John Biggane shows us around his brilliant 1978 Renault 4.
What are you currently driving?
A 1978 Renault 4. I also have a ’96 Toyota Carina.
Love at first sight, or just a means to get from A to B?
Love at first sight. The story goes back a bit. I had a Renault 50, years ago. My wife learned to drive in a 6 volt one, and my daughter was reared in one. And, 40 years later, when she was getting married, I saw one in a scrapyard in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and I picked it up in a truck, brought it home and did it up for her wedding. It needed a lot of work. When I brought it home and took the carpet out of it, I could see the road. It was like that car in the Flintstones, where their legs came out the bottom of the car. It took myself and my brother, Joe, about 12 months to do it up. I only had it done up for one day — the wedding — and when we had it finished, I was trying to decide what to do with it, so I decided to join the Charleville Vintage Club.
What’s under the bonnet?
The original engine is still in it. It’s not even a 1-litre — it’s only an 850cc and she’s still working fine.
Petrol head or Sunday driver?
I was never really into cars. I spent 40 years driving a truck for Goldenvale, but I’m retired now.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Mk II Ford Cortina.
What else do/did you own?
I had a couple of Renaults for years — I drove Renault 4s for the best part of 20 years. I have ‘96 Toyota Carina now — an old car that no-one will take, and I’ll have to pay to get rid of it!
Dream drive in dream location?
My dream car? If I could buy a Renault 4 again, I’d buy it. If I won the lottery, I’d obviously buy a new car, but I don’t know which one.
My dream drive would be Route 66.
Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?
It would have to be my wife, Eileen.
Passenger you’d least like?
Who wouldn’t I take? I couldn’t say…there’s one or two people I’d like to mention, but you couldn’t write that down…
What’s on your playlist?
Classical music. Lyric FM in the Renault 4, the perfect combination. The only problem is that there’s no radio in the Renault 4…that’s the only catch!
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