Peugeot 404 Cabrio And A Few Other French Delights

During my Peugeot 404 era, I desperately wanted one of these; a true automotive boulevardier, just the ticket for cruising Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. CC Cohort kurtzos found this Pininfarina-designed 404 Cabriolet somewhere in Spain, along with a few other French (and non-French) delicacies.

In America, the Renault R5 has become another laughingstock (mostly). In Europe, it attained cult status long ago, thanks to a number of appealing qualities and the fact that it was made for so long, in so many variants. This is an Alpine Turbo; not the legendary and wild Renault 5 Turbo with its wild rear-seat mounted high-boost engine and giant rear wheels. The Alpine Turbo (called Gordini in the UK) made 110 hp from its 1.4 L engine, and was a one of the famous “hot hatches” or “superminis” of the early eighties. Sadly it never made it to the US.

Strictly speaking, the five door version of the US-bound Le Car was available in its last year or two, but they were very rare. For that matter, I’ve yet to find an R5 in the field. I know eventually I’ll find one.

Here’s the R10 that so valiantly tried to keep the brand going in the US during the Beetle’s heyday. One of these days, I promise a full history of Renault in the US.

And an R12 too. I know that all things Renault have a crappy rep in the US; partly well deserved, but also partly because they were misunderstood by their owners and mechanics. But Renaults have brought so much color to the automotive scene over the decades. Having never owned one, it’s easy for me to praise their quirky charms, right? What about that hot R8 Gordini next to it? No photos, sadly.

We’ll leave sunny Spain with this homely Citroen Dyane 6, an effort to “update” the 2CV in a more modern suit. Good luck with that.