After earning the respect of the motoring community with a very credible performance from their little Renault 4 in the 1979 Paris-Dakar Rally, the Marreau brothers went on to win the event three years later in a Renault 20 turbo 4x4.
Modest yet mighty
The first few Paris-Dakar rallies saw 4x4 monsters riding side-by-side with buggies, sidecars, a Rolls Royce, and even a 1927 Renault KZ! In the second rally, the Marreau brothers, Claude and Bernard, created a sensation by placing their modest little Renault 4 just behind the winning Range Rover entered by Genestier-Terblaut-Lemordant. It was hardly their first African adventure, because they’d already set the record for the Cape Town to Algiers run in 1971.
Our team blows the competition away
In 1982, they entered with a prototype four-wheel-drive Renault 20 powered by a turbocharged engine. They resisted challenges from Briavoine-Deliaire (Lada), Jaussaud-Brière (Mercedes) and Ickx-Brasseur (Mercedes) to cross the finishing line ahead of the 380-strong field. But Renault’s desert-fox credentials don’t stop there. The Marreau brothers finished ninth in the 1983 rally and fifth in 1985, with a Renault 18 V6. And a Renault engine powered Jean-Louis Schlesser’s winning buggy in the 1999 and 2000 Paris-Dakar events.