The Renault 16 was a characteristic type of Hungary in the 60s, abound in technological innovation, which also won the “Car of the Year” prize in 1966. The piece that the Museum of Transport has just acquired is exactly 50 years old this year.
Manufacturing of the type was started in 1965, and, until the production ended in 1980, almost 1.850.000 vehicles had been manufactured in two French (and one Australian) factory. Renault 16 was a Western-European type which could have been purchased in Hungary – beside Comecon-types, like Lada, Wartburg, and Trabant. According to the information available to us, 400 pieces were sold in Hungary altogether; only for those who had hard currency at hand or could pay the full price of the car in one amount. While for classic, Socialist car types took 4–5 years to arrive to their owners, the Renault 16 could be received shortly after paying the price.
The type was not only attractive because of the short waiting period. The technological quality of the French type highly exceeded the quality of cars present in the Eastern bloc, and at the same time presented several novelties. Renault 16 was the first hatchback “Sedan”-body car. Due to its construction, a large luggage rack was available by bending the backseat. At the same time this type had one of the largest and most comfortable cabin among mid-range vehicles of the age. Due to its technical innovations, in 1966 it won the “Car of the Year” prize, awarded by European automobile journalists.