Renault in Australia: The Useless Info File

JohnW

Too many posts!
John, I need to move this down to Perth from the country very soon where I have had it stored for twelve years. I like this sign! I was wondering if some one could make up a stand for it so it could be used for SIVA displays as a lovely period sign, it is complete with all electric just needs a plug fitted. Do you think something could be made up?

Good idea, and the French Car Day....

Come to a SIVA meeting and put the idea to a reasonably-sized group!

Cheers
 

59 Floride

Member
This pic of Pound Motors was posted on a French Fregate forum as a possible source of my Fregate.

I have not a clue where my car came from and probably will never.

It's very interesting to note the presence of what looks like a Juvaquatre van..:headbang:

attachment.php
 

Attachments

  • austra10.jpg
    austra10.jpg
    83.8 KB · Views: 1,114
Last edited:

Simon

1000+ Posts
This pic of Pound Motors was posted on a French Fregate forum as a possible source of my Fregate.

I have not a clue where my car came from and probably will never.

It's very interesting to note the presence of what looks like a Juvaquatre van..:headbang:

attachment.php

What a great find! I wonder where they came across that picture.

I’d be thinking your Fregate was assembled by Berk’s in Sydney. They were also the Queensland and NSW distributors.

I’ve noted that Renault Classic are again issuing Certificates of Authenticity, it’d be interesting what information was available, if it was a CKD kit, where it was assembled, and where the car was sold? As opposed to a certificate confirming “Yes, it is a Renault Fregate”.

Link on their site:

https://en.renaultclassic.com/tools-and-services/


And the link to the application form:

https://fr.renaultclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/demande-certificat-dauthenticite_en.pdf
 

59 Floride

Member
I am or the opinion that all Fregates were fully imported. I don't like banging heads with the Guru but are you sure you aren't mistaken about the CKD..?
 

Sunroof

1000+ Posts
I read somewhere that the "upholstery for the Fregate was made in Australia and was considered to be equivalent to that on the imported cars". I have put it in inverted commas even though I cannot swear to it being in exactly those words. Easy to find out I should imagine from the sites above whether it was CKD. I'm not sure how they handled CKD at Renault France records but I guess 50 EUR and we'll all know. I have often been going to get a copy of the document print out for some of my cars but never bothered. The documents I have seen are a bit disappointing and don't really tell you all that much. From memory, colour, engine and chassis numbers, date, etc, and who it was supplied to.
 

Simon

1000+ Posts
I am or the opinion that all Fregates were fully imported. I don't like banging heads with the Guru but are you sure you aren't mistaken about the CKD..?

Not all of them. Some of the very early ones, and, apparently, all of the Grand Pavois. The Aussie assembled ones have no stencilled factory or paint codes and also the Aussie heavy grade trim as well as Australian tyres, battery and obviously paint. The trim appears the same as the FE/FC Holden "Elascofab" trim. That's why yours would be hard to identify, given there was no trim, or paint code to stat with :)
 

59 Floride

Member
Your depth of knowledge is astounding, that's for sure.

The trim on my car is rolled aluminium and of very different profile to the polished stainless trims on the Holden.




556408_393832624004683_1503184925_n.jpg


 

JohnW

Too many posts!
4CV production by Berks remains confusing and/or poorly documented, at least to me. My Renault 750 was made in December 1950, judging by its oval plate number. However, discussions in Australia and France have not been able to establish whether it was built there or assembled in Australia.

The date might be that of the oval plate being fixed to the body shell as the CKD kit was put together for export.

Clues are contradictory:

1. When I bought it in 1966 it had, to the best of my recollection, one very old French Dunlop cross-ply which I never thought of photographing.
2. The rear number plate lamp is quite different from all French and most Australian cars. One other early R1062 car in Brisbane has an identical light fitting but I've never seen another.
3. When repainted recently, the primer was remarkably tenacious - perhaps intended for export by ship? Who knows.
4. The "dummy running boards" in France, and almost always in Oz, are chrome, reproduced in stainless. Mine have always been painted. Recently we had 80 examples of the 4CV at Montlhery, and all with those fittings were chromed. One 1949 R1060 appeared at the Muster in Cowra in 2007 with this fitting painted. My French friends have never seen this fitting painted, only in chromium.
5. Mine had a mushroom-coloured fine wool fabric on the seats (the backs are still orginal). I recently saw identical fabric on an early 1951 car in France.

The number plate lamp and the painted "running board" might hint at Australian assembly. The upholstery, old French Dunlop tyre and the good primer might hint at French assembly.

I'm floating this in case someone has thought of anything else.

All thoughts welcome.
 

Attachments

  • Rear number plate lamp.jpg
    Rear number plate lamp.jpg
    91.9 KB · Views: 260
  • 4CV oval plate 25082.jpg
    4CV oval plate 25082.jpg
    97.1 KB · Views: 280
  • 4CV diamond plate.jpg
    4CV diamond plate.jpg
    98.6 KB · Views: 257
  • 4CV Carosserie 9827.jpg
    4CV Carosserie 9827.jpg
    98.1 KB · Views: 261
  • Dummy running boards.jpg
    Dummy running boards.jpg
    43.3 KB · Views: 241

JohnW

Too many posts!
Deep red-brown. I don't have a single decent photograph to show this, but I've done enough rubbing over the years to remember.

Yours looks pinker than mine, but that might just be the photograph.

Here's the car after soda blasting. The tenacious reddish primer remnants give the whole colour impression. It took dilute phosphoric acid to get it off.
 

Attachments

  • Stripped to metal 1.jpg
    Stripped to metal 1.jpg
    37.5 KB · Views: 278

59 Floride

Member
Not being a qualified detective or anything but the green primer above is the same hue as the original primer of my Floride. The Florides were all imported so therefor I conclude my Fregate to be French.
 

Kim Luck

1000+ Posts
CKD helped bring the Australian auto industry up to speed with European and US vehicle practices. The CKD R12s ended up with an over 85% local content.
 

JohnW

Too many posts!
Ah. I definitely have no green at all, but the red on that is similar to my primer. Mine was made in late 1950, so a bit earlier.

Thanks for that though.
 

Simon

1000+ Posts
Happy 40th Anniversary ADR 27A! Touted to be the end of interesting cars in Australia, July 1 1976 saw Australian Design Rule 27A emission rules introduced, with the aim of clearing the air pollution in congested city areas.

It also signalled the end of the Renault 16 in Australia. There was consideration of installing the 1,647cc motor from the Swedish spec 16, which also introduced similar emission rules for 1976. However engineering the 16 to comply with the new Australian rule was deemed too expensive, and too late into its overall production life. Especially given the impending introduction of further Australian Design Rules rules in regards to braking systems, side intrusion and child restraint requirements in later 1976 and 1977.

The Renault 12 range fared rather better. Gaining the Swedish spec 1,397cc motor, to become the 12 1.4, at the same time changing its type designation to R1179 for the sedan, and R1338 for the wagon. Given the stockpile of the May 1976 introduction, non-27A compliant, 12XL, the official release of the 12 1.4, as yet another additional model to the 12XL and 12GL range, was not until October 1976.

Renault claimed 10% more power (49.3kW) and 13% more torque (103Nm) from the 1.4 motor. And in an era of rapidly rising inflation, the range priced from $5,398 (12 1.4, manual, sedan) to $6,570 (12 1.4 Special, automatic, station sedan) was considered a bargain in the realm of European cars in Australia.

Another victim of ADR27A was the Renault 15/17 range. A final batch of Series 1 17TL and 17 Gordinis were imported for Australia prior to the introduction of 27A, with the revised Series 2 range not making the cut.

Renault Australia stocks of the 16 and 17 models were sufficient to allow both models to sell though to late 1977 and early 1978. Though I hate to think of their inventory holding costs over that time.

So, could ADR 27A be considered a success? With the benefit of hindsight, obviously yes, especially in conjunction with the various other emission rules over the last 40 years. At the time, it was normal for APP (Air Pollution Potential) alerts to be issued for city areas. I can't remember hearing one of those on the radio for many years...... And in terms of performance, cars today are so much better than even those immediate pre-27A offerings!
 
Top