Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Dacia.
The Renault corporation was founded as the Societe Renault Freres in Billancourt, France as a family firm by three Renault brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand with a capital of 60,000 francs. From the very beginning, Louis managed to show innovation when he invented and later patented a direct drive system on his De Dion-Bouton tricycle which he already turned into a four-wheel vehicle. Louis also understood that it would be only through racing that he would make the Renault name known to the world so he entered his vehicles in city-to-city races where his brothers acted as drivers. A number of victories earned them the notoriety they were searching for. People watching the races made orders despite the fact the cars were expensive for the time. The company quickly developed and set up shop by the Seine. The model line-up now had several models, including the first saloon in 1902. That was also the year that Louis designed his first engine, a four-cylinder, which gave out 24 HP. In 1903, Marcel, one of the Renault brothers died in the Paris to Madrid race in a crash, a hard blow both for the company and for Louis who would now assign professional drivers to race for Renault. Instead, he focused on bringing Renault carts to more European markets and even over to the Americas.As the gap between the United States and Europe widened because of the war and the economic crash, Renault sought to improve production and to lower costs. After the economic crisis, he wanted to become more autonomous and started buying all sorts of businesses that provided him with the materials and parts needed to make cars. He also modernized the factory, emulating Ford and his plant, introducing assembly plants in 1922. During the economic crash of the 30s, all car manufacturers had to suffer and Renault was no exception. The company was forced to cut costs, reduce staff and become more efficient in production. That's why it started expanding into other areas, basically building anything with a motor attached to it. Busses, lorries, electric railcars, tractors and even airplane engines, all were now coming out of the Renault plant.With worker strikes plaguing all of the country, Renault was nationalized by the government in 1945 in order to keep it from going bankrupt like Citroen had done some years before. The first project made by the new company was the small 4CV, but it was postponed until after WWII. For the European market, small cars were the future because they were cheap to buy and maintain.The 4CV, introduced in 1946, proved to be a major success, much larger than initially expected. With the money the company made from sales, it bought and developed heavy machinery to help with production. Renault then turned again to the heavy goods sector and by merging two existent companies, Latil and Somua, they created a new company, completely dedicated to making trucks – Saviem. As the 4CV aged, a new model was ready to surface, the Dauphine, which appeared in 1956. It too enjoyed great success, even in the US. In fact, it was so successful over the ocean that Renault had to setup a special transport company, CAT, to accommodate the high demand. Next, the Renault 4 and the Renault 8 took over where the Dauphine left off in 1961.Renault started the 70s with another success, the sportier and more agile Renault 5, which owed its favorable welcome to its fuel efficiency during the oil crisis. But this didn't mean that the company was safe during these turbulent times. In a bid to retake the American market, Renault started assembling Rambler complete knock down kits and marketing them as Renault Ramblers.Also during the 70s, Renault began expanding its influence and opened up plants in Eastern Europe, Africa and even Australia. The partnership with the American AMC company came in 1979. At the beginning of the 80s, Renault found itself in financial trouble again and the chairman of the company at the time decided to pul the company out of racing altogether, as well as selling all non-essential assets and cutting costs left and right. The good news was that by 1987 the company began turning the balance in favor of profit, so that at the beginning of the 90s, a whole new line-up was released on the market and all models proved successful: the new Clio, the new Espace, Twingo and the Laguna. The 1995 Renault Megane was the first car ever to achieve a four-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests. Also during the 90s, Renault returned to Formula 1 racing and with success nonetheless, having won the Championship in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997. In 1996 it was decided that a state-owned status of the company would not benefit in the long run so it was privatized again. Renault made further investments in Brazil, Argentina and Turkey. After 2000, it launched a series of less successful vehicles like the Avantime and the Vel Satis, but also continued successfully with older series like the Clio, Laguna and Megane. Now the government owns 15,7% of the company, which has since bought Romanian car manufactures Dacia and the South Korean Samsung not to mention 20% of Volvo
Renault 4CVShow Article
The first Dacia 1300 left the assembly line and was exhibited at the Paris and Bucharest shows of that year. Romanians were delighted with the modernity and reliability of the car, and waiting lists were always lengthy.
Dacia 1300Show Article
The last Dacia models of the 1300 series rolled out the gates of the Mioveni production facility, just one month before their 35th anniversary. The "1300" stands for the engine displacement. The very last Dacia 1310 (saloon version), number 1,979,730, was kept in the Dacia Museum. The Romanian government of the 1960s had decided to acquire the tooling and basic design of a modern, western automobile, in order to offer their own car to the Romanian people. Terms stated that the vehicle had better not be expensive, large enough for a family, and had to be powered by an engine no larger than 1.3 litres. Offers came from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Austin and others, but the winner was the Renault 12. The decision towards the French car was probably political to a large extent but sound, nonetheless. Most of the resulting vehicles were sold to consumers in the Communist Eastern bloc and in export markets such as South America, Canada, China, or North Korea, but also Great Britain or the Netherlands. When automobile production started at the Mioveni factory, the Renault 12 was but a prototype, for which reason, Renault offered CKD kits and tooling for the older Renault 8 Major, as a temporary replacement, resulting in the Dacia 1100, for a few years until the much awaited Romanian people's car would arrive. Both the R12 and its licensed copy, were launched in 1969. During the first few years of production, the plant assembled CKD kits imported from France. At the time of its launch, the 1300 was a modern car offering good comfort, safety, good performance and reliability, and even more so by eastern standards of the time, set by 1960's and 70's Skodas, Ladas, Moskwich, Wartburgs and other eastern block industry creations.The 1300 was subject to multiple face lifts in an effort to maintain consumers' interest in the model, but the basic design was kept for its entire 35-year lifespan. Although performance and fuel consumption were gradually improved, quality didn't always meet the standard once they had stopped importing CKD kits. Body panel corrosion became the model's number one problem. Air conditioning, airbags and anti-lock brakes, were never offered. Multiple pick-ups derived from the original sedan and estate bodies, but also a less popular 2-door coupe and an even rarer liftback. In 1982, its name was changed into Dacia 1310 and later also came "1410", "1210" and a few others. New versions of Dacia Pick-Up were introduced starting 1981. In 1983 the whole range was facelifted for the 1984 model year. A coupé version of the car, the 1410 Sport, with two doors and a lowered roof, was also released in 1983. In 1985 the drop-side coupé utility (pick up) was introduced and in 1987 the Dacia 1320 liftback. In 1989 the production for the facelifted 1310 sedan, van and estate was over, although the pick up continued until 1990. The 1320 stopped in 1990. In 1989, a new generation Dacia 1310 was launched in estate and sedan versions. It was a minor modification of the previous generation with new headlights. The liftback named Dacia 1325 Liberta was introduced in 1990. The 1310 van was launched in 1990 and the coupé utility (pickup) versions in 1992. A double cab version of the pickup was introduced, and later also a king cab version. The fully facelifted Dacia 13xx range was introduced in 1993. Designed in the 1960s, the model was long in the tooth by now and its chassis was no longer able to meet safety standards of the 1980s and 90s. Therefore, Dacia started design for a replacement in the 1980s. However, financial and political setbacks only allowed the replacement to be launched in 1994, by which time it was already outdated, as the Dacia Nova. Later evolving into Dacia SupeRNova and Dacia Solenza. Although faster and displaying better road manners, the Nova never replaced the 1310 range, due to its higher price, smaller interior and other disappointing factors. Nova, SuperNova and Solenza only came in a liftback body. The true replacement only came in 2004 with the Logan. In an effort to keep up with modern standards, the last version was equipped with fuel injection system and a catalytic converter, meeting Euro2 emission standards.The model scored solid sale numbers right up to its last day of production, mainly due to its low price, value for money, easy and cheap maintenance. The sedan ("Berlina") and the estate ("Break") had €4,100 and €4,250 price tags respectively, for the year 2004. The "Pick-Up" range ended production in 2006. Dacia Logan replaced the 1310 range in 2004.
The Dacia Sandero super mini was launched in France.
Dacia SanderoShow Article
The new Dacia Logan went on sale in France. The entry-level price was €7,600 including VAT.
Dacia LoganShow Article