A thing I am reminded of

Up until the 1980s or thereabouts Renault described each of their cars by a number which was originally the taxation class in France so the 4 was 4CV or fiscal horsepower. Subsequently the number became pretty much arbitrary. Every digit from 3 (a rare low powered 4) up to 21 was used except for 13 because triskaidekaphobia.

But there was a peculiarity.

Meet the R17. Bonus Peugeot 305 in the background.

Advertisement

Now meet another blue Renault.

Same car and same colour? But look closely. It’s not a 17.

Advertisement

It’s a centosettantasette, a 177, because 17 is unlucky if you’re Italian. As set out in the image above 17 in Roman numerals is XVII which is supposedly an anagram of VIXI, I have lived (and therefore I am dead) in Latin. Out with the 17 for the Italians then and in with the 177.

Whether 17 or 177, it was still the first Renault to have the option of fuel injection.

Share This Story