50 years ago was not a plentiful supply of sports cars in the world catalog, so that only his BMC Mini Cooper, Ford Lotus Cortina with his Alfa Romeo Giulia TI with or with BMW 1800 TI, were the only suppliers of this concept called sports tourism. As for us, the Spanish, 50 years ago, the only sports tourism that was available was the 600 “ready.”

renault-8-gordini-amazing-drift-atanas-panchovA sports sedan, that is, a family sedan, 4 or 5 seats and 4 doors equipped with a performance sports car, was the easiest and the cheapest way to provide high performance and, simultaneously, the utility of a family car, which one hand deprived of distinction and sportsmanship of an exclusive body, but kept an affordable price and a performance capable of habitability sport’s family, without his body, – exempt “their war paint” – so demonstrate.

Renault, providing a sporty version of its 4 CV and then his Dauphine, did the same with the successor of both the R8, which expanded its offering prestige and its image, as there is no car enthusiast motorist (many car users who use the car without the special hobby), no friend of the car that somehow do not like the sport and want to show it with a few consonants and aesthetic benefits.

RENAULT8Gordini-2042_3The Renault R 8 submitted in Castilian lands on June 1962, but not manufactured in Valladolid until November 1965 – was a disciple Beetle, Volkswagen Beetle and then the French Renault 4 was called in Spain-4/4 – Dauphine and then, as already said.

Its manufacturer quickly replaced her initial 956 cc engine 1108 cc for the Caravelle 1100, which kept all the useful characters and refined performance, benefits that had not reached the ceiling of their possibilities.

That was how the previous experience of preparing Gordini-Dauphine in amending the plans sporty-R was extended to 8 and the result was the R8 Gordini 1100.

In this case the preparation referred to mechanical tweaks and little more than a “war paint” on an aesthetic level, so that Amadeo Gordini, an accomplished trainer and specialist shows mechanical horse family, could provide the definitive sports Renault 8, Renault 8 Gordini the 1100 type 1134, officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October 1964, the production model was launched in September 1964 and Model that 2,626 units were built with few changes until June 1966.

renaultp210The Renault, which advertised it with a picture of Amadeo Gordini with its open rear cover, defined the R8 Gordini 1100, on the occasion of its official launch at the Paris Motor Show 1964 – in these terms:

“The R8 Gordini must allow an entire clientele of enthusiastic and sporty driving enthusiasts, the chance to indulge their passion without thereby invest more than the price of a standard car” .

RENAULT-8-gordini-192620The R8 Gordini 1100 could be described therefore as an R8 Major-R 8 engine 1108 cc R 10, which here never was made ​​- who is endowed rocker and hemispheric cameras, new valves and tree reinforced cam, a new pinion two Solex carburetors 40 MPH, an oil cooler, a leak of four outputs, four rear shock absorbers, springs and servo sale suspension without other external differences on Major R8 their appearance lower, larger diameter your headlights, blue paint France, double white bands left side and the name Gordini seated right at the back .

renault-8-gordini-le-reve-bleuA few modifications such R8 Gordini 1100 joined. Throughout its production, a new positioning of your steering rack, front modified headlights, the adoption of a heated two-speed or a reinforcement of the pinion of the second, as well as changing the Solex carburetors are initialed by the Weber 40 DCOE.

Sporting success gave reason to the manufacturer, who from June 1966 to June 1970 released 8,981 copies of the 1300 R8 Gordini type 1135, also with few modifications such as on the calibration of your rear shock, the change of ignition coil , improvements in transmission control or changes in their scorecard.

The press welcomed with true joy to R8 Gordini 1100 and L’Automobile defined, it after the test as “honest illustration of sporty vocation that can be given to an R8 without incurring excessive complications.” They added that accepted family use and sports use, but “had to be handled with care to 795 kg car 170 km / h”.

renault-8-gordini-alpine-a110-2L’Automobile described the R8 Gordini 1100 as having a mild and a discreet engine to 4000 RPM, engine featuring a half decent 1600 because their performance, similar to the 1300 Mini Cooper S , were translated into a top speed of 166.4 km / h, accelerating from standstill in 18 4/10 to 400 m in 35 seconds to km (4-door 1600 BMW-like saying now D-520 was 153.1 km / h maximum speed and accelerated at 19 3/10 36 5/10, the figures of R10’s length was 129.2 km / h and 21 7/10 41 2/10, figures in 1100 were 192 Alpine 5 km / h and 17 8/10 32 6/10). Such figures imply velocísticas fuel consumption between 8.4 and 13.7 l per 100 km. To better understand the performance R8 Gordini 1100, I must say that its retail price in France in 1965 was 11,500 f, Costing 14,950 BMW 1600, 7800 Renault R 10 and 18,890 the 1100 Alpine alluded.

Specifically, L’Automobile he recognized the R8 Gordini 1100 good performance, excellent value for driving pleasure, comfortable seating and character of what could be defined as “a sports civilized”, well equipped, hard suspension, although slid back (more wet), requiring some attention corrections and at high speeds, especially with the wind.

RENAULT-8-gordini-192620Regarding its flaws scoring one gearbox poorly-adapted, allowing 50 at first, 85 at second and 125 third-, with poor synchro (especially from fourth to third and to engage reverse) direction geared down excessively soft and vague, pedals too far right and a marked sensitivity to side winds.

For its part, L’AutoJournal felt that the R8 Gordini 1100 offered “the best value driving pleasure of his life, relationship,” although he was considered “dangerous for unprepared young people who have not shot more than 150 km / h “.

Was added to R8 Major, an R 8-1100, whose hemispherical cylinder head, the valves V, the 10 compression ratio, 4:1, the two-point ignition, the two horizontal twin carburetors, the fan 6 blades and oil cooler 3.25 liter made the difference, as did its recessed and equipped with 4 cushions, a different setting of the front end, the booster and its center of gravity lowered rear suspension.

renault-8-gordini-20Specifically, praising its very high performance: 168 km / h top speed and acceleration to 400 m of 18 ¾ and 35 seconds to reach km (R 8-956, as manufactured by FASA, was 131 km / h top speed and 42 km from standstill seconds, for example, a Citroen ID 19 reached 158 km / h and ran km in 38 3/5 seconds).

They continued to say that the brakes were very good, so that their average consumption stood at 10.4 l per 100 km and that comfort was a virtue, but his suspension was loaded stopper; also highlighted their good seats and equipment (6 dampers, brake booster, oil radiator, two double carburetors, electric counter depression and two speakers) and its stability, noting, however, that their rear skids resulted sudden.

Renault_8_gordini_02As you pointed out flaws, one unstable idle, as easy deregulation was “unbearable in town” you. To this amounted to a gearbox poorly adapted, a box that did not allow changes to broadcast and requiring 5 speed.

Other defects in them were the exhaust, its sensitivity to side wind, the fueling dangerous (the fuel inlet on the rear lid would, on the motor…) and their bad suspensions agreed between the two trains, front and soft rigid rear.

As for the R8 Gordini 1300, L’Automobile describing it as “a gift of the Renault motor sport fans in need of a car for the family,” that is, as a sporty little complicated and useful series, a solution mixed family-sport enthusiasts who do not value as essential comfort its high performance and who will not require special talent for management, although attention.

renault_53627_global_enIn the test performed, the magazine began pointing out their differences with the R8 Gordini 1100, which he considered his logic, then differences concrete in its four headlights and her “diamond” forward, as well as its leather steering wheel – since 1968 have three arms leaky-its 5-speed gearbox, which allowed to reach 120 km / h in third and 150 km / h in fourth-, 1255 cc engine capable of 110 HP and hardened suspension, with increased availability of exterior colors to add to the end of its commercial life, the famous 418 blue: white, yellow, red, gray, green and blue sky.

L’Automobile consider the R8 Gordini 1300 car of good performance (175 km / h top speed and 17 7/10 and 33 2/10 seconds to make plays from 400 to 1000 m), thanks to an engine petardeante stocking themselves allowing a 2 liter.

They praised its stability civilized sport, fun to drive, understeer at the limit, where he had sought above all comfort, also praising his brakes, at the height of their benefits and their seats.

r8mch10As pointed defect management, soft and uncertain, your shifter and slow, especially at second synchronizers. Geared down and your suspension too hard, and their luggage and their dangerous gasoline filling were criticized as described.

Near the end of his career, the 1300 R8 Gordini faced in 1968 in a comparative test the very sporty Alpine 1300, the fun Mini Cooper S 1300, the moot Matra Djet V, the serious Lancia Fulvia HF Rallye and homogeneous Simca S 1200, a test in which he was regarded as the most honest, as defined him as a serious mechanical level, as well as very competitive given its performance and price, but warned that it was an extrapolation of the series with stability led to a high demand given limit its power, it also abocando compromising comfort.

For the sake, that test pitting the Gordini 1300 competition with his time, added that consumption proved the most economical and performance (171.1 km / h top speed and 17 6/10 and 33 2 / 10 to 400 m and km from standstill) were exceeded only by the Alpine and Matra. As for brakes and habitability, the Gordini 1300 had proved to be the most lauded option.

Renault_8_GordiniL’AutoJournal, meanwhile, described the R8 Gordini 1300 as an extremely high performance car (175 km / h top speed and 33 2/5 for the km from standstill, measuring the same magazine in R 8 S., our TS-R 8 143.3 km / h top speed and 39 2/5 to 1000 m from standstill) They considered their very strong brakes, good-although its stability at the expense of a considerable tightening of suspension – its nice box of 5 speeds and a fifth heavyweight allowing also roll 50 km / h in town. Was branded while pleasing your address, your team and abundant spacious front seats.

But there were flaws in the R8 Gordini 1300 as L’AutoJournal it hard starts suspension in excess or scarce tires, following their slow synchro, heavy drinking, his trunk decreased by supplemental front reservoir and your wiper one speed.

Kadett-et-gorde-abatistta-290Key features of the R8 Gordini were:

Engine 4 cylinders in line 1108 cc (70 × 72) which gives 95 HP at 6500 RPM sea 5 crankshaft bearings, overhead valves and hemispheric V inclined head, powered by 2 C 40 PHH Solex carburetors (1,255 cc and dimensions of 74.5 x 72 giving 110 HP at 6750 RPM sea, fed by two Weber 40 DCOE carburetors in the case of 1300)
Gearbox 4-speed and single disc dry clutch (5 speed in 1300)
Management zip
Hydraulic disc brakes on all 4 wheels with servo
4-wheel independent suspension by coil springs with two dampers front and four on the rear axle
Dimensions of 3,995 m in length, width and 1,370 1,490 high. Tires 165 x 380 radial. Weight of 795 kg (855 kg unladen weight in the case of 1300)

renault_53625_global_enWith respect to the sporting exploits of the R8 Gordini, suffice it to say that the hard won Tour of Corsica in November 64, also in 1965, capturing the top 5 thanks to a prototype engine 1300 and in 1966, this time when Jacob was driving Piot and R8 Gordini bodywork in light alloy and equipped with a 1440 cc engine, the car broke no less than an Alfa Romeo GTA.

Likewise, it is up another credit to R8 Gordini: to popularize the automobile competition, being in France the protagonist of the Gordini Cup event held between April 16, 1966 and September 28, 1970 and manifestation of that came Andruet pilots as prestigious, or Thérier Jabouille.

His successor, the Renault 12 Gordini, he regretted the absence of so charismatic R 8 prepared, whose true Spanish version was the Renault 8 TS.


For a better understanding of the phenomenon R8 Gordini seems appropriate reading our chapter R8 Gordini, IE the R 8 TS.

Evolution, sports feats and the number of units manufactured of R8 Gordini come from # 100 magazine Gazoline and Automobilia # 49 magazine in which a historian of great stature, René Bellu, gives a different production figures: R8 Gordini 1100 2,623 and 9,580 R8 Gordini 1300.

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