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Thread: Dauphines

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Dauphines

    Bah - first ever post here and it disappeared!
    This is the second try...

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    Imagine someone missed out buying a restorable Mazda 600 Carol, and was cranky about it.
    Imagine that incident was enough to re-kindle a desire to buy a Fiat 850 coupe, or R8/10 or similar.
    Imagine that someone stumbled across a picture and some basic details on Dauphines while Googling for R8/10 info, and it pushed all of the right emotional buttons for him.

    What would he need to know before looking for one to buy?

    I've searched around on these forums and gotten a lot of useful stuff, but there's not a "big picture" view of the cars and their good points and bad points. Prices seem fairly low, although the supply is obviously very small.
    I am mechanically competent, and am used to living with old cars, so I don't need to be sat down and given the "Y'see son, it's not like buying a new Corolla" talk, but things like:
    Parts availabilty and interchangability?
    Any real weaknesses?
    What's different between a Gordini and a 'cookie cutter' one?
    Anyone driven both a Dauphine and Fiat 850? What's the comparison like?
    How slow are they? (Not expecting anything special, more just wondering if they're tolerably or intolerably slow).

    Anything else I should know?

    My apologies for the long post!
    TIA!

    PS: Ben, if you tell Jen - or anyone we both know, for that matter - that this post exists, or even that I'm registered here, I'll have to kill you with my bare hands!

    PPS: If I've asked a stupid question or seven, or questions that have already been asked and answered a million times, then feel free to flame me, while pointing me in the right direction... It's only fair - I do it to newbies on AusRotary all the time...

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Saru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    PS: Ben, if you tell Jen - or anyone we both know, for that matter - that this post exists, or even that I'm registered here, I'll have to kill you with my bare hands!
    My lips are sealed.
    '94 405 Mi16

  3. #3
    Simon's Avatar
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    Start with this thread, it may answer many questions:

    Dauphine Gordini (R1901)

    The main difference between a Dauphine Gordini (Model designation R1091) and a normal Dauphine (model designation R1090) is that the R1090 has a 30bhp 845cc motor with a three speed gearbox (four speed optional as well as an optional Ferlec clutchless three speed semi-automatic gearbox) with a fairly basic level of trim and the Gordini has a 40bhp 845cc motor with a four speed gearbox. Finding a normal R1090 though is the exception rather than the rule, they are now quite rare in AUS, the Gordini being more common.

    There are other model Dauphines, the later ones having four wheel disc brakes, but the R1090 and R1091 are the only ones sold in AUS. No idea how they would compare with a Fiat 850, Iíve only driven a 600 many years ago and been a passenger in an 850S sedan as well as poking all the rust out of a stock 850 sedan that I thought of buying in my pre-Renault era.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    PPS: If I've asked a stupid question or seven, or questions that have already been asked and answered a million times, then feel free to flame me, while pointing me in the right direction... It's only fair - I do it to newbies on AusRotary all the time...
    Nah, we don't do that here. We're just happy that someone wants to restore an old Renault! We have a Kiwi member that I'm sure may have some advice.

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Dauphine

    I own a 1961 Dauphine and also a Gordini in need of total rebuilt and a way of getting it from Tassie to Perth.

    The Dauphine has a genuine 34,000 miles and it is off the road for a waterpump but really needs an engine recon as well. It when new had a top speed of around 73 MPH I did own a Disc brake one in NZ as first car and it would pull that.
    Seemed to have about the same performance as a 850 mini of the period.
    In todays traffic I admit it has limitations not only in speed but also brakes have come a long way.
    If you want a daily driver I would look more to R8 R10, if you like a period car and something for the club run or like in Perth a trip out to wineries go for it.

    Parts, they are unlikely to be found on the Repco shelf. Part of the fun has been locating them and I have even travelled to Melun Retro in France and what a place that is. Everything I wanted he produced, pity about the Aussie dollar tho!

    My best find was a paddock of twelve in Tassie where I rescued the Gordini and also a lot of parts for older Renaults. Even scored the illuminated sign of the dealers which is now in WA.

    The Dauphine takes much longer at shops because everyone who sees it has to stop and say "My uncle, aunt , dad etc had one of these bla bla bla.

    It is simply amazing how many people relate to it. The other fun I have is seeing the wife of an overtaking car mouthing D.A.U.P.H.I.N.E to her pussled hubby.. It seems to be a car which engenders pleasant memories for many people when displayed at French Car Days.

    Parts are available but you will need to search, collect and hoard them. Several suppliers in East should be able to help also I find EBAY useful and also mail order from Melun Retro.

    The 850 Fiat Coupe is a much quicker car I have only been in a very hot one and it was in a differant league to the Dauphine. I have not been in a Dauphine G since my Dads when I was 4 yo.

    The three speed Gearbox with no syncro on first can also mean that it becomes effectively a two speed once on the move. It requires more concentration on traffic conditions to allow for these limitations ie like planning ahead.

    The Gordini with four speed pus extra power would I expect be the better driving proposition.

    Good luck with your decision ( I am happy with mine for its intended use)

    Graelin

  6. #6
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    Bah - first ever post here and it disappeared!
    This is the second try...

    Imagine someone missed out buying a restorable Mazda 600 Carol, and was cranky about it.
    Imagine that incident was enough to re-kindle a desire to buy a Fiat 850 coupe, or R8/10 or similar.
    Imagine that someone stumbled across a picture and some basic details on Dauphines while Googling for R8/10 info, and it pushed all of the right emotional buttons for him.

    What would he need to know before looking for one to buy?

    I've searched around on these forums and gotten a lot of useful stuff, but there's not a "big picture" view of the cars and their good points and bad points. Prices seem fairly low, although the supply is obviously very small.
    I am mechanically competent, and am used to living with old cars, so I don't need to be sat down and given the "Y'see son, it's not like buying a new Corolla" talk, but things like:
    Parts availabilty and interchangability?
    Any real weaknesses?
    What's different between a Gordini and a 'cookie cutter' one?
    Anyone driven both a Dauphine and Fiat 850? What's the comparison like?
    How slow are they? (Not expecting anything special, more just wondering if they're tolerably or intolerably slow).

    Anything else I should know?

    My apologies for the long post!
    TIA!

    PS: Ben, if you tell Jen - or anyone we both know, for that matter - that this post exists, or even that I'm registered here, I'll have to kill you with my bare hands!

    PPS: If I've asked a stupid question or seven, or questions that have already been asked and answered a million times, then feel free to flame me, while pointing me in the right direction... It's only fair - I do it to newbies on AusRotary all the time...
    Well it's been a while but I've driven both a Dauphine and a Fiat 850. I enjoyed both. The Fiat felt a lot more robust to me (having only 2 doors is part of that) and had a very different feel. They're basically upgraded Fiat 600s, although some people might take issue with me on that!

    I'd be happy with either personally. I suspect in Australia a Dauphine would be a bit easier to run in terms of parts and knowledge support but the Fiat 850 might be a tad better in modern traffic.

    Cheers

    JohnW

  7. #7
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    Default Damn lost the post!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    Bah - first ever post here and it disappeared!
    This is the second try...
    Occasionally when I do a long technical reply, the system stuffs itself and your reply just disapears into the ether

    I have got into the habit of using the Edit (copy) function of Internet Explorer to save a draft to the clipboard just in case.

    Also a copy saved in MS Word about a recurring tech. fault for a particular car, can save you a lot of typing when answering the same question (again and again) further down the track.

    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 25th March 2005 at 01:37 PM. Reason: minor

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a Dauphine/ Gordini or an older small Fiat the thread in this section named " An amazing Australian event" will be of interest.
    '56 Renault 4CV (16TS Power)
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  9. #9
    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore
    If you are looking for a Dauphine/ Gordini or an older small Fiat the thread in this section named " An amazing Australian event" will be of interest.
    Looks like its going to be quite a large event full of aussie froggers.

    May end up being quite a dog fight.

    Would be good to get together and take shares in bidding on some of those cars.. Who has the space for storage?
    Powered by high grade French plutonium.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Saru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore
    If you are looking for a Dauphine/ Gordini or an older small Fiat the thread in this section named " An amazing Australian event" will be of interest.
    That's what prompted Spac's post. He was surreptitiously showing me the ad in Australian Classic Car yesterday while his other half was in the next room reading.
    '94 405 Mi16

  11. #11
    Tadpole
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    Thanks for the replys, people.

    I think the 850 might be more likely for me - I have some 'contacts' in the Italian car world, and (more importantly) I have grudging approval/acceptance from my significant other to get an 850 at some stage...

    But of course, if a good Daupine G comes up first, anything could happen.

    The plan is that it would be concessionally registered, and only be a "Hey, it's a nice day, let's go for a drive" / club run type of car, but I'd still expect it to stop, go and handle reasonably - based on what's been said, I think a Gordini would be fine, but a cookie cutter Dauphine might be stretching the friendship.

    KenF, Yeah, I should have learned about copying posts by now, but well, I only seem to forget when it matters...

    Thanks again all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    But of course, if a good Daupine G comes up first, anything could happen.
    I'd say there is much more chance of finding a decent Fiat 850 over a decent Dauphine G or non G. The last time I would have seen a Dauphine on the road not at a French Car Day would be just under 15 years ago. Fiat 850's I see everyday, there is a scarily pristine original 850 sedan just up the road from work that I see parked, and I see three 850 coupes per day, all three are different yet still seem to be used as daily drivers. Also having 12 violt electrics they would be a lot more practical, not withstanding the spaghetti Marelli electrics!! :-)

    Good luck in your search

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Make me jelous

    In the Australian Classic Car March 2005 edition in "The Classic Throttle Shop" advert is what looks to be an immaculate Fiat 850 Sports Coupe.

    Advert reads

    1971 Fiat 850 Sports Coupe

    Metalic Rouge Red black interior, rear engine with 850cc, lovely original condition, rare and collectable. A$8,995

    address 66- 72 Pacific Highway North Sydney ph (02) 9922 4594 mob 0414 646663

    I am pretty sure that is not an original colour for it as i never saw metalic paint on them back then.

    There are very few of these that come up for sale in WA and a long time since ive seen a good one here. Last I saw was one in Kalgoorlie around 1990 that looked like new.

    Hope this helps

    Graelin

  14. #14
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    Thanks for the replys, people.

    I think the 850 might be more likely for me - I have some 'contacts' in the Italian car world, and (more importantly) I have grudging approval/acceptance from my significant other to get an 850 at some stage...

    But of course, if a good Daupine G comes up first, anything could happen.

    The plan is that it would be concessionally registered, and only be a "Hey, it's a nice day, let's go for a drive" / club run type of car, but I'd still expect it to stop, go and handle reasonably - based on what's been said, I think a Gordini would be fine, but a cookie cutter Dauphine might be stretching the friendship.

    KenF, Yeah, I should have learned about copying posts by now, but well, I only seem to forget when it matters...

    Thanks again all.
    If you can find a good one, I'd say go for it!!! They're quite charming. Of course if you can find a Sports Coupe, but hens teeth comes to mind.

    good luck with the search.

    JohnW

  15. #15
    Tadpole
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    Sorry, I should clarify my definition of "good" when it comes to 30+ yo cars... I'm happy to do a rebuild/resto, and I'm not uptight enough to be bothered with accurate nut and bolt type restos. For me, "good" means not too bent, not too rusty and not too incomplete... and as cheap as possible!

    I like the positivity of this forum. It's a nice change from listening to hyped up kids dribbling on about how everything should get "tubz" and polished 18" Simmons...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    For me, "good" means not too bent, not too rusty and not too incomplete... and as cheap as possible!
    And you expect to find all of those features, apart from the last item of cheapness, in a 30 plus year old Fiat :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Spac
    I like the positivity of this forum.
    As long as the Peugeot lads donít invade the Renault forum and start bleating on about how much better a Peugeot 206Gti is compared to an RS Clio (as if!), things are pretty tranquil. :-)

  17. #17
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    Default Hey Simon

    Ive got a 206 GTi and its quicker and handles better than my Dauphine!!!!

    Graelin

  18. #18
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    Ive got a 206 GTi and its quicker and handles better than my Dauphine!!!!

    Graelin
    I won't bite, but might observe gently that it takes a bit to beat a Dauphine for charm....... We have our fun, do we not?

    Good to see you at the Cit-in looking at the most extraordinary of the French designs.

    Cheers

    JohnW

  19. #19
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    Default Cit-in

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW
    I won't bite, but might observe gently that it takes a bit to beat a Dauphine for charm....... We have our fun, do we not?

    Good to see you at the Cit-in looking at the most extraordinary of the French designs.

    Cheers

    JohnW
    Thanks John lgreat to see you and the new Citroen. A really well kept example. Also a fantastic show of Citroens.
    Sorry had to leave to get my Easter Eggs and then been off witth the flu since then.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  20. #20
    Tadpole
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    Default Reluctant Sale: Dauphine Gordini

    G'day,
    I've had a Dauphine Gordini "long-term" reno going on in my folks garage for probably 10 years now. Most of the time it has spent under a car cover. I'm amazed at their patience but the eviction notice has ay last been served.
    I stripped the shell, had it painted (red) and partially reassembled.
    The seats have all been recovered, engine and running gear is original.
    A heap of spares is also available, I originally got it from SA and the deal included a badly rusted Dauphine.
    - I just havent got the time to get out to mums & dads to finish it all off.

    I'll take a few digital photos this weekend if anybody is interested.

    So if anybody is interested please drop me a mail and we can have a chat.

    Cheers,

    Andy

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andkor
    G'day,
    I've had a Dauphine Gordini "long-term" reno going on in my folks garage for probably 10 years now. Most of the time it has spent under a car cover. I'm amazed at their patience but the eviction notice has ay last been served.
    I stripped the shell, had it painted (red) and partially reassembled.
    The seats have all been recovered, engine and running gear is original.
    A heap of spares is also available, I originally got it from SA and the deal included a badly rusted Dauphine.
    - I just havent got the time to get out to mums & dads to finish it all off.

    I'll take a few digital photos this weekend if anybody is interested.

    So if anybody is interested please drop me a mail and we can have a chat.

    Cheers,

    Andy


    I've spent quite a bit of time lately helping my mate rebuild a Dauphine Gordini, we've just done the paint and refitted the brightwork, just (just ?) the interior and the windows now.

    Mike Brown

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