In a fit of boundless national optimism, Peugeot and Renault (and a few years later Volvo) teamed up to make a new V8 for good power and performance. But that’s not what the world got. We welcomed in the PRV V6, a cut-down compromise engine that for decades powered more amazing and amazingly bad cars than you would ever imagine.

This all came up when Patrick showed me a Volvo 780 Bertone he was looking at, and I texted a Volvo expert buddy of mine if it was a good buy.

“Uhhhhhhh PRV motor dude. Just get any other old Volvo.”

So began this thought process into the life of one of the best/worst engines ever.

Again, the PRV V6 was originally intended to be a V8 when Peugeot and Renault tied up in 1966. Remember, this was a time when the French military arms maker Matra was building up one of the most successful race car teams of the era, taking top titles in Formula 1 and Le Mans. Anyway, national optimism was still a thing over there, before 1968 kicked everyone in the dick.

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And then got kicked in the dick again in 1973 with the Oil Crisis, which got Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (joined in in 1971) to cut down from a V8 to a V6. The first PRV V6 in production was in 1974. So PRV decided to go V6 in 1973 and was making it in 1974. You can see how tight that time frame is, right? Yeah, it didn’t go great.

Underpowered, not particularly reliable. But! Long lived. The PRV V6 went into just about everything, from mid-sized French family cars to the fastest car ever to run at Le Mans to the DeLorean.

Really, there are too many good cars to mention in words (or in this video), so I’ll include this visual aid that I made for the above cargument. Carscussion? Unclear.

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Anyway, please chime in in the comments below that the Alpine A310 Boulougne with twin triple-draft Weber carburetors ruled, or how every Venturi was the best sports car of its day, or that the PRV ruled once it went even-fire (and turbo) in 1984.