Season’s Greetings

Yule understand if we’re a little preoccupied…

Image: Author’s collection

Whether you celebrated the occasion yesterday, are feverishly preparing to celebrate today, or choose not to celebrate it at all, we wish all our readers a contented, contemplative, fulfilling and indigestion-free festive break.

A very Merry Christmas from Driven to Write.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

21 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings”

    1. Thank you to all at DTW for an erudite, educational and entertaining year. And so civilised, too! Long may it continue.

  1. Yes, thank you Eóin for your kind wishes, which are heartily reciprocated. Happy Christmas to all!

  2. Thanks a lot Eóin for your wishes, and for keeping up DTW for our enjoyment and education!
    Best wishes to everyone!

  3. Happy Christmas, Eoin and all the writers and commentators at DTW. Half of the value comes from above the line and the other half from all the kind and thoughtful writers below the line.

  4. May I be so bold as to hijack Eóin’s seasonal greetings post to set another puzzle? It is simply to identify this prototype:

    I don’t think this will be a difficult question for DTW’s knowledgeable comnentariat.

    However, I think that it is a hugely intriguing car. It looks to be a a very advanced prototype with production-ready body panels, glazing and trim, yet the eventual production car looks totally different. I wonder what caused the manufacturer such a radical change of direction so late in the design process?

    1. Hi Daniel,

      I think this was one of Pininfarina’s proposals, there are other very similar cars but with different front ends. Regarding cars that never made it Cardesignarchive is a good source, the photos section has tons of prototypes.

    2. Would you look at the face on this Renault 40 ! How about this sexy spoiler that never made it on the Clio 1 ?

    3. Hi NRJ. Thanks for the pointer. On the subject of large Renault prototypes, take a look at the Projet H from 1968:

      Very smooth looking flanks, maybe ten years ahead of its time in this regard, but dated by rather baroque front and rear end treatments.

    4. Another version of Projet H with a more conservative rear three-quarter treatment:

      Amazingly smooth flanks, but look at those wheel covers!

    5. Thanks Daniel, Project H was strange, it didn’t look like a Renault I think.

    6. On the subject of stillborn models, Citroen showed during a meeting to celebrate its centenary this year a prototype of a modern 2CV they briefly worked on back then. It was a very basic prototype with no interior, Citroen was never keen on the neo-retro trend in the style of the new Beetle or the new Fiat 500.

  5. Ah, not such an advanced a prototype I had thought. This is translated from the Dutch Autoweek website, which hosted the photos:

    “There is then the first prototype of the successor to the 104, a car that should have grown into the production 205. An angular car, a typical product of the seventies of the last century, especially recognizable as a larger variant of the then 104. It is a clear mock-up. The lines of the doors are applied with marker and there is no interior yet. “This is the car that Welter said:” Give me a different technique and I will make a nice car. ” He really had to convince the management not to develop the 205 based on the 104. Fortunately, he succeeded and the 205 became the modern car that was in the early 1980s. ”

    I should have studied the images more closely. The glazing clearly would not have worked, as there’s no sail panel in the front door, nor fixed quarter window in the rear door. Still, an interesting “what might have been”.

    1. For something that doesn’t look much like a Renault 14, it looks remarkably like a Renault 14, if you see what I mean – in size and overall proportions.

    2. Just to redress the balance, here’s a Renault 14 prototype that looks nothing like, er, a Renault 14:

  6. That R14 prototype makes some sense as a smaller 20/30, rather than the attempt at a scaled-up 5 which eventually emerged. Not that the R14 was a bad car – it was doomed to a short life by Peugeot’s takeover in 1978 of Chrysler Europe and thereby the rest of the French mass produced car industry. Renault were not willing to rely on a joint-venture engine and transmission for a staple product, and therefore rushed the Cleon and Fonte-engined 9 and 11 into production.

    Returning to the M24 205 prototype, the plan seemed to have been for the new car to sit above the 104 rather than replace it. This is a curiously French product planning characteristic: Renault bracketed the 16 with the 14 and 20 and let it continue in managed decline until 1980 – the proper 16 replacement was the rather half-hearted 21 hatchback in 1989. Likewise Peugeot surrounded the ageing 205 with the not much smaller 106 and the not much more expensive 306. When they saw the signs that neither car was appealing to the 205 faithful in the way they had hoped, Peugeot dropped everything to develop the 206, which was to become the all-time best-selling French car.

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