Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


courtesy of Charlie Choong

Ms Monroe once sang about diamonds being a girl’s best friend. From this photo, it seems like this lady loves the car (instead of those precious stones).

But I must say, between the precious stones and a beautiful car….I would choose a car (but that’s just me!)

  1. Mano says:

    That’s a Renault Dauphine. The two headlights for the ‘eyes’, the ‘button nose’ badge and the ‘smiling’ chrome bumper make it very cute and adorable. Just like this lady has, a classic example of why people endear themselves to their cars.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Yes, a cute little car. 850 c. c., I think, was standard.

    If anyone is wondering why the “face” isn’t marred by an air-intake grille: it’s because the engine was in the rear. You can see the intake vents built into the rear door-casings and wheel-wells.

    Now I don’t recall exactly when Perak’s “AC” number-plates reached the 4000 mark, but the Dauphine was available in Malaya beginning in ’56. In Ipoh it was sold by Universal Cars.

    And speaking of that number plate: behind it and under the front bumper is where the Dauphine’s spare tyre was stored.

    Another remarkable thing about this car: it was one of the first mass-produced automobiles to come in bright colours. Its appearance was startling, and not only on Malayan roads. Before the mid-’50s, most cars had come from the manufacturer in dark, drab, dull colours only, but the Dauphine was adamantly colourful, inside as well as outside. (I recall vaguely that Renault hired a female designer for the project. Mano must have the details!)


    But I must say, between the precious stones and a beautiful car….I would choose a car (but that’s just me!)

    Perhaps, but you might look a little odd dragging a Renault around by your ring-finger!

  3. Mano says:

    ‘I recall vaguely that Renault hired a female designer for the project’
    Admittedly, I had to look that one up, Ipoh Remembered. The design and build team was all male. It was all due to a survey conducted by Renault prior the build of the Dauphine. Apparently, women were more concerned with the colour of the car than the car itself!

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano … Thanks for the clues! I found some information (and a photograph) of the woman Renault hired:


    The article mentions Paule Marrot and one other woman, both designers hired by Renault for the Dauphine project. It also mentions something else I did not know: the Dauphine’s badge (with the three diving dolphins forming a crown) was also designed by Mme. Marrot.

    There’s also a Le Monde article with more photographs:


  5. sk says:

    Spot on – Mano – I knew you would find out the car model . I was looking at Vauxhall, Prefect, Zhephyr etc but dead end.
    Ipoh Remembered – your link on Le Monde article gave this
    “the requested page is unfortunately not available ”
    the 1st link was ok.

  6. Mano says:

    Same thing here, sk. Haven’t gotten around to the translation yet.
    Further to the characteristics of the car as highlighted by Ipoh Remembered. Another interesting feature is that, unlike the others, the Dauphine had only three lugs to attach the wheel to it’s hub. Renault and their fellow countryman, Citroen, utilised only three lugs on the wheels of most, if not all, of their models till I’m not sure when. However, the only car in modern times that I’m aware of with this three wheel lug set up is the Tata Nano introduced to the Indian public in 2008.

  7. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano … That’s rather a curious detail! But you’re right, of course: as long as the lugs used are sufficient to bear the torque required to move the car, the actual number of lugs does not matter.

    My apologies to you and sk for the non-optimal links. These two should work better:



    (Same articles as above but translated into English by Google.)

  8. felicia says:

    Hello all.
    Glad this photo managed to interest you. Thank you for letting us know the make of the car too.

    ps: Ipoh Remembered, you’re right…I would look odd having a Renault on my finger 😀 hahahaha…..

  9. Mano says:

    Felicia, cars are a guy’s best friend too!
    Steer right, it goes right. Steer left, it goes left. Stop, it stops. Go, it goes. You can talk to it. Sing to it. Purrs on idle. Roars when pushed.
    Certainly can’t do all that with your wife or girlfriend!

  10. Merrill Leong says:

    My parents had one prior to 1963. I remember the car as being very comfortable to ride in, which as my father explained, was typical of French cars. He used to drive over to visit his friend Percy, who also had one of these to compare notes. Percy was an air traffic controller at the time at the Ipoh aerodrome.

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