I fell in love this Valentine’s Day. While visiting my coworker Jason in North Carolina, my fellow Jalop pontificated about the virtues of Renault’s trusty R4, a basic french car introduced in the early 1960s as the “blue jeans” of automobiles. It was simple, durable, practical, accessible to the masses, and became so successful that it remained in production until the early 1990s. It offered independent suspension (and had different wheelbases on each side due to the torsion bar suspension layout), a huge cargo area (and removable seats), front-wheel drive, and the most incredible dash-mounted shifter (which moved a giant lever to shift the transmission that sits in front of the engine). I could go on and on, because the Renault 4 is incredible.
Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).