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1961 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980

1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993

super sinpar parisienne pleinair safari jogging sixties 25ans
Berline brochures

Brochures are the best means to get acquainted with all model changes from year to year - and certainly the nicest way. The major part of my collection spans the period from 1961 through 1976 or 1977, the year after which the metal air inlet under the windscreen was replaced by a plastic one. In my opinion, this change for the worse dramatically influenced the look of the R4. The most attractive R4s I think are those dating from this period. Certainly the nicest brochures were printed then. The majority of those shown are in French, with a fair amount of foreign ones slipped in between. In general, the French brochures were translated into other languages for use abroad in many European countries, although many exceptions exist to this rule. For various countries like Spain and the United Kingdom a complete range of country-specific ones exists. The brochure codes, very important for dating purposes and finding out the country of origin, are explained here.

Since Spain is completely different for all years except 1993, I devoted a separate page to it - there are only a couple of Spanish brochures shown here. A complete list of every brochure I know of can be found in the brochure finder. A rather sober fourgonnette page can be found here.

This section only shows the front pages of most of the 1961-1992 brochures I possess (most can be clicked to see a larger version); the People and What's in the trunk sections show numerous photos from inside the brochures, as well as pages devoted to picknick scenes, animals and (not so) subtle differences between brochures.

The page is split into different sections based on the main characteristics defining the outer looks, which, IMHO and, I admit, somewhat arbitrarily, comes down to the grille, the metal air inlet below the windscreen, the indicator lights and the door hinges: 1962-1966, 1967, 1968-1974, 1975-1976, 1977, 1978, 1979-1982 and 1983-1992.

The period from 1962 through 1966 is characterised by the first narrow grille, punched in the hood and with or without chrome clip-on grille, and the small black dashboard.

1962 has the very first brochure, appropriately titled 'La nouvelle Renault'. It was published in large and small formats, both folded and containing about the same pictures and showing a red 4L. Inside, it shows the 3, 4, 4L and Super, sometimes referred as 'Super comfort'. The oldest versions of the red brochure and its blue counterpart (shown below) don't show the central ribble ('nervure centrale') that was added very quickly after the launch in 1961; all have the low fuel pipe entry. Other notable differences are the versions listed (the 3 was not available in all countries), and the colour grey that was applied on the basic versions 3 and 4: first 'olivier', then 'olive' and lastly 'pyramide'. The grey that was available for the 4L was later changed into 'blanc réjane'. Other colours, only available on 4L and Super, also include 'beige scirocco', 'bleu île de France' and 'rouge esterel'. These brochures, at least, exist in French (la nouvelle), (as mentioned in a later stage with nervure central), Belgian (Flemish) (de nieuwe), Danish (DEN NYE), Dutch without ribble (de nieuwe), of course different from the Belgian Flemish one, Dutch with ribble (de nieuwe), English mirrored (strangely called the remarkable), Australian the remarkable), German (der neue), Italian (la nuova), Spanish (the small version el nuevo, for the South American market), Swedish (ny), and various other languages like Czech and Norwegian. See the 'pas de graissage' page for more information. This brochure is available as left hand drive Australian version too. Maybe the rarest of all brochures is the African introduction brochure. The 1964 Spanish 'el nuevo' brochure shown below, although similarly named, is in fact a completely different one for the Spanish introduction in 196r4 (see the FASA turismo section for the how and why).


This single page blue prospectus, being loaded with a chair that will clearly not fit in the trunk, is also from the first year. The Australian ('the new'), Belgian ('de nieuwe'), Czechoslovakian ('nový model'), Danish ('den nye'), German ('der neue'), UK ('the remarkable'), Italian ('Renault 4'), (there is also an alternative Italian version with a slighty shifted '4' mentioning Alfa Romeo as commissioner), and a Swedish ('Renault 4L') versions are all very similar. Rather special are the Australian black and white version (which has a completely different text than the colour version, as well as right hand steering on the back side), and the Vietnamese version. The latter is very similar to the French version, but instead of the 45.900 code always found in France it has 45.932, and the 'nervure central'. Of course, it also lacks the '3' version. Lastly, it was also available as postcard. The famous slogan which was kept so long ('Pas d'eau, pas de graissage, juste un peu d'essence', or 'no water, no greasing, just a bit of petrol') is already in these brochures. Strangely enough, all pictures are hand drawn, not a single photo is present. The available versions, given the French version, are R3, R4 (which was the same as the R3 except for the engine and the logo on the hatch), 4L and Super Comfort.


This leaflet on the right, taken obliquely from above, also shows the very first bonnet without the central ribbles, so undoubtedly it is from 1961 too. French, Italian and German versions of this 4-page leaflet are shown in the Spot the Difference section. Below a small Dutch leaflet ('Here is Renault 4L'; for some reason it existed together with the Dutch red brochure; the Dutch blue 1962 brochure hasn't been found yet) and a small German brochure.

1962_nl 1962_de

Later in 1962 a single new brochure was published for the Super, the model which was released in the autumn. It exists in two versions (large and small), just about the Super. 'Elle est merveilleusement pratique et confortable', which does certainly not apply to the hatch which opens downward and then just gets in the way. There are more Supers than just in France: from 1963 is the Canadian Super leaflet, while this Spanish Super brochure is from 1965. This was a model completely different from the French one, and would last until 1975, as the R1125s). The font used for the Super text, however, is the same for all three countries.


1963 The brochure from this year is entirely different. It is an A4 booklet containing 32 pages, more like a magazine. The text is about press opinions, fabrication and technical details, and a number of made-up (?) stories of satisfied customers. The R3 has already been discontinued, but the Fourgonnette is present for the first time. Even before the appearance of the Parisienne, this brochure devotes 4 pages exclusively to women ('Who are you, madam?'). Many different country versions exist, with basically the same cover, like in Argentina (or another Spanish speaking country), Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Note that only the Argentinian and Swedish versions don't show the large '4'! The Dutch and Belgian versions are barely distinguisable from each other, clearly the same translation from French was used. The only differences, apart from the country code in the brochure number (11 for the Netherlands, 18 for Belgium), and references to Renault Netherlands in Amsterdam and Renault Belgium in Haren, are the absence of some Dutch newpaper names (Telegraaf, Algemeen Handelsblad and Parool), and references to famous Amsterdam shopping streets Kalverstraat and Damrak in the Belgian one. One page in all brochures is devoted to the available models: 4 (with tubular bumper), 4L (flat bumper), Super (double bumper) and Fourgonnette, for which single page leaflets, shown below, are available.


A French leaflet consists of a single page and exists for the 4, 4L and red Super - perhaps a version even exists for the Fourgonnette, as is suggested by the 1963 brochure. A Dutch 4L version is again blue. There appears to be even a Greek version! A Canadian triple A4 sheet from this year is showing a blue version with the double Super-bumper, but without the downward opening hatch. It contains some of the pictures of the 1962 introduction brochure. A similar model is shown in a single page leaflet entitled 'French Revolution'.


Meanwhile, French manufacturer of 4x4 ('4 roues motrices') adaptations Sinpar ('sin pareil', without equal) published a brochure showing what they could do to an R4. Sinpar would buy ready-made R4 and fourgonnette off the shelf and convert them to 4x4. Later versions of the brochure show Laposte (1967) and Fourgonnette (1968) versions, as well as pickup, torpedo, Plein Air and special army versions fit to be carried by transport airplanes, and even an R6.


1964 This one is somewhat similar to the 1963 one: a 32 page booklet, titled 'Renault 4 - Aux 4 coins du monde' ('at the four corners of the world'). The contents are also somewhat similar: a couple of technical pages, but much more stories. Except for Billancourt, production lines are now in Belgium (Haren), Ireland (Dublin), Spain (Valladolid), Italy (Milan and Pomigliano), Algeria (Algiers), Madagascar (Tananarive), the Philippines (Manila), Australia (Melbourne and Wellington) and Mexico (Sahagun). The stories are from Germany ('Green magic in the Black Forest'), France ('La vie de Chateaux'), Italy ('Romance Romaine'), Sweden ('A Swedish spring') and again Italy ('La Campionissima'). Photos from these stories are shown here. Of course, many different national versions exist for this brochure like for instance Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. A small version of the brochure is shown below. Page 29 is the 'Magazine féminin R4', showing the Parisienne, although this name is not yet mentioned. Also from 1964 is this single page Parisienne brochure (pictures from the Elle Magazine issue 'Elle prend le volant' are here).

1964_fr_parisienne 1964_fr

1965 Strangely, 1965 has as much as 3 different brochures, a black one, a colorful one showing horses on the front page, and a small poster also with horses, primarily devoted to the R4, but which also shows the other current Renault models (this German version is slightly different, showing 'Renault 4' instead of 'R4' and two photos swapped; there is also a French version showing the text 'Renault 4' but without '65'). The former two both consist of 16 pages, the black one being the technical one and the other filled with stories. The models are now R4, R4L, R4 L Export and La Parisienne. The stories are varying: about horse-riding couples, an cartoon about an R4 telling about itself ('I was born in Billancourt, March 21 1964...'). Of the other ones, the most telling is the one about Natacha and her Parisienne named Pénélope. Many nice photos, among them one showing a Parisienne-like model in red with yellow sides! A single page Dutch brochure named 'de econoom' (the economist) is shown below. The 'econoom' was a special version available in the Netherlands. On the back side is information about the Fourgonnette Break. Last but not least, a nice A3-sized poster was available showing a 4L on the beach with a number of horses, reminding one of the Camargue. It is available in various languages such as English, German and (rare!) Portuguese ('Parta tranquilo ao volante do seu Renault 4'). To the lower right we see a rare gamma brochure for the African market. Apart from the R4 the Fourgonnette, R8 Major, Caravalle and Estafette are advertised.

1965_nl 1965_fr_partez_tranquille 1965_b_af

1966 A strange year, as I don't know any real brochure from this year, except for a folded poster (published in a couple of variations, some showing pictures of the Parisienne), showing an elephant loading suitcases into the trunk (on a smaller photo in the leaflet, the French childrens hero, elephant Babar shows up). Various versions exist, showing (especially) different logos. The chassis and carrosserie are shown apart from each other (like was already done during the 1961 Salon), which was to be repeated often in brochures in the coming years. The available versions are now R4, R4 Export and Parisienne: 'R4: Trois voitures en une'. Quite different is the Spanish brochure for this year: 'el coche todo ventajas' ('the all advantage car').

In white a small Dutch brochure, showing the logo of the Renault 4 Vrijbuiter club (Freebooters Club) that was established the year before - to the right the introduction booklet explaining all about it: 'whoever you are, whatever you do, you are one of us, you are a Vrijbuiter and your car is the Renault 4' (click to get full PDF).

1966_nl_vrijbuiter 1965_nl_vrijbuiter_book

1967 is a special year, as the first grille is combined with the second dashboard.


1967 - Except for the cover color the French and Dutch brochures are essentially the same. They contain many photos of the same family (father, mother, son and daughter and the inevitable dog), driving around in an R4 of which the cabin has been removed by a couple of fairies, dressed up as craftsmen (who act on the front page of the UK brochure for this year). As the story goes, the family have all they need, except... In 10 pages they admire the passenger space and the trunk, the suspension, acceleration, brakes, steering circle and the amount of models (Luxe, Export and Parisienne). The rest of the brochure is devoted to nice photos of the interior and technical details. A subtle choice it was to select bordeaux red as the colour of the car to be pictured, in a brochure of the same colour. The R4 already has the new beige dashboard and the new steering wheel, but still the old round gearshift handle.

From 1968 through 1974, the main factor is the wide chrome grille which encompasses both headlights.


1968 - The blue one features a bright blue R4 with the new grille, encompassing the headlights. The gearshift handle is now the familiar pear-shape. All pictures of last years family show up, not on the first but on the last pages. The photos are merely the same, only the background colour nicely matches the blue R4. The remaining pages show many nice detail photos in blueish shades, corresponding to the car pictured. Hand drawn versions of some of the photos in this brochure were also used in the booklet 'La R4 de papa'. No reference is found anymore to the various models from this year on. The Parisienne is not pictured anymore so it probably left the building. Remarkably, a Dutch 4-page brochure with some of the same photos is purple on the outside. The German counterpart is a different shade of blue. Two UK 1968 brochures (red and blue) both have an entirely different cover but similar content as the French one. Nice examples of photo manipulation between the French and English versions are shown here). For the UK, there is also an alternative small 3-page fold-out celebrating the new front.


1969 - The 1969 brochure is orange. The model in this brochure is a kind of cream colour, which nicely goes together with the orange background. Strangely, a Dutch language version containing the same photos as this French brochure has the blue cover of the French 1968 brochure.


1969 also sees the introduction of the Plein Air, a special model constructed by Sinpar by converting 'ordinary' R4. It will be available in 1969 and 1970 only. Make sure to pay a visit to the very informative Renault 4 Pleir Air website!


1970 - The 1970 brochure is again orange. On the cover the large '4', when compared to the 1967-1969 ones attracts the eye. The contents are very similar to 1969. Further, 1970 has single page and two-page leaflets (versions with red and yellow '4' exist - they may be versions for 1969 and 1970, two years hard to distinguish from each other), with the cream R4 on the front page. The UK version has a different cover, and inside the brochure some more examples of photo manipulation (similar to the ones of 1968) can be found.

1971 - A hand drawn R4 in orange and green on the front (with the orange indicator lights that were custom in Germany and the UK!). Each page is devoted to a distinguished feature of the 'incroyable Renault4' (showing the same photo as on the 'La complice' advertisement): 'Elle a pris des goûts de luxe' (about the luxurious interior), 'Faites-lui en voir de toutes les couleurs elle aime ca!' (emphasizing its comfortable behaviour on country roads) , 'Mettez-là au régime, elle adore ca' (concerning the low cost of maintainance), 'Une traficante que s'en sort toujours' (its small size permits it to go anywhere in the city - the photo on this page is the same as the 'Louez deux motards', but with different text) and 'Elle se charge de tout' (praising the capacity of the trunk). Funny detail: both the 1971 and 1972 brochures exist in versions with different titles, reflecting the amount of versions that were for sale: 'Les Renault 4', 'La Renault 4' and plain 'Renault 4' for for instance the Netherlands, Germany, Canada and Belgium.


Starting from 1971, the UK brochures would for a number of years be rather similar to each other, but wholly different from the French ones; have a look at those from 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1975.

1972 - This one has a red R4 on the front page, with a very coarse raster over it. Inside, emphasis is laid on its allround character 'tout-terrain', the small budget it needs, the advantages of its small size (see the advertisement 'Louez deux motards' in the Advertisement section), the comfortable seats and the spacious trunk. This German version has a slightly different cover but inside it is largely the same, like the Belgian version. This alternative German version has an entirely different cover. Also single leaflets and small brochures exist in various other languages like French, German and Danish), two examples of which are shown below, showing a rugby team:

1972_fr_smallversion 1972_fi

1973 - This brochure is one of my favourites. It opens with 'The Renault 4 is the car to simplify life'. It shows many pictures of a group of 4 bearded gentleman, camping out in the open, smoking pipes, playing the flute, etc. It all empasizes that the R4 (and its owners!) is non conformist, practical, easy going and still comfortable. The R4 pictured is a nice pistachio-green one. In these years, it is often mentioned that 'elle peut coucher dehors', she can sleep outside, because the paint is so good and resistant to any weather. This is also reflected in a commercial from the same year, a perfect small chanson, attributed to Michel Fugain and published recently in Germany in the 'R4 Pressemappe'. The small version of the brochure is shown below. Danish and Swedish versions are entirely green.

1973_fr 1973_sw

1974 - In this year, the Renault logo was changed to the one that was used until about 1990. In my opinion, it does not go very well with the second grille. Luckily, this combination was abandoned the next year (although I lament the loss of the second grille). The brochure shows a couple having played tennis, ready to roll off in their yellow R4 (yes, I am jealous of the open roof...). The whole brochures breathes an atmosphere of sports: we see young people kayaking, crossing rivers in their R4 (accompanied by a metallic green one), skiing, scuba diving. The dashboard, by the way, has changed into black. The German version of this brochure has, of course, the color of the indicator lights changed into orange, and that of the headlights into white. As was common for the last few years, there is also a small version of the brochure, shown below:


From 1975 through 1976, the metal air inlet, so important for the looks of the R4 is combined with the black plastic grille. The front indicator lights are still round.

1975 shows the new plastic black grille. If the previous two brochures were aiming too much at a young public, this one has 'R4, from 18 to 98 years' on the front page. Inside there is a careful mixture of young and old people exercising their R4 (a white and a red one), going into town, playing in a band, parking in small spaces etc. The last page shows all actors together sitting on a terrace having a good time together. From 18 to 98 years, that's for sure, and the Italians agree on that! It's the 1975-1976 model I think I like most. Like in 1972 and 1974, the German version of this brochure is different; not only are the indicator lights orange (the plates are still French, though), also the foreground picture is absent, and the photo bigger. Inside most photos are slightly different, too. Very special is the Spanish brochure from this year, shown below. Two versions are shown, the Super (in the foreground, with the new grille), and a basic version which still has the first grille! The Spanish brochures pages clarifies that, in Spain, this was quite common for the basic model. To the right, another pretty Finnish leaflet with a photo from the French brochure.

1975_es 1975_es


For 1976, there are two brochures: the standard red one and the Safari. Also take note of the spectacular Arabic language version, perhaps meant for the Middle East market, and the Swedish version, showing a particular black 2nd generation grille (!) and the excentric logo, somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd generation, and also a right rearview mirror. From the technical front, it becomes clear that the French models L and TL, type R1126, now have 782cc engines, and the foreign ones, like in Belgium the Netherlands, Germany etc., named R1123, 845cc (except for Denmark). In general terms, this would be the case until 1983, when also the French engines were updated to 845cc (not counting, of course, from 1978, the GTL).

Meanwhile, in former Yugoslavia the Renault 4 was also being produced, in Novo Mesto (now Slovenia) by Industrija Motornik Vozil (IMV), from 1972 on. Here we see two special small foldout brochures devoted to the 4 and the TL. The age is not entirely clear for the left one; the license plate suggests model year 1974 but that would then mean that the black plastic grille was introduced in Yugoslavia before 1975, unlike all other countries. On the other hand, in the foldout there is a photo of a police car with the second (chrome) grille. The one in the middle might well be from 1977, given the metal air inlet and bi-coloured rectangular indicator lights, but the license plate also suggests 1978. Below another leaflet from IMV for the GTL. Surprisingly, the brochure is entirely in French. A stunning 4.9 liters per 100 km is reported. Lastly, a peculiar model from IMV, the 'Servis', with closed rear doors, age not precisely determinable but probably from about 1983 or younger (inner door hinges but oval left rearview mirror, 3rd dashboard). It is worth noting that the last Renault 4 ever was constructed in Slovenia too. More than half a million would be built here!


1977 is again a special year: the last year with the metal air inlet, but combined with front indicator lights that are combined with the city lights in a white rectangular unit. The German version has its indicator lights coloured and is called 'der Unvergleichliche' (the uncomparable). In the technical section, the German models are not 4, 4TL and Safari (782cc) but 4, 4GTL (!) and Safari, and have, as mentioned earlier, 845cc.

In my opinion, 1978 marks the end of the good looks of the R4. While 1976 is still great and 1977 fair, all kinds of details I like were changed between 1976 and 1978: the round indicator lights are gone in 1977, the metal air inlet in 1978, simultaneously with the introduction of the grey grille. In 1978 the grey side protection boards are introduced on the GTL. Let us not speak about the relocation of the front license plate to the bumper, the redesign of the door hinges and the R5 dashboard and steering wheel in 1983, the new Renault font... and who needs 1108cc and 34hp anyway? Also, because the brochures are much smaller since 1976, there is no room anymore for the nice stories and photos that characterized the period until 1978.


1978 shows a green model with the white rectangular lights unit, but now for the first time the metal air inlet has been replaced with a black plastic (yech!) one. The German version is again a little different, showing a text 'the car with 1000 possibilities'. Interesting fait divers: in the French version, we have the 4, 4TL and Safari, in the Belgian version, they are named the '4B' (for Berline), 4TL and Safari, and in the German one 4L and (really?) 4GTL (also the latter with 845cc).


Although not yet listed in the 1978 green brochure (except in the German one - see above), the GTL was introduced in this year, in a separate foldout leaflet emphasizing the 1108cc engine and low fuel consumption (shown here in French, Dutch, German and Swiss and Italian - please take note of the difference in consumption between the French and Italian versions: 5.6 vs. 5.9!). Inside, the French brochure shows the 1978 white indicator lights, while other countries already have the white and orange ones. Also, the headrests are specific to German and Swiss ones. On the back side of the French one is the cartoon by Wolinski.

Between 1979 and 1982, the black grille is accompanied by a rectangular indicator / city lights unit in white / orange.

1979 is red and shows the GTL for the first time on the front page (shortly after its introduction sometime later in 1978. In this brochure, the GTL already has orange front indicator lights. Remarkably different is the 1979 Danish version which shows a yellow TL in the same position as the GTL on the French version - no GTL in Denmark (yet? Also in 1980 the GTL is not available in Denmark). 1980 is yellow (in the UK version the photos are mirrored and the sunroof is gone!) and 1981 white (there is also a 4 page leaflet of this year entitled 'La voiture au quotidien'). Finally, 1982 is red.

1979_b 1980_b 1981_b 1982_b

In 1983 the door hinges are restyled: they don't stick out anymore, and the terrible 3rd dashboard is introduced. Perhaps the only other thing worth mentioning is that, apparently, the R4 is sold in Japan also - see the small leaflet with some photos from the European 1983 brochures - the only Japanese brochure I know showing the R4 only, i.e., not in a range brochure.

1983_fr 1984_fr 1985_fr
Japan GTL Japan GTL

Let's face it, most eighties brochures are just boring in comparison to what was published before, although there are exceptions: the 1981 Jogging and 1985 Sixties ones are atypical and therefore quite enjoyable, as well as the 32 pages '25 Ans' booklet the Régie published in 1986 on the 25th anniversary, an Austrian version named 'Cabrio' from 1984, very similar in style to the standard brochures from that year, and the Italian 'frog' adaptation from about 1987.

Jogging Sixties 25ans cabrio frog

So, having shown the few nice brochures the 80s brought us, there is nothing more left to do than, for the sake of completeness only, to show the utterly boring brochures for the last eight model years. Note that from 1987 the Clan replaced the GTL, and the Savane the TL. I guess there is a reason all cars shown are blue. Let's therefore think back to all the nice R4 brochures the 60s and 70s brought us. Click back and enjoy!

1986_fr 1987_fr 1988_fr 1989_fr 1990_fr 1991_fr 1992_fr 1993_fr
this page last changed on Oct 15 2023