The Renault 14. How Renault got stuck with the baked pears

Renault 14
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Deploying the competition is necessary for car manufacturers. But killing your own product is the wrong ammunition. No matter how sharp that is.


Because that was the Renault 14. Basically, this intended VW Golf alternative was a promising concept. The friendly hatchback had a number of things on board that were certainly not yet standard for its class in 1976, the year of its introduction. He was larger and more spacious and, moreover, looked considerably more zestful than the bloody German he had to tackle. The latter only wanted to be the best. The Renault 14, of course, too, but the Frenchman missed that typical Teutonic bitterness and build to be guaranteed to be successful. That did not happen.

La Poire

The car itself was not solely to blame for this. The marketers had conceived the bright idea of promoting the 14 in pear form. La Poire. The ideaâ € ¦ It must have been launched after a copious lunch with a lot of wine, because it was hit without mercy. Also the next day no one scratched their heads and the hangover advertising boys and girls went to work with all kinds of films and images of the 14 and a pear. On a poster, an entire family, including a huge dog, was projected in a hollowed-out version of the bulging fruit with the text “Your poire câ € ™ est confortable” above it. And still nobody said anything.


Now the shape of the Renault 14 was characteristic, but certainly not unattractive. With pinched eyes it was quite possible to recognize a pear shape, but it could be described as well as aerodynamic or wedge-shaped. However, it was too late for that. The advertising legion was right to have sent peppery bills for the campaign and lunches: from now on the French public knew the Renault 14 as the pear. And apparently the successful campaign was so costly that considerable savings had to be made elsewhere. Okay, then again on rust prevention. As a result, over time, the Renault 14 continued to live as a rotten pear among the general public. Quelle image.


And just shake that off of you. Such a wrong image sticks like a flycatcher in thin hair. All the positives and novelties were not covered by this stigma. For example, it was the first car in its class without gutters. The McPherson front suspension was special in its segment. The reinforcement in the doors was also not commonplace and increased passive safety. The comfort was at a high level, the Renault 14 was quiet and spacious. But not very reliable. The motorization shared this model with Peugeot, the 1218 cc aluminum four-cylinder block was in an angle of 72Â ° back under the hood occasionally refuse service. Working, the 57 pk power source delivered to the front wheels. Not much, but not as sparse as the standard equipment of this Renault 14 L. The L was rather euphemistic here for luxury.


This basic version had only the essential supplies on board, even headrests were missing. The sheu had to come from the more luxurious TL and GTL versions. The later TS version was also more powerful; by applying a double carburetor, this sporty 71 pk delivered to the front wheels. During his career the content was increased to 1360 cc, in 1980 a facelift followed in which the direction indicators were moved from the bumper to a spot next to the headlights as the most striking change. The Renault 14 also became more and more luxurious with things like central locking, front electric windows and halogen headlights. As an option there was also a huge folding roof available, the dà © couvrable. With this fully opened and the whole family on board, the poster with the hollowed out pear suddenly came to life.


More vibrant than the career of this sympathetic Renault 14 itself, anyway. Just under a million 14s were built in six years. Due to its reliability and rust issues, there are virtually no more copies left of the car that had much more to offer than that bad image. The 14 certainly had potential, but it all went pear-shaped.

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Give a reaction
  1. Great car! I have had several and yes they did rust, especially the phase I. But in fact almost every car at that time rusted terribly, except Opel and Americans. I've never had starting problems, engine was fine. I gave them some trouble (just had my driver's license). For hours on end, gas through Spain, so nice and warm in the summer. Drive off with spinning wheels with cold engine. Cracks through the mountains. It didn't bother them all. In addition, they were very comfortable and, certainly the TS, fully implemented. The L was bare, but all the loafers were back then. The luxury that the TS had was nowhere to be found in that class (electric windows, central locking, in 1978). Well, I still have one and it still works fine!

  2. I have had a great car with this. Together with a Renault R9 GTS, I thought this was the nicest Renault I've ever had (and I've had several). The R14 was actually (too) far ahead of its time; a good, 'innovative' design with low air resistance, shield bumpers, spacious interior with luxurious armchairs and a very pleasant driving behavior.

  3. My first newly purchased car.
    What a disaster box, never again a Renault I intended.
    Starting problems already in the first year, poor support from the dealer.
    (He probably didn't know what to do with it.)
    Rusted in life, starter motor and dynamo within the 100 000 kilometer to be replaced.
    In terms of design nice car, driving properties also nothing wrong with that, but not starting is deadly for brand loyalty.
    The nice thing is that I now drive a Renault again, I have to for my boss, I have no choice (Lease) As long as he pays the garage bills, I think it's fine. Renault Clio Estate, it reminds me a bit of my R14. Just simple simple cart I call it the French Lada.
    But private? No, I don't dare.

  4. 1976 The year in which a large part of Russian steel was used, which came from scrap metal. The result was that a lot of carbon remained in the steel. And that resulted in a lot of misery. The 2CVs from before that time were also a lot better. At the Peugeot importer, a customer took a dented door to examine the sheet metal. He worked at TNO. The material analysis showed that the material was not homogeneous. Even a tectylation treatment was no match for that.

    • I also had two renault 14 these were then newly purchased the first device for nine months and could be sprayed via warranty unfortunately after that three colors of gray and pollution under the clear coat !! So thing traded in and after thirteen months rust again and even stood at the dealer new r14 with the rust points already on !! But they drove well and comfortably !!

  5. Even a red Renault 24 with blue tinted windows driven with electric windows and central door locking. A luxury model that drove fantastic, almost got the purchase price back in exchange.
    Would like to have this now oldtimer again, but unfortunately can't find one.

  6. The 14, the result of a short and very unsuccessful collaboration with Peugeot which then went bankrupt Citroen from Michelin.
    An entire model family with Stations and three-door versions was planned. At Peugeot he would replace the 204 with a different coach. At that time Renault had no experience whatsoever with cross-mounted engines, so neither did the dealers. The strong rust formation in the 14 was mainly due to the poor quality of the body rubbers. The water really came in everywhere. The moisture caused short circuits and the gearbox was a disaster. The car also suffered from resonances and vibrations. The post-facelift models were better, but then nobody wanted him anymore.

  7. Really nice to read about a classic that, as the story says, is no longer among us.
    I know the car because it was in our street in Safrane version. So brown. The car kept that color to the end; three years after the purchase….
    I didn't know the story about the pear, but it says a lot about how things can go wrong.

  8. Fantastic comfortable car, rusty correspondingly, luckily I had a demolition worker as a neighbor across the street, so one day there was a German scrapper in my shed and I was able to pick up what I needed… so a lot of sheet metal. Oh yes, I got an Allen key for oil changes from the Peugeot dealer. Equipped with a Lovato-lpg installation, you had to switch the last meters to petrol quickly with any freezing work, otherwise you would not get the car started in the morning …… A very nice touring car, but not at the level of a German… ..
    Together with the Renault 12TS of my recently deceased father, I exchanged the cars for an R 18 TL estate with an LPG substructure tank I purchased. New at the time.

  9. terribly bad car I worked as a workshop manager at a large renault dealer we were shocked if someone wanted to trade in his 14 you couldn't get rid of it

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Épaves, so wrecks. Or are they estimating?