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 on !
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.
Equilibrisme ! La 18 GTX II spéciale, à la base des modèles de rallye (remarquez les jantes). La 18 court encore en 1998... ...plonge dans la boue... ...mange de la poussière... gagne ! Elle n'est d'ailleurs pas la seule.

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