Renault Dauphine car history
Years of production
France: 1956 to 1967
4 door saloon
The Renault Dauphine is an automobile model that was manufactured by Renault in the factory Flins Yvelines from March 1956 until 1967 .The car was designed by the Renault design office in the 1950s to support the 4CV .
This car was the most sold in France from the late 50s to early 60s and the first European car manufactured in Argentina from 1960 to 1970. In Brazil it was manufactured by Willys Overland Brasil from 1959 to 1968. However, Renault suffered a failure when it was marketed in the United States , neglecting too much with the quality of manufacture, and the after-sales services for the availability of parts.
It is a small 4-door sedan rear engine cantilevered back of the axle, which was so named because the "queen of sales" was then the 4CV . The Dauphine was designed by the engineer Fernand Picard and designed with the help of the Italian designer Ghia , especially for the integration of two air intakes for engine cooling, located in front of the two rear wings just behind the rear doors . The spare wheel is housed behind a door under the trunk at the front.
Dauphine export USA
In France, while the official presentation of the Dauphine takes place on March 6, 1956, some copies are immediately sent to the USA for a presentation at the end of March 1956 at the New York Motor Show and the marketing of Dauphine begins to reach 1,700 vehicles in this first year launch.
These first Dauphine are very close to their French sisters. The finish, however, is more luxurious, US driving habits and legislation require some modifications. It can be noted: a higher compression ratio 8/1 against 7.25 / 1, direct AD-ECH Autobleu tubing, a command of the key codes at the foot, additional decorative rods on the body, an interior padding on the passages of a wheel, a tachometer in miles, a reinforced police plate lighting but especially the adoption of headlights type sealed beamlarge diameter (7 inches or 180 mm). On the other hand, on these first models, the electric circuit remains in 6 volts. The bumpers, the heating system and the air filter also remain similar to the French models.
It was only the following year in 1957 (official presentation on May 22, 1957 in New York) that the Dauphine Americanized by the adoption of reinforced bumpers (specific and characteristics of the USA models), turn signals and lights of position reported on the front and rear of the vehicle (in France from 1960), a new lighting of the rear police plate, a reinforced oil bath air filter (compound system) .
From 1958 to 1959, when the sale of the Dauphine reached its peak in the USA with 91.073 copies, the Dauphine will continue its evolution to better meet the US conditions of use. The most notable changes will be the transition to the 12-volt electrical circuit at the end of 1958, the adoption of standard equipment for an 'extreme cold winter ' heating system at the end of 1959.
It is therefore only at the end of 1959 that the Dauphine USA will have completed its transformation which will have allowed it to go from a slightly modified European model to a truly specific version. Unfortunately, this change has proved to be too slow, and the Dauphine's mismatch with North American weather conditions and the introduction of American compact vehicles on the market will lead to sluggishness. However, the Dauphine continue to arrive by the hundreds and are stored on the ports. The year 1960 marks the awareness of the American problem but it is too late and the Régie Renault faces in France thus very serious difficulties. In 1961, Dauphines will be repatriated to Europe to be repackaged and put on sale.
Beginning in 1960, the American Dauphine (with a few details) will evolve only according to the modifications made to the French Dauphine. The more luxurious version 'Ondine' will be marketed from 1961 in the USA under the name 'DELUXE'.
The Dauphine will be marketed in the USA as in Europe until 1967 with models R 1094 and R 1095.
R 1091 "Americanized" Dauphine Gordini will also be exported to the USA.
Spain: FASA Dauphine
Following the example of Fiat that created SEAT in 1950, the Régie Renault signed in 1953 a cooperation agreement with the Spanish manufacturer FASA to assemble at its plant in Valladolid of Renault 4CV with bodies manufactured by Cointra body, engine by Sociedad Nueva Montana based in Santander and gearboxes by ISA in Seville.
In 1965, thanks to a relaxation of the Spanish rules, RNUR took a 49.9% stake in FASA which is renamed Fasa-Renault .
In total, the production of Dauphine, Ondine and Gordini models, from 1959 to 1967, reached a total of 125,912 copies of which:
- 41,812 Dauphine, produced from 1958 to 1964,
- 39,179 Ondine produced from 1962 to 1965,
- 44,861 Gordini produced from 1961 to 1967.
Italy: Alfa Romeo Dauphine
The Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo manufactured under license the Dauphine from 1959 to 1964 . The cars, assembled in the Alfa Romeo factory in Portello , near Milan , have Magneti-Marelli electrical equipment in 12 volts, specific lights, four disc brakes (1965-1966) and the logo " Alfa Romeo Dauphine " ( 1959-1966) or "Ondine Alfa Romeo" (1962-1964) . An Alfa Romeo Ondine was sold by ArtCurial at Rétromobile 2014 .In total 71,841 copies Alfa Romeo Dauphine that were produced .
Argentina: IKA Dauphine
The Régie Renault signed a cooperation agreement with Industrias Kaiser Argentina - IKA in 1959 to manufacture Renault models under license. The production of the Dauphine begins in July 1960 with the assembly of the first Dauphine adapted to the local road network. A more muscular version appears at the end of the year, named Gordini. Then come the Frigate and the Undine. From 1966, the Régie Renault took a majority stake in the company, it will be renamed IKA-Renault.
Total production of Dauphine from 1960 to 1970: 88,335 copies including 53,643 Dauphine from 1960 to 1966 and 34,566 Gordini from 1960 to 1970.
The French inventor Gérin manufactures a Dauphine equipped with the device "gerin safety wheel". The model is patented. These Dauphines are drawn and assembled in Burgundy, Côte d'Or. Only one copy remains.
The Henney Electric Kilowatt
The Dauphine will also serve as a base for an electric car attempt, designed in partnership with Linus Pauling . It will be a failure at the time, because of the low weight / power ratio of lead batteries.
Several series versions of the Dauphine were produced:
- A more opulent version: the Ondine .
- A sports version: the Dauphine Gordini .
- A coupe and a convertible: Florida and Caravelle .
- A model for the race (homologated on the road): the Dauphine 1093 .
Basic characteristics (1956 model)
- Self-supporting monocoque steel body.
- 4 independent wheels, stamped steel wheels, tires size 135 × 380.
- " Billancourt engine " 4 cylinders in line of 845 cm 3 , long race 58 mm × 80 mm of 26 ch DIN .
- Cast iron engine block and aluminum cylinder head.
- Transmission three ratios: 2 e and 3 e synchronized.
- Electricity supply battery 6 volts, forced air heating.
- Hydraulically operated drum brakes on all four wheels without assistance.
- Maximum speed of 111 km / h , consumption of about 6.5 liters per 100 km .
Renault uses Amédée Gordini to build a more efficient version the Dauphine Gordini (type R1091) in 1957 .
For the 1964 and 1965 models , the Dauphine Gordini is replaced by the Dauphine Export (type R1094) with the same finish as the standard 28hp DIN engine and a synchronized four-speed gearbox. Like the new normal Dauphine (type R1094), it is equipped with the four disc brakes of the R8 . From the 1966 models , the Dauphine Gordini type R1095 is the only Dauphine to survive until the end of the series at the end of 1967 . The name Gordini no longer appears on the bodywork.
The Florida is a convertible two-door derivative based on the platform of the Dauphine Gordini.
For the 1961 and 1962 models , there is a better presented version (carpet, matte black dashboard, Florida type steering wheel ) named Ondine . Most improvements will then be integrated with other models. The Ondine (type R1090A) has a four-speed gearbox and reclining front seats.
The Dauphine 1093 (type R1093) is the competition version of the Dauphine. It was manufactured between November 1961 and April 1963 to 2140 units in two series (In 1961-1962 1650 vehicles and in 1963 490 vehicles) Both series were equipped with the same improved Gordini engine. The vehicles of 1962 and 1963 are distinguished by finishing details (in particular by the color of the white body Réjane in 1962 and white-gray Valois in 1963 and by the color of the dashboard).
Engine type:Billancourt 845cm
Engine position: Rear
Gearbox: BV3 and 4 speed, semi-auto
Unloaded weight:630 kg
Maximum speed:115 km/h
brakes:hydraulically controlled drums from 1964 Four disc brakes.