JAMES, CANADA, 2010

   I bought my first R16 (used) in 1969 on the strength of a favourable review in the English magazine "Motor Sport". I appreciated it's technical features such as the torsion bar suspension and engine mounted behind the front axle line, as well as the versatility of the 5 door hatchback body style. I must have enthused about it because two of my friends bought 16's too! Although I grew up in the UK, I was not too impressed with English cars, and would not even look at an American product!
   In 1980 I was looking for a something to drive every day instead of the Lancia that I had at the time. I came across  a 1970 'TS and could not resist it!  A year or two later it blew the head gasket, and as I was rebuilding an R5 at the time, it had to wait.
   When I eventually came to look at it, I discovered it had a serious rust problem. Somewhat foolishly I embarked upon what turned into a comprehensive overhaul!  In 1986 it was back on the road, and continued in daily use until 1995, when I went to work in Africa for several years.  It remained "cocooned" until until five years ago when I decided that the only way that I could justify it's existence was to bring it up to "Collector" status here in British Columbia, which I was able to achieve without too much trouble., and so 30 years later I still have the 40 year old "TS. 
   Although Renaults were assembled in Canada for a limited time, and were more popular in Quebec (where unfortunately their rusting problems were more acute, on account of the east coast climate), they were really a car for for those who wanted something different and a European car appealed. The R5 reached a wider market, but the Alliance produced as a result of the agreement between Renault and American Motors was a commercial failure and the end was not far off for Renault in Canada. But I do not believe that it had anything to do with Charles de Gaulle!
   One thing that one could always depend upon; 4 out of 5 people experiencing their first ride in a 16 would comment on how comfortable the car was!
James
Vancouver, Canada                  

 

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