Est-ce une Citroën? Est-ce une Mehari? Mais non, c'est une Renault Rodéo!
Two years. That's what it took Renault to come up with an answer to the infamous Citroën Méhari. In 1968 Citroën took the engine of a 2cv, a chassis of a Dyane and finished it with an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic) open body. If you wanted a roof there was some sort of tent available. With a complete frame of poles. And yes: it made it to the US in 1970.
So naturally Renault had to come up with something similar. And they had just the right base-car in their line-up: The R4 Fourgonnette (Van). That one provided the Rodéo it's chassis and engine, hence it's official name 'Rodéo 4'. They got some external expertise to have it produced by 'les Ateliers de Construction du Livradois' (ACL).
It was the other way around when Citroën introduced the Méhari 4x4 in 1979 (not again using two engines like they did with the 2CV Sahara 4x4): the Rodéo had offered 4wd before that. It was a system developed by Sinpar, which was offered in the R4 already in 1962!
To withstand the elements you could, like with that Méhari, put up a tent. How that looked you ask? Like this.
Because yes: this is actually a Pretty Pair post!
The Rodéo 4 was produced from 1970 to 1981. Almost simultaneously there was a Rodéo 6 as well. This one used much more Renault 6 parts (1100cc!!) and was somewhat restyled: rectangular headlights and bigger doors. This one was available from 1973 to 1981. In 1981 both were succeeded by the Rodéo (5). This one had a more 80's look (most people would describe this being 'ugly') and used the engine of the Renault 5 (Le Car) Jonee did an epic piece about wednesday on oppo (if you haven't read it: Take your time and do!).
So why is it not as well known as the Méhari? It offered more power, had an already proven 4x4 system available and looked pretty alike. Renault simply didn't export many of these, for whatever reason most of them were sold in France. And it's not the only Méhari competitor that isn't as noted as the Citroën: Fiat has it's Jungla which I doubt most of you know about.
Back to the model. Both are a Chinese Universal Hobbies, scale 1/43. And accept for those awful wipers I think it's pretty detailed. 3-lugged wheels, 'ACL'-logo on the bonnet, 'glassed' lights all over the place and just l ook at those door-handles!
Just too bad the roof of that Coursière (the orange one) is made of some hard sort of plastic.
And finally: that side-pipe should be good for at least an extra 5hp!
Both come in a display case with a 'paved' pedestal. I really like that road sign to tell what car it's supposed to be, looks really French.
That's it for this week. Not sure what French madness next week will bring, if there's something (or some genre) you want to see: Just ask.
You all enjoy your weekend!