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1963 Renault Dauphine

This 1963 Renault Dauphine has been owned by Stuart & Michelle Kitchen for the last 15 years. It has led a very sheltered life having previously been in a Renault dealer’s private collection in Dorset for 20 years. The car has only done 45,000 miles and apart from a new coat of paint about 17 years ago has never been restored.

Renault introduced the Dauphine at the 1956 Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva with a claim of 70mph and 45mpg.  The little 845cc Ventoux rear mounted engine is water cooled with stylish air vents behind the rear doors. It has several features not seen on cars of the era such as a steering lock, automatic choke and the spare wheel tucked neatly behind the front bumper.  The Dauphine was an instant success in the UK and Europe as well as the USA.  More than 2 million were sold worldwide and at its UK peak, cars were assembled in Acton, West London. Its success, particularly in the USA was short lived as the lightweight construction was no match for their salt covered roads. One journalist wrote that after just one winter the front wings were like net curtains! Fortunately 860 WFK doesn’t suffer from this problem.

The Dauphine was successful in many international Rallies, taking the first four places in the 1956 Mille Miglia and winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in 1958. Other interesting facts include being the first minicabs in London and an almost identical car being owned by HM the Queen in 1957. Due to the corrosion problems there are now only a handful of these cars left in the UK.

More information can be found on the Wikipedia website which includes an image of 860 WFK on the front page.

Click on picture to increase to full size, then click on arrow to move from picture to picture.

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