May be I can answer for France.


In France the Renault 16 may be the last car bought either by

businessmen and workers. Every social classes had a 16 once. The rich

had the TS and then the TX. The family and the worker had the L and

the TL. I'm working on local development and when I met businessmen,

they usually speak about my car. 50% of them had a 16. The other 50%

don't bother about cars or had a Peugeot. It's always this way when

the person I'm speaking to has 50 years old or more (I'm 37). If he

is part of my generation, he speaks about the car of his father ! The

long journey to the south in summer. The status of his family when

the 16 has been part of it and the regrets always coming along when

the father remembers those years ? "It was a very good car. But he

had to sell it because it was rotten..." Always needing to justify

themselves. My answer is always the same: "it was not a good car, it

is !".


Two of my uncles had one 16 in the early seventies. One was a

worker always on the road. His brother wanted to get a beautiful car

and was a worker too, but only use his car in our beautiful small

village. Both were not used car but new ones.


In France, the Renault 16 has a very positive image. It is

the image of a past when you can drive softly a nervous car, and

reach a good speed in new motorways. It's the first car with five

doors. The back's one (hatchback) was the revolution in 1965 (year of

my birth, gosh!) in such a big car. And it was a tall one: you don't

have to be a contortionist to sit in it. There is no door on it "cut

by the wheels" like cars of those days.


Well, hatchback, taller than the previous one, a roomy car,

between the station wagon and a classical car. The Renault 16 is not

the more innovative car (like the Citroën ID or DS was in the

fifties), it's just the first modern car, adapted to people's modern

way of life (mobility, tourism development implicate big luggage),

convenient in the new road network. For Renault trademark, this is

the first step before the legendary add "Renault, les voitures à

vivre" ("Renault, cars to live in"). The Renault 20, 30, 25 and

Safrane are only modern 16. The Espace and... Vel Satis are the

results of the 16 scheme applied on 80 and 90's cars (between

classical cars and station wagon).


It's a good example in France of a go-between. It has the

typic seventies' design (angles, agressive look, etc. ) the

architecture of the seventies, and the materials coming from the

early sixties (chrome lines and chrome bumpers for the figure,

"bakelite" - don't have the translation, sorry- , etc.) . Before the

16, a car is fat and smooth. After the 16, it's the reign of the

plastic... bye bye chrome.


Tomorrow morning, like every morning, when I'll drive my

children to school, I'll prepare them to have weird childhood

recollections in the future: "our dad was crazy. He was driving a 26

years old Renault 16, was often talking about the car and was making

theories on it for crazy people on the web. What futile habits had

these people in those days !"


Sorry for being so long. Passion talking.


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