There are a few reasons that cars become classics. Some are rare, some are fast, and some represent the peak of technology at their time. The Renault 4 doesn’t really do any of that and yet here it is, on Hagerty’s U.K. Bull Market List for 2022.
Driven by Carfection as part of a series covering the cars that are set to gain value in 2022, Henry Catchpole tries to answer the question of whether the Renault 4 is worth driving, not just investing in.
Renault made a stunning 8 million 4s over the car’s lengthy lifetime, a reflection of then CEO Pierre Dreyfus’ edict that the car should be the blue jeans of the automotive world: well-loved and ubiquitous.
The car was indeed well-received in many international markets and even took part in some racing thanks to the Paris-Dakar rally. And, despite making just 30 hp (30.4 PS/22 kW) it is actually fun to drive.
“I am loving driving this,” says Catchpole. “To be honest, I never really got the Citroen 2CV thing, but a Renault 4? Love it. Absolutely love it.”
The car leans through the corners, its gearshift knob sprouts unusually from the dash, it apparently wasn’t very long-lasting since there aren’t very many left, and yet it’s lovely. That may come down in part to it only weighing between 600 and 750 kg (1,323-1,653 lbs depending on the year and trim) so its lack of power of less of an issue than you might think. Add to that the fact that there’s a lovely simplicity to the car and it all combines to make a very charming car.
“Of all the Bull Market cars, I think this might just be my favorite,” admits Catchpole, giggling. “I can imagine pottering around in one of these in my dotage.”