Quattre Quattre – 1975 Renault 6 Sinpar AWD

Renault had a rather hard time in the United States, after having a hit (and subsequent failure) with the Dauphine. Their reputation stuck with them, and even now, they only have a limited enthusiast following in North America. In part this can be blamed on them bringing only the most mainstream versions of their products here, when the rest of the world got things like the R5 Turbo, various Alpines, and other vehicles that would have engendered some enthusiasm. That’s disregarding some neat cars like the GTA and R17 Gordini, but these sold in such limited numbers (and in the case of Renault’s coupes, had polarizing designs) they couldn’t have much of an impact on American enthusiasts. However, Renault (as in the case of all French manufacturers) sold some truly unusual, innovative cars, but that cannot be said for their R6. Built from 1968 to 1980, and derived from the R4 as the Citroen Dyane was from the 2CV, they took a reasonably interesting car and turned it into a dowdy box. You can find this 1975 Renault 6 Sinpar AWD for sale for €3000 (about $4100 today) in Menden, Germany.

1975 Renault 6 Sinpar AWD left front

Subaru Justy too sporty for you? VW Golf Country too overwrought with SUV design cues? Well, you’ve come to the right place, friend! The 1.1-liter Cleon engine and boxy styling did not make for much excitement, but the Sinpar 4×4 conversion to this car means it can go just about anywhere. Sinpar was a French company founded to do 4×4 (as well as 6×4 and 6×6) conversions on trucks and cars, and in the passenger car market, made its name converting Renault’s 4, 6, and 12 models, much like Dangel did for Peugeot’s 504 and 505. They were ultimately acquired by the truck manufacturer Saviem, which itself was absorbed into Renault.

1975 Renault 6 Sinpar AWD right front

Many Sinpar Renaults seem to be in rough condition, since they were used in agricultural or cold climate conditions, but this particular car looks to be in excellent shape. Formerly part of a large Andorran collection of cars, it shared a garage with a Renault 12 Sinpar that appears to be in mid-restoration. How did they not attempt to sell these in the US? Perhaps the additional cost was too great for a car of its class. Later Renault 6s had square headlights and indicators in the bumpers, as you can see on this car.

1975 Renault 6 Sinpar AWD interior

Even the interior seems quite well-preserved, or restored. The only visible damage on this car appears to be a small dent in the driver’s front fender, which might be classified as shop wear. The orangey interior color is absolutely right for the year, and while a brighter exterior color might do well to make up for the lack of styling, this pale yellow is better than some other choices. What would you do with this French mountain goat?

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