Except from lager lout races between
pubs and night clubs, the Renault 14 never was a racing beast. But her
sister 18 took part into an impressive range of races, from local and international
rally championships in Latin America to the legendary Paris-Dakar.
The 18 V6i 4WD at the '83 Paris-Dakar
Maybe some of you know the brothers
Marreau whereabouts. These two rats of the desert drove Renaults at the
fabled Paris-Dakar race, in the early eighties. They even won in 1982 with
a Renault 20 V6 Turbo 4WD. For 1983, the "Régie" wanting to launch
the 18 break 4WD, gave them two very special 18: equipped with the same
engine as the yesteryear Renault 20, but the turbocharger, in order to
improve reliability. Moreover, the car was given a full 4WD transmission,
high suspensions and general body reinforcements. Unfortunately, the Marreaus
didn't manage to reach the same success than in 1982, because of a stupid
gasoline shortage. But they cut the finishing line at the ninth place,
which can be considered as honourable. If you want to spot the 18 4WD,
it still exists in a museum in the surroundings of Rennes (Brittany, France),
where I took the two last pictures on the right side.
Argentinian rallies: the legend lives
The national argentinian rally championship
includes some ten races, where the Renault 18 is considered as a strong
competitor. In fact, the car took over the chanmpionship in 1989. As you
know, Renaults 18 were made and sold in Latin America until 1993-1994.
The fastest and most powerful version was the 18 GTX II, with some 110
hp DIN. Argentinian tuners seem able to boost the 2,2 liter blocks to 200
hp! These values, linked to a still light body and the talent of their
drivers, made the 18 able to compete in the last edition of the "International
Rally Argentina", even if they unfortunately had to give up early. Click
on these spectacular images to enlarge.
© 1999-2001 1418.net,
all rights reserved.