1971 Renault R12 Gordini

Exhibitor: Graeme Rasmussen

Engine: 1565 cc 4 Cylinder. Twin Weber carburetors

Transmission: 5 speed manual gearbox, 4 wheel disc brakes

Rally History

This R12G is one of 6 imported by Renault Australia and converted to Right Hand Drive at the Renault factory in Heidelberg, Victoria by Bruce Shepherd.  Bruce will be at Rally Retro Day.

They were imported specifically for competition use, to replace the ageing R8 Gordini.  This was more of a marketing consideration than a competition decision.  Renault R8 and similar looking R10 were long out of production, replaced by the R12 and R16 in the market.

The R8G was still competitive in 1971 in the Australian championship, but reliability problems in the driveline cost them dearly that year, having won the Australian championship in 1970. Mal McPherson did win the Victorian Championship in 1971 in an R8G.

Each of the 6 Renault R12 Gordini’s were given to notable, front running rally competitors in each state to run for the 1972 rally year.  This particular car was driven by Brian Michelmore in the Queensland Rally Championship.

5188 Renault R12 Gordini’s were produced between 1970 and 1974.

The decision to campaign the R12 over the R8 was more marketing than competition decision, though the R12G was quick.