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Homepage. This page: When did you last see a French Dauphine parked up at the side of a road?

1. Renault's Dauphine of 1956-1967.

There aren't too many French cars on the site as yet, but shown below is just such a vehicle, and now a very rare sight in the UK - Renault's Dauphine 4dr saloon, replacement for the earlier (again rear-engined) 4CV. The Dauphine sold well in the UK. Power came from a 32bhp engine, based on that found in the earlier Renaults, but enlarged slightly to 845cc. If 32bhp wasn't enough, a few lucky buyers left Renault dealerships with the keys to a 'hot' version, either the Gordini - with more power and disc brakes on all four corners - or the 1093, which was a factory offering built between 1962 and 1963.
In France during the 1960s, the Dauphine was as much a part of daily life as the Minor and Mini were to us in the UK, a quick look at this movie database site shows how many times these small Renaults appeared in film, intentionally or just in the background.
The car shown here, registration 1327 DK, looks like a standard model to me, fitted with just a few personal touches (radio aerial, single foglamp, and driver's wing mirror).
Renault Dauphine

2. Another Dauphine, being worked upon.

This next photo shows a chap working on his Renault Dauphine - checking the front tyre pressure to be exact. Unfortunately the Dauphine's registration is out of shot, but the car being RHD suggests a British-registered example of this popular Renault.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Checking the tyres on a Renault Dauphine

3. At Pendine Sands.

My thanks to Keith for this picture, of his uncle's Dauphine shown parked at Pendine Sands in South Wales, home to land speed record attempts in the early 20th century (and now the Museum of Speed, where Parry Thomas' Babs car can often be found on display). In addition to the classic Renault (which appears to be registered YEA 998), there's also an Austin A35 van visible in the background. Renaults, like most cars of the era, rusted out for fun, so I doubt this examples' underside would appreciate too much salty sand being sprayed around into its nooks and crannies beneath the surface. The Austin wouldn't have benefited from the experience either.
Renault at Pendine Sands

4. A Dauphine on towing duties.

After seeing the above update, Barry dropped me a line from Canada with a colour snap of a Dauphine - one of two - he used to own. In those days, he lived in the UK, as he now recalls:
"Looking at the Renault Dauphine on today's page brings back many memories. I had two of these when we lived in UK, a very under-rated car - we loved them. Unfortunately, Mr Rusty took both of them. I towed a Daily Mirror Tent Trailer with mine, and a small runabout boat. While on holiday with a friend (also towing a Mirror tent trailer with his Ford 100E fitted with a 4 speed gearbox from a 105E) he could not keep up with me, and we were forever stopping miles ahead, waiting for him to catch up. Great times and great memories."
Barry's Dauphine was registered 5085 JH. Note the aftermarket Lucas spotlamp, aimed to the nearside, and the roof rack. Thanks for the picture Barry :)
A Dauphine towing a small boat
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