£7,677 Worth of Cosseting from Renault

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Another car I have been trying recently, very different from a Panda, is the 2.2-litre Renault 20TX, top-model of the 20-range. What a comfortable, refined car it is! It has a slightly longer-stroke-than-bore, 88 x 89 mm., 2,165 c.c., overhead-camshaft, light-alloy, four cylinder, five-bearing engine, driving the front wheels, of course, but mounted normally. The drive goes through an excellent 5-speed gearbox and the 20TX has enhanced road-grip from Michelin TRX tyres on light alloy wheels.

With 115 (DIN) b..p, available at 5,500 r.p.m. (and 6,000 r.p.m. safe), this large but not over-big four-door Hatchback Renault has impressive, effortless performance. Although the final-drive ratio has been lowered to 4.11 to 1, it is possible to run up to 98 m.p.h. in 4th gear, with a maximum in fifth of 106 m.p.h. Acceleration, at 10 1/2 seconds to 60 m.p.h. from rest, and a s.s. 1/4-mile in 18 seconds, is very “usable” on the road. Apart from which, it is the excellent ride, seating comfort, and the sensible controls which combine to make this car outstandingly good value. The light power-steering doesn’t have the “feel” of, say, that of a Rover, especially on wet roads, and the stiffened, all-independent, suspension has not entirely ironed-out Renault roll. But to all intents and purposes this is a fine-handling, long-legged car, quiet at speed, if not possessing quite a V8 hush. It has clear instrumentation but difficult-to-understand heater-control markings, although once learned, the cosseting here equals that of the rest of this impressive car.

Those who feel that the days of five-figure-priced, near single-figure m.p.g., cars are numbered should certainly consider this £7,677 Renault 20TX, which has electric front-windows, cruise control, central-locking, power steering and those impressive, low-profile Michelin TRX tyres as standard, and for which an electric sun-roof is available. Instrumentation is clear, the seats generous in size and well-padded, ventilation is available from many controllable vents, and stowage arrangements are about ideal. There is “ratchety” variation of headlamps beam-angle, to suit varying loads, interior adjustment for the external mirrors, rear wipe/wash, plenty of leg and head room, and Neiman central door locking.

Altogether, this is very good family car, from which I got an overall 25.5 m.p.g., the petrol tank holding a useful 14 3/4 gallons, a car which does most things very well and all things to a high standard. It does have a few shortcomings. Such as the heavy doors lacking effective “keeps”, the door cills picking up dirt, to the detriment of trousers-legs and tights (front mud-flaps should cure this, as with a Reliant Kitten), the ignition-key needing a full turn-back before the engine will start, and the auto-choke causing fast idling until full working temperature is attained. But otherwise, it is very likeable. Luggage capacity can be up to 45 1/2 cu. ft. with the back seats folded, although the larger Renaults do not continue the versatility of back-seat foldage that is a feature of their smaller, and older, models. To the Jaeger instruments (speedometer, tachometer with economy markings for those with time to read them, combined heat-and-fuel gauge, oil level gauge and a small clock), are added 13 warning lights, four fascia switches, and five more switches down on the centre-console, two of which operate the front windows, that for the near-side window rather obstructed by the gear lever. The aforesaid oil-level indicator confuses those who mistake it for an oil-pressure gauge. No oil was used in 800 miles.

I would recommend you to advise your Fathers, Mothers, Uncles and Aunts to consider a Renault 20TX but think you, as an enthusiast, may find it lacking in “character” and so prefer a Renault 18 Turbo or Fuego. That did not stop me from finding this 20TX very restful for long-distance driving. I used it to cover the Fiat Panda release, described elsewhere, and on the way south, although Dolgellau is now bypassed by a fine new double-track highway (if you want this kind of thing, instead of driving through the fine old towns!), we diverted from there to look at the Fairbourne Railway. I am glad we did, because I was both surprised and pleased to discover that this 15-gauge, 1 1/2-mile long (3-miles, out and back), line runs unfenced between a public road and the sand-dunes. I was told that when Capt. Howey and Count Zborowski first planned their Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch narrow-gauge railway this was similarly set out unfenced on the seashore. But what was permissible in 1924 might have been different by 1981! Which is why I am encouraged at the freedom you can still enjoy in Wales.

In fact, there are “blind” crossings from the beach at Fairbourne, where the bathers can signal to a train to halt, or just cross the line if they are not using it. The locomotive’s hooting suffices as a safety precaution. So here is this passenger-carrying railway, which dates back to 1916, looking much as it must have been in the beginning. Apart from a notice asking that vehicles do not park within six-feet of it the line is unprotected and, indeed, where a new car-park and a new housing-estate have been built, open level-crossings, are used as access to them, over the sand-savaged rails. Incidentally, one of the steam-locomotives used on the Fairbourne line is the Henry Greenly-designed “Count Louis”, built for Count Louis Zborowski but not completed until after he had been killed while driving a 2-litre Mercedes in the Italian GP at Monza in 1924, so that Howey took it over. As this 4-4-2 Atlantic model was constructed soon after the Count’s Higham Special racing-car had been completed, and as the latter became Parry Thomas’ “Babs”, now in the care of Owen Wyn-Owen, it is hoped that one day Wyn-Owen and “Count Louis” will meet. More, perhaps, of this, anon. Meanwhile, anyone who likes narrow-gauge railways, especially one with a motor-racing link, should try to see the Fairbourne Railway before the summer is over. – W.B.