Renault Dauphine Classic Cars for Sale
7 Offers for Renault Dauphine found
The Renault Dauphine was a popular four door saloon car, that was produced by Renault from 1956 to 1968.
The History of the Renault Dauphine
The Renault Dauphine was conceived as a successor to the iconic 4CV. Developed from 1949, the new car was known within Renault as "Project 109". Renault's engineers spent five years developing and testing their new small car, with trial runs taking place in all conditions from the heat of Madrid to the cold and ice of the Arctic Circle. During development, the new car was referred to as the 5CV or "La machine de Flins", after the Flins factory where it was being manufactured. The car was eventually named the Dauphine, the female of version of the French throne, as it was being sold as the new Queen of the French roads. The Renault Dauphine was launched in 1956 at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Renault Dauphine Style
Renault had undertaken market research as part of the Dauphine's development, in particular taking account of their findings that female consumers were more interested in the colour of their car than the car itself. With this in mind, French artist Paule Marrot joined the development team, to ensure that the interior and exterior style of the Renault Dauphin measured up to the post war expectations of the French consumer. Bold new colours were created with vibrant names - Bahamas Yellow, Borneo Green, Trinidad Red and Kilimanjaro White. Marrot also created special fabrics for the Dauphine's interior and an emblem of three dolphins over a crown, which ornamented the steering wheel and hood of the Renault Dauphine throughout its production.
Reputation of the Renault Dauphine
At the time, the Renault Dauphine was a real success for Renault. Their factory in Flins produced a new Dauphine every 30 seconds at their peak, with additional production in Argentina and Brazil. The Renault Dauphine was seen as a cute new car that was both affordable and easy to manoeuvre around busy streets. However the Renault Dauphine also aroused criticism is some parts, in particular related to noise and lack of power at high speeds. The Dauphine's inclusion in the list of Time's 50 worst cars of all time reflected their lack of popularity in the USA, mainly because of the tendency to rust and the perceived flimsy construction. Overall though the Dauphine sold very well, with over 2 million Renault Dauphines sold worldwide.
Special Editions of the Renault Dauphine
In 1961, the Renault Dauphine range was expanded to include the Ondine, which had a four speed gear box. In 1962, a racing version of the Dauphine was released called the Dauphine Rally 1093. In 1964, a higher powered Gordini version of the Renault Dauphine was produced, which had four wheel drive. The Gordini continued to be produced until 1968, but the main line of the Dauphine ceased production in December 1966.