The Renault R8 was a squared off version of the curvy Dauphine (from where it borrowed its mechanical components) and is known for its crazy R8 Gordini .
The R8 used a Beetle style rear engine / rear drive setup but is an odd
car to find on the road today and just odd enough to qualify as cool. Find this 1966 Renault R8 offered for $7,500 in Orange County, CA via craigslist. Tip from Randall B.
The R8 will turn heads at any automotive gathering, not because it is exceptionally styled, but simply because it is seldom seen on the road today. It would be tempting to turn this into a Gordini clone…and if you don’t feel that way, just watch this video about G-Day and you will by the end.
Tucked away behind the rear swing axle setup that would make Ralph Nader blush is a 956cc Cléon-Fonte inline-4 that was rated at 51 horsepower. It isn’t a paradigm of power and virtue, but it will push the 1700 lb sedan around enough that you will appreciate the 4-wheel disc brakes.
This particular R8 has the dreaded push-button automatic transmission, a device that resembles a 3-speed manual, but uses a ferromagnetic coupler to automatically declutch the engine from the trans and allow herky-jerky gear changes. The system is entirely electromechanical (unlike VW’s Autostick purgatory practice device) and might be novel for a few minutes.
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