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Los Renault 4 de FASA



1961-1963: Any R4 around in Spain?

The introduction of the R4 in the Camargue in August 1961 did not pass unnoticed in Spain, as becomes clear from a story in Velocidad magazine 38 of September 1961: 'Renault descubre a la prensa su model 3-4 CV'. Velocidad sent a reporter to the Camargue to participate in the testing, and already remarked that 'the R4 will most probably be built in Spain'. Also Automoto published a story 'El nuevo 3 cv. Renault', as well as La Gaceta Ilustrada (with model Elga Andersen) under the slightly different title 'El nuevo 4 C.V. Renault', showing photos taken in Sonchamp, a location known from the back page of Renault Magazine 44. In the latter magazine the photo of the French mannequins was also published. Apparently only Velocidad noticed that the new Renault 4 was available both as 3 CV (the R3) and 4 CV (the R4 and R4L).

Velocidad 38 Automoto la Gaceta Ilustrada

Because no Spanish language brochures are known from 1962 - except Southamerican ones - it was not clear if the R4 was actually sold in Spain prior to the introduction of the FASA R4 in 1964. However, enough clues are given by the advertisements shown below. To the left, an advertisement for 'El nuevo Renault 4L' showing a well known photo taken in the Camargue. News reported on the backside of the advertisement is from August 29 through 31, 1961, but it may relate to a 1961 news overview published in 1962. To the right, a Spanish advertisement from 1963 explains that 'en su viaje por Europa no olvide que su solución es matricula TT - ¡Más barato que cualquier tipo de alquiler!', which signifies 'On your trip to Europe, don't forget that your solution is a TT license plate - cheaper than any kind of rental'. So, does this mean that Spanish residents could take their imported R4 with Spanish plates and equip it with special tourist plates for their holidays abroad? But then, why would they need other plates to go abroad? Who knows..

el nuevo camargue matricula tt
1964-1967: Introduction of the R1123 in Spain
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The berline version, '4L', is introduced in Spain in february 1964. It is built in Valladolid. Although referred to as R1123, the Spanish introduction model is rather different from the French 1123 model which was introduced in 1964 for the 4L Super and Parisienne, both 5CV). Among many differences the most striking ones are the bumpers (parachoques) and the enjoliveur de plaque (bigote) along the rear license plate (in France mounted only on the 1962 Super and the 1964-1968 Parisiennes). Tripod wheelcaps are shown only on some of the brochure photos and not in the magazines (shown below), but anyhow present in PR785. Furthermore, the car has an 845cc Billancourt Ventoux engine, like the French 5CV, and a 12V electric system (6V for France). The rearview mirror is attached to the roof. On the dashboard (salpicadero) an arrow shaped logo is fixed.

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autopista velocidad autopista

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The release of the new Renault is announced in the magazines Autopista 266 and Velocidad 129. Note the flags also used in other countries for the Prenez le Volant action, and the '4L' sticker on the right door.

Autopista announces Super

In november 1964 the Super (R1123S) is added as deluxe model next to the basic version. It is announced in Autopista 296 of September. Its looks are nothing like the French Super of 1962-1964 with its double bumpers and downward opening hatch. The Spanish Super would remain in the gamma until 1975, when it was succeeded by the TL. The major differences with the Spanish 4L are the abundant chrome parts and luxurious seats of the former, as well as the 'Super' logo on the dashboard, on the left front wing and the hatch. In 1966, even the Parisienne is listed in the brochure, although it remains uncertain if this model was actually sold in Spain. In 1967, the bumpers of the R8 replace the old ones.

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1965_super_gasstation 1966_super 1966_parisienne

1968-1977: the R1125: un nuevo coche

In 1968, a completely restyled version is introduced, as is also the case in France and other countries. The brochure proudly names it un nuevo coche (a new car). The Spanish model is named R1125, in contrast to France, where the 1968 model is still referred to as R1123 (and later R1126). It carries the aluminium grille (calandra or parilla) encompassing the headlights. The bumpers (parachoques are (still) the same ones as mounted on the R8. The engine is the 852cc Sierra or Cl&eaigu;on-Fonte (35hp @5200rpm, later 32hp @5000rpm), with 4 gears. The second dashboard is mounted, in beige. The logos on the hatch are 'RENAULT' and 'FASA ESPAÑA' (until 1972).
From 1968 onwards, also a basic version with the first grille, dashboard and steering wheel, without wheelcaps or lower side strips (underneath doors) is available, in the first year even with the old 845cc Billancourt Ventoux engine; the deluxe version is then referred to as Super (R1125S). The Super loses its Super logo on the hatch; it is now only on the front left wing. In 1974 the rims of the R6, with ventilation holes, are mounted. In 1976 the TL (R1125TL) replaces the Super. The TL carries most of the characteristics of the 1975 Super, such as the bumpers, the bigote, the armrests etc. It carries the black plastic grille that was introduced in France in 1975. It has the same Sierra engine as the Super.

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1968_front 1968_snow 1968_trunk hatch_logo 1971_super_interior 1975_first_grille 1977_hatch_lions

1978-1989: The last decade in Valladolid

In 1978, the R1125 is restyled again, in a way that has even more impact than the introduction of the plastic grille in 1975. The bumpers are changed for the French 1968 model. The front indicator lights (intermitentes) become rectangular orange/white. The metal air inlet (rejilla de entrada de aire) under the windscreen becomes plastic. The steering wheel is that of the R5. On the other hand, there still remain typical details like the dashboard (beige), chrome parts like hatch closure, door handles and wheel caps, the 852cc Sierra engine and the rear light reflector surrounded by an aluminium strip. Until 1981, all brochures list a basic model and the TL; after that, the only model is the TL (equipped with the 1108cc Cléon engine), until 1989. The GTL was, wisely, never produced by FASA.

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1979_dashboard 1979_bumpers 1979_basic_interior

In subsequent years, the look of the R1125 becomes more and more French, like for instance by the introduction of the 1108cc engine (1982), and the third dashboard (in black, 1983). Nevertheless an R1125 is always easily distinguished from its French contemporaries by its combination of the chrome parts that are now becoming rare or absent on French models (bumpers, hatch closure, strips below the doors) and the black plastic strips replacing the aluminium baguettes (embellecedores, in 1982), until the very end of production in Valladolid in 1989. After 1989, the Clan will be imported from Slovenia.

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1983_tail_light 1986_chrome 1986_hubcabs 1986_armrests

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this page last changed on Jan 25 2020