1966 Renault 10 R10 4 cylinder
I liked the R-10 so much I had two of them
I don't remember any mechanical failures with either one. When the second one was hit when I lived in State College, Pennsylvania, the right front fender was badly damaged but nothing else was even touched. The local junk yard had a white R-10 and I simply unbolted its fender and bolted it onto our car perfectly. I recall it was perhaps 10 bolts. $35 and 35 minutes later it was as good as new!
I worked construction one summer and a friend had a Renault R-10. I had a BMW 1600 four door. We'd frequently come across one another on the long road into or out of the work site and his little Renault simply out-handled my BMW! When the second gear syncronizer failed in the BMW and no parts were available in the USA (eventually the garage said they put a Datsun 510 synchronizer in it!), I got an R-10 for myself.
I liked the way it looked, and it sure was cheap to keep. It was great to be able to sit in the drivers seat and crank the passenger window up or down, barely leaning over to the side.
The transmission itself was solid, but the shifter was rubbery. I sometimes guessed what gear I was going to be in when the clutch was let out.
The seats were quite amazing... both the solid construction, the quality of the padding and the outer leatherette vinyl, and their overall shape and comfort. After both R-10s were gone I came across one in a junk yard and bought a front seat out of it. I had to attach wood slats on the bottom for it to sit steady on the floor and I then used it as my "guest chair" in my shop for 30 years. Everyone who sat in it asked, "Wow, what kind of car was this from?"
In R-10 #2, a lime green one I had when living in Colorado, we went to Idaho Springs for some pizza and beer and I had a bit too much. My friend was driving back and when I wanted to turn off and go up to Boulder to play Foosball and have more fun, he just wanted to get back to Fort Collins. As a joke, as we were careening down I-70 doing 70mph in the dark, I turned the car off and pulled out the keys saying, "It's my car we'll play by my rules or we won't play." A locking steering column was not that common then... the steering wheel locked solid. I struggled to get the key back in and unlock the wheel, "just in the nick of time."
The R-10 was not powerful. It was not fast. It was, however, a really fun and satisfying car to drive. With those marvelous seats, four wheel disk brakes, radial tires, a padded dashboard and uni-body construction, I thought the Renault R-10 was ahead of many other cars. The closest recent car to it, in my opinion, is a 1999-2002 Mazda Protege. They have that same "driving a roller skate" feel to them.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 3rd April, 2009
27th Feb 2015, 00:32
All of which goes to show that it's not all about engine size or BHP. There is great fun to be had from a modestly engined, lowish power output, skinny tyred car. This combination can give the driver more fun behind the wheel than any hugely powered super car!!
30th Oct 2015, 20:16
Agreed - some of the most motoring fun I have had is in small engined cars. 2 cylinder Citroens - 3 cylinder Daewoos and Toyotas - anything with the ubiquitous FIAT derived 850/903cc OHV motor - all great fun to chuck around with no threat to license or self, and all at a reasonable economy.