Two Renault Sport favourites are set to be highlights of a 10-strong Renault Classic collection on display at this year’s Rétromobile 2020.
The annual show - an homage to vintage and classic cars - is set to be held from February 5-9 at Paris’s Parc des Expositions in Porte de Versailles, and among its 1,000 vehicles, 620 exhibitors and 120 clubs will be two cars that will thrill all fans of Renault Sport: 1975’s R12 Abidjan Nice and the 1993 Renault Clio I Williams.
The pair of sporty favourites will be amongst a collection of 10 rare, classic and vintage models specially voted for by Renault Classic fans on their Facebook page and chosen from a shortlist of 40 from the 750-strong Renault Classic collection.
Renault 12 Abidjan Nice
The Renault 12 was born from the popular Renault 8 in the mid-1970s. Popular thanks to its ‘all-at-the-front’ design, it was soon transformed into a racing car, both on the track with the Coupe Gordini, and in rallies where it provided some thrilling performances.
In Argentina, where the car was produced, a Renault 12 TL saloon with with Jorge Recalde and Jorge Baruscotti behind the wheel took sixth place behind five Mercedes (the only manufacturer with an official entry) in the 30,000km Vuelta a la America del Sud (Tour of South America).
But it was a successful third place in the madcap "Côte-Côte" between Abidjan and Nice that caught popular attention. Jean-Claude Briavoine entered a Renault 12 estate that had been converted into a 4x4 by Sinpar to the rally - and surprised the whole field by finishing behind a pair of Range Rovers. That same R12 Abidjan Nice will be on display at the show.
Renault Clio I Williams
Williams-Renault’s victory in the 1993 Formula 1TM World Championship proved the inspiration for Renault Sport’s other representative at Rétromobile, the Renault Clio I Williams. The original Clio was first released in 1990, with a sports version – the 16V – coming hot on its wheels a year later, and the Williams-Renault championship victory inspired Renault Sport engineers to go one further, creating an even more powerful version of the car in 1994.
The limited-edition hot hatch’s 150hp engine and hard suspension gave it an edge over rivals that soon translated to competition wins with Renault claiming the 1993 French Rally Championship. That success was matched in sales too with the original run of 2,500 selling out quickly before further production line was added. A feature of the first 3,800 models off the production line was a dashboard-mounted serial number that made them an instant collectors’ item.
The other eight models on display on the 600m2 Renault Classic stand at the show are:
● 1910 Renault Type BY
● 1929 Renault Type LO "Fireman”
● 1935 Renault Vivasport Cabriolet
● 1961 Renault Floride
● 1968 Renault Project H prototype
● 1972 Renault Torino
● 1972 Renault 17 TL
● 1984 Renault 5 TX
The ten cars selected by Renault Classic enthusiasts are also expected to be supplemented by a few last-minute addition surprise models sourced from private collections.
Visitors to Rétromobile 2020 will find much to enjoy elsewhere at the show – with rally organisers, sellers of spare parts, insurers and auctioneers all present.
Rétromobile Show 2020, the International Classic Cars Exhibition, February 5-9 2020, Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris. See https://www.retromobile.com/