joint-venture: the first in which an Italian car company participated. The goal was the introduction of a foreign brand into the Italian market, then protected by high import duties, and to snatch a slice of customers from the hegemony of Fiat in the small car segment. The industrial agreement initially involved the Dauphine and then, in 1962, the new and spacious utility car with rear door was launched on the Italian market. The Renault R4 assembled in Italy was produced by a company set up ad hoc, the Sviluppo Automobilistico Meridionale spa of Naples, in the Portello plant and in the former aeronautical plant of Pomigliano d'Arco. The result in terms of sales were more than flattering, with over 10,000 units in 1962 alone, placing the new company in third place in the Italian market, immediately after Fiat and Alfa Romeo itself. These results were enough to alert the leaders of the other Italian car manufacturers, who put pressure on the government to introduce a new tax, based on the length and width of vehicles. Taxation designed specifically to hit the R4, which at the time was larger than the others of the category, which included Fiat 600 and 500. Renault refused to take on the burden of the higher taxation, ended the Italo-French partnership and the production of the R4 Alfa Romeo. In 1968 S.A.M. was dissolved becoming Renault Italia, while in Pomigliano d'Arco was laid the first stone of the new large car plant of Alfasud.
The Renault R4L (Alfa Romeo), chassis no. 3785205, is one of 41,809 cars produced by Alfa Romeo for Renault, registered in 1963. You can still admire its original colour "Blue Ile de France" with gray fabric interior. The Italian-made Renault R4 used a very small part of Alfa Romeo components but shares the specifications of the original model: the supporting structure is a separate flatbed chassis on side struts, it is equipped with a "Billancourt" engine, a 4-cylinder in-line side cam, in the 845 cc version for a power of 30 hp, originally derived from that of the Renault Dauphine. The cooling system is innovative, with a sealed circuit and an expansion tank. The 3-speed gear lever is in the characteristic, and unusual, position emerging from the centre of the dashboard at the height of the steering wheel; this is due to the particular arrangement of the gearbox itself, located on the front (driving) wheels, in front of the engine, for better weight balance. The equipment is spartan but functional and the comfort is still high, thanks to the long work of design and refinement of the independent suspensions, able to deal with even the most uneven terrain. The "L" version of the R4 was distinguished by its equipment: the pivoted third side window, wider range of colours available, chrome-plated wheel cover, chrome-plated grille and better interior fittings with interior door coverings, better seat coverings, passenger sun visor and ashtray. By 1962 it had received a new blade shaped bumper (replacing the earlier tubular version). The Renault R4L (Alfa Romeo), chassis no. 3785205 has undergone a partial restoration that has mainly concerned the bodywork and is in excellent condition. It can be recognized externally, as Alfa Romeo production, for the rear lights, similar to those of the Fiat 500 Giardiniera. Inside the engine compartment, in addition to the Renault plates identifying type and chassis number, there is also the Alfa-Romeo one, which shows the model, type and no. of Italian homologation. The car is equipped with an engine of the correct type 800.01 and is still registered with the original black plates of the province of Brescia. It is ASI certified.
State of the Art
Partially Restored. Excellent condition.
- Thibaut Amant, Pierre-Yves Gaulard, Renault 4, Un losange a toute epreuve, E.t.a.i., France 2011
- Serge Defradat, Renault 4, Un fabuleux destin, Du May, France 2011
Certificates and statements
Original Italian registration and license plates from 1963.
Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
Targa Florio. Eligible.-
Goodwood Revival. Eligible.
Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Eligible
Tour Auto. Eligible.
Le Mans Classic. Eligible.
Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
Coppa delle Alpi by 1000 Miglia. Eligible.
Winther Marathon. Eligible.
Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.