50 years of the Renault 4

Long before the launch of Renault’s best-selling model, the Clio supermini reached the eight million sales mark (it currently has over ten million to its name), the third-best selling car not currently in production was winning the hearts of French and worldwide drivers alike.

The Renault 4 dominated small car sales from 1964 to 1992, when production ceased, becoming the third best-selling car in automotive history not currently in production in the process.

It sits behind the Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Model T to take that honour, and Renault will be launching a series of celebrations to celebrate 50 years since it was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1961 next year.

These include a travelling exhibition taking in the Retromobile classic car show in Paris, the World Series by Renault, several automotive museums and a stint in the 2011 Historic Monte Carlo Rally.

The Renault 4 was the first front-wheel drive passenger car from the company and its low price led to it being labelled a ‘blue jeans’ car.

It featured van and saloon versions, and sold over eight million models in 31 years.

It was also one of the first Renault’s to boast limited edition models, including the Parisienne from the 60s, the 1970’s Safari and the Jogging and Sixties from the 1980s.

Remember, this was long before the host of Clio special edition models, which include the 20th anniversary edition and the racing-inspired Gordini models.

However, it is a Renault Twingo city car special edition which will resonate with the Renault 4 the most, because the Twingo Miss Sixty – a car designed by the fashion label of the same name – will be recreated as a Renault 4 Miss Sixty model to celebrate its 50th anniversary.+

The Renault 4 Miss Sixty is a one-off car designed by Renault’s design team in association with Miss Sixty, and produced by Renault Histoire & Collection as part of the model’s half-century celebrations.

It is based on a 1965 Renault 4L and features a specific body colour and bespoke decals on the boot, rear left wing and two of its wheels, as well as specific rear lights and an interior trimmed in grey denim with pink stitching and embroidered patterns.

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing the Renault 4 on the roads again, but console yourselves with these images of the classic car: