Jacques Thoridnet. A belated passing.
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  1. #1
    Simon's Avatar
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    Default Jacques Thoridnet. A belated passing.

    It came to my notice yesterday that Jacques Thoridnet, previous managing director of Renault Australia from 1964-1970 and 1975-1977 passed away at the grand age of 90 years back in February this year.

    Jacques Thoridnet was first assigned to Australia by Renault France in late 1964, his task being to further the profile of Renault in Australia from a fairly low base. Working to what would be best for Renault, within the framework of the newly introduced Australian Government local assembly rules, he assessed the Renault 10 as offering the best opportunity under the small volume vehicle assembly plan. As well as convincing Renault France to purchase the Continental and General factory in West Heidelberg further demonstrating their commitment to Australia, and gaining extra production volume.

    Australian Renault sales doubled in 1967, the first year of West Heidelberg under Renault ownership and Mr Thoridnetís control. The creation of the Renault Rally Team, initially managed by Peter Jansen, then Bob Watson, further increased the profile of Renault culminating with the 1970 Australian Rally Championship, won after Mr Thoridnet was reassigned to Algeria in April 1970.

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    In 1973, Mr Thoridnet was appointed as director of the Alpine factory in Dieppe, following Renault acquiring a majority share in Alpine. In 1975 Mr Thoridnet, when the position became available again, requested to be Renault Australia managing director for a second time. Then in 1977 enjoying the Australian lifestyle, and not wishing to be relocated, he chose to leave the Renault organisation by purchasing the top volume selling South Australian Renault/Peugeot dealer Carl Drummond Motors in the Adelaide CBD. The dealership being renamed Jacques Thoridnet Motor Centre, with Mr Thoridnetís participation continuing until his retirement from the retail motor trade business in 1984.

    Certainly without the energy and passion shown for the Renault marque in Australia by Jacques Thoridnet in those early years, I doubt whether the Renault scene in Australia would be as vibrant as it is today.

    A belated RIP to Jacques Thoridnet.
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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Pretty sure he's the guy that Bruce Collier speaks quite highly of in relation to his help with the R8G rally team back in the day.
    He's told me a few stories over the years of going down there to collect parts and what not.

    KB
    KB


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    Thanks for that Simon. cheers! Peter

  4. #4
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    It came to my notice yesterday that Jacques Thoridnet, previous managing director of Renault Australia from 1964-1970 and 1975-1977 passed away at the grand age of 90 years back in February this year.

    Jacques Thoridnet was first assigned to Australia by Renault France in late 1964, his task being to further the profile of Renault in Australia from a fairly low base. Working to what would be best for Renault, within the framework of the newly introduced Australian Government local assembly rules, he assessed the Renault 10 as offering the best opportunity under the small volume vehicle assembly plan. As well as convincing Renault France to purchase the Continental and General factory in West Heidelberg further demonstrating their commitment to Australia, and gaining extra production volume.

    Australian Renault sales doubled in 1967, the first year of West Heidelberg under Renault ownership and Mr Thoridnet’s control. The creation of the Renault Rally Team, initially managed by Peter Jansen, then Bob Watson, further increased the profile of Renault culminating with the 1970 Australian Rally Championship, won after Mr Thoridnet was reassigned to Algeria in April 1970.

    In 1973, Mr Thoridnet was appointed as director of the Alpine factory in Dieppe, following Renault acquiring a majority share in Alpine. In 1975 Mr Thoridnet, when the position became available again, requested to be Renault Australia managing director for a second time. Then in 1977 enjoying the Australian lifestyle, and not wishing to be relocated, he chose to leave the Renault organisation by purchasing the top volume selling South Australian Renault/Peugeot dealer Carl Drummond Motors in the Adelaide CBD. The dealership being renamed Jacques Thoridnet Motor Centre, with Mr Thoridnet’s participation continuing until his retirement from the retail motor trade business in 1984.

    Certainly without the energy and passion shown for the Renault marque in Australia by Jacques Thoridnet in those early years, I doubt whether the Renault scene in Australia would be as vibrant as it is today.

    A belated RIP to Jacques Thoridnet.
    Very much so Simon. My father bought two Holdens from Karl Drummond and we bought our R8 from him too, 15 or 20 years later. Jacques was a good man - thanks for passing the news on.
    JohnW

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    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    I haven't heard those names in a while. My eldest brother bought an immaculate mustard R12 GL off Karl Drummond and we later convinced Mum to buy a nice blue 16TS off him as well.
    I also remember buying a new muffler off Jacques Thoridnet in the city for my Dauphine Gordini when I was about 15!

    RIP Jacques
    cheers,

    John

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    Fellow Frogger! Chopper Bob's Avatar
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    I remember Jacques Thoridnet well and also was unaware of his passing. Thank you Simon for posting. Another old SA motor trade identity, Tony Goode was the Manager of a rally team where I was navigator and I remember being introduced to Jacques at an SARC event. Sad news when the old identities fall of the perch and signals the end of an exciting era in motorsport. RIP Jacques.
    Regards
    Chopper Bob

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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    Just looking through my old receipts to see when I last bought something from JT. After they shut down in Pulteney Street they had a spare parts outlet in Halifax Street for a long time. They then traded from Castle Motors, Norwood, and finally from Intervolks at Enfield. My last purchase was from Intervolks in 10/2004.

    They had the same spare parts guy pretty much the whole time. Can't think of his name but very knowledgable.
    Stephen
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  8. #8
    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfrawley View Post

    They had the same spare parts guy pretty much the whole time. Can't think of his name but very knowledgable.
    It's John I reckon. Can't think of his surname right now though ....
    cheers,

    John

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-man View Post
    It's John I reckon. Can't think of his surname right now though ....
    That would be John Palmer. He took over the part sales section when Jacques Thoridnet closed the Adelaide retail business in 1981, and purchased Borgelts in Norwood (Alfa / Leyland / Peugeot / Renault), before retiring in 1984.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    That would be John Palmer. He took over the part sales section when Jacques Thoridnet closed the Adelaide retail business in 1981, and purchased Borgelts in Norwood (Alfa / Leyland / Peugeot / Renault), before retiring in 1984.
    There was Ted too. I have a vague idea he bought the spares business and maybe John bought it from him? Not relevant to Jacques, for which I apologise. I've passed the word around about Jacques to those whom I know who would want to know.

    So, news of Jim Bush? On topic in the broader sense of great Renault folk of the 70s-80s and more.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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