Photo features of classic cars, hot rods and motorbikes


Renault R8 Gordini 1967 

Mark Duder Perth WA 

By Jeff. J. Green

I recently met up with Mark Duder again. WA Golfing professional and classic Rally legend. It was one of those “its’ a small world” coincidences that happen in classic cars circles. I bumped into Bob Watson, the 1970 Australian Rally Champion, in a Hotel in Perth during Rally Australia 2006, I exchanged business cards with him as I had a model of the Renault R8 Gordini from the Rally of Morocco that Bob wanted. Bob got busy with the Rally and as he admitted later, the many social events associated with it, so he did not contact me until he had returned to Melbourne. He purchased one of the models for himself and a second one for Mark Duder as a gift for lending Bob the Renault R8 Gordini to race in the ARC historic events associated with Rally Australia. It turned out Mark lived not far from me so I delivered the model myself and got to know him and the cars. Mark Duder is a Renault enthusiast, he and a friend rallied a Renault 8 and Renault 12 in the late 1960s with some serious results, notably 3rd place in the WA Light car club safari in 1969, which was won by Ross Dunkerton in a VW 1300! 

When Marks wife and family came along Mark got rid of the cars but he held onto a lot of the bits. Moving house with bits and pieces like the roll cages, sump guards, webbers, extractors and mechanical Haldas (which are used for accurately checking mileage) in packing boxes and later storing them in a barn in Corrigen. So when Mark found the Renault 8 Gordini he was able to bolt on all the rally gear from his earlier days and bring it up to International Rally specification. He later acquired Renault Alpine A110 from Singapore. Through the car was reportedly complete it was a basket case with most of the parts in packing boxes. He sent the engine off to a renowned Renault engine builder ???? in Victoria. Where it was found to be missing some pistons and quite a few other important pieces. The car was slowly reassembled, restoring and replacing worn parts as he went along. At various times the car was rolled out without it’s engine for the French Car day and other events at times sustaining damage to the delicate fibreglass body. When the day came to installed the Alpines 1600 cc heart, Mark found that he could not fit the downdraft carburetor, which was standard on the later models, replacing the twin choke webbers with the more economical downdraft due to the 1970s Oil Shock. With a tape measure in hand he eventually came to discover that one side of the car was shorter then the other! He could have cut a hole in the rear mud guard but being the man he is, he decided to do it right. Unfortunately he had to disassemble most of the car again and work on the chassis. 



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