Renault 8 Gordinis to join Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique
Renault has announced it will enter four Renault 8 Gordinis into the 20th edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique.
The four Renault Classic teams, piloted by Manu Guigou and Jean-Pierre Prevot, Jean Ragnotti and Sebastien Delanneare, Michel Leclere and Michel Duvernato, and Guillaume Chancel and François-Paul Forgeoux, will depart Barcelona on 27 January, arriving in Monaco on 1 February.
Few cars can have made such an impact during their time as the legendary Renault 8 Gordini. It was one the most popular sports models ever made by the French carmaker, offering a top speed of 175 km/h (109 mph) at an affordable price.
The Renault 8 Gordini, affectionately known as the “Gorde” was born in 1964, designed to make the thrill of sports driving accessible to a whole generation. Though the Gordini was based on the Renault 8 Major, race purpose modifications at the hand of Amédée Gordini left it largely unrecognisable.
Nothing was created by halves: the original model’s sensible engine was transfigured to squeeze out almost twice the power, featuring upgrades such as a new cylinder head and two Weber carburetors. The suspension, steering, brakes and equipment were then upgraded to achieve the top speed of 175 km/h.
Meanwhile, visual upgrades included round instrument dials and a smart blue finish with white stripes. The 1108 cc engine of the initial release gave way to a 1255 cc unit with the 1966 facelift, which also brought in the tell-tale dual headlamps.
The Gordini Cup, introduced the same year, went a long way to developing the Renault 8 Gordini myth, consolidating its reputation with an impressive list of racing honours. Many racing drivers learned their craft at the wheel of a Renault 8 Gordini and hold very fond memories of it. It was later, in 1970, that the Renault 8 Gordini finally gave way to a Renault 12 model bearing the same name.
Renault has revealed the four Renault 8 Gordinis are equipped with Michelin 135X15 X M + S 89 tyres, which have already proved their efficiency in previous editions.
From the Renault archive:
Check out the gallery below for original photographs of the Renault 8 Gordini in competition.