22nd Nov 2003, 17:06

I am amazed at the negative review of the Renault 10. I grew up on the back seats of these little cars. My family had several, having bought their first one new in 1968, and replacing a Peugeot 403 with a second new R-10 in 1969. Soon my sister had one, and so it went... The cars were mechanically quite robust, and certainly easy to service and very economical. Compared with its chief rival of the day, the original Beetle, it was immensely more comfortable and quieter, got better mileage, had 4 doors, a spacious trunk, 4 wheel disc brakes... The list goes on... We kept them for many years, easily exceeding 100,000 miles with each of them. In their end, their undoing was unibody rust. We lived in an area with a real winter and lots of chemicals were used on the roads, which caused the chassis to rust badly. So sentimental am I about them that I recently bought a 1967 model in California (so no rust) and had it shipped back east. I have nothing, but positive associations with these remarkable little cars. Les Woods.

25th Nov 2003, 17:35

I still miss my yellow 1971 four speed although I must admit it was more fun to look at than to drive. The best feature, though, was that the jack handle doubled as a crank to start the car! I actually tried it once and it worked!

3rd Feb 2004, 21:39

I had a Renault 10 as a kid. It was a red 68 4 speed that we bought in 1972 or so for $500. It was quite comfortable, but mighty quirky! With the engine hanging way out over the rear axle, it would fishtail wildly if pushed past its limit. And the importer had added air conditioning, and I added a stereo. Dad used to kid me that the stick shift read "1, 2, 3, reverse, stereo, A/C". You could only have one at a time!

It was troublesome: The a/c compressor was poorly mounted and overloaded the 1.1 liter engine, clutch slipping and oil leakage at 18,000 miles, a cracked intake manifold, generator trouble, hoses bursting, muffler, distributor, even the accelerator pedal broke.

But it handled crisply, had good disc brakes, was smooth and had wonderfully comfortable cushy seats. It crumpled like an accordion and saved my young derriere when someone ran a stoplight and I hit him broadside. I wish I had it back!


10th Apr 2004, 23:58

I bought a used 1969 R10 in 1977, and LOVED it! It was reliable, easy to service, and very comfortable. The seats were plush, and it took bumps beautifully. It always gave 35 mpg city or highway. The front trunk was huge by econobox standards. The spare tire was mounted in a compartment in front of the front axle, and was safe from theft because the cover latch was inside the trunk. I had driven VW Beetles before, and after driving the R10, I couldn't figure out why they hadn't sold better. I truly miss my R10. Mine was a 4 speed, and I never thought it was underpowered. I thought it was a very well laid out car. My only complaint was dealer service, and lack of parts.

31st Jul 2004, 06:49

I bought my first R10 (a 1967 model) as a student in 1972. Owing to inexperience and stupidity I wrote it off in an accident in 1973, took out all the entrails and built them into a decrepit R8 body. I came across a beautifully-kept 1967 model shortly after the disaster and traded in the hybrid R8/R10.

I drove the second R10 for 8 years. Being a poor student, I could not afford to service it regularly. Oil changes happened whenever a vacation job provided enough surplus money. Spark plugs were cleaned until there was barely a millimetre of electrode left. Tyres were retreaded and many scrap-yard trips kept the rest of the car intact. Obviously the car became a bit run-down - but it kept on running.

My close friend and I took many adventurous trips in the R10. On one occasion we took it from Pretoria down the Natal North Coast, through Transkei, to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa (a round trip of about 4000 km / 2500 miles) with no breakdowns. OK, we did use a couple of gallons of oil, but that was all.

We went places with that car where 4x4 drivers didn't want to go in those days!

After the trip to Plett we decided to overhaul the engine ourselves. "Owner's Workshop Manual" on the floor, makeshift block-and-tackle, etc., we found that most of the piston rings were broken - pieces were embedded in the cylinder head - three main-shaft bearings were gone. (Remember: we were students with no income!) Nevertheless, the R10 had finished the trip.

After the overhaul I drove it for another three years before I bought an exciting new R5.

The R10 was GREAT! If your correspondent bought a wreck, it could just as well have been a dilapidated Rolls Royce. Any car would go to pot without regular service and maintenance.

I have been driving my R5 ("Le Car") for 22 years now with 207 000 miles on the clock without ever opening the engine, and it's still going strong - because I check and service it regularly.

Johan Viljoen.

4th Aug 2004, 18:40

I bought an R10 automatic new in 1969. It served extremely well for 120,000 miles in our hot in summer cold in winter climate. It even towed my hill climb prepared R8 for several seasons. What most people did not realize was that the shift point could adjusted with a turnbuckle back in the engine compartment. I had mine turning 6500 rpm for full throttle shifts. Someone above must have had a slow car. Mine once crossed Michigan indicating 95 mph. That was just how fast the slow lane was moving that day. We loved it. Once it became old and unreliable it was replaced with a '74 R12.

16th Oct 2004, 00:34

I remember these cars as very popular in Colorado where I was a young child in the '70's. The rear engine helped give it great traction in the snow, or so I've been told by a friend who had one in Montreal. The R-10 is such a unique car (I think they would have sold much better in the US if only there had been a better dealer network). I have not seen one on the road here in the US for at least ten years. I wonder how many might be left? My friend from Montreal also says that when these cars have any sort of trans axle trouble, they pretty much get disposed of. Would love to see any postings from anyone who still has one of these cars running in the US. Can parts still be obtained? Ken L. in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

28th Oct 2004, 00:05

2 months ago I bought a 69 R10 with 40,000 original miles,no rust and minimal body repair, Interior is as new, I have owned new peugeot's and golfs, but due to my new house the 10 was within my budget. Wow it really drives superbly for a 36 year old car, The suspension, quirkiness and simplicity is spot on, and its very fuel efficient. I run it on straight unleaded petrol as advised.I haven't completed a 360 degrees (accident) in wet weather yet, as informed by the Renault car club, i gave up looking for my beloved R16,rusted out and most of them requiring total rebuild, I have become attached to my very unexpected R10 purchase.