1968 Renault 8



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The French manufacturer Renault has a long tradition for building entertaining small cars big on character with plenty of performance. This tradition can be traced back to early Sixties and the launch of the new 8. Renault turned to tuning wizard Amédée Gordini to breathe on their new model and by adding twin dual-choke 40 mm Solex side-draft carburettors and a cross-flow head, power was almost doubled to 89 bhp. Stiffer suspension and a close-ratio gearbox made the Renault 8 Gordini great fun to drive and distinctive blue paint gave it an appropriately racy appearance.

The first series Gordini 8, designated the R1134, was introduced in 1965 then superseded by the more powerful R1135 model in 1968, boasting a five-speed gearbox, bigger fuel tank, stiffened bodyshell and revised rear suspension. The expanded 1255cc engine now developed 99 bhp, with 40 mm Webers replacing the earlier Solex carburettors.

The R1135 can be identified by the distinctive quad headlights, with the addition of Cibie Oscar driving lights. Gordini earned the nickname Le Sorcier (The Sorcerer) for his tuning skills and certainly worked his magic to transform the humble 8 into an affordable, highly entertaining sports saloon that was France's answer to the Mini Cooper and Abarth Fiats.

Not surprising, the 8 Gordini proved at home on the track and in rallies around Europe, scoring wins at the Tour de Corse, Alpine Cup and Monte Carlo Rally. There was even a "Gordini Cup" for budding race drivers and many future stars of the era cut their teeth in them.

With only 12,203 made they have a cult following today and are very collectible in Europe. Particularly, in such fine condition as this one.