Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1909 RENAULT 8HP TYPE AX TWO SEATER
Registration No. V 843
Chassis No. 17865
Engine No. 5283
Green with broad black and fine yellow coachlining, with black interior
Engine: vertical two cylinder monobloc, L-head, 75 x 120mm bore and stroke, 1,060cc, magneto ignition, thermo-syphon cooling; Gearbox: three speed and reverse, right-hand change, shaft drive; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: handbrake to rear wheels and foot-operated transmission brake. Wooden wheels with 700 x 85 beaded-edge tyres. Right hand drive.
When in 1898 Louis Renault built a little voiturette for his own use he unintentionally created an enduring motorcar make that as early as 1907 had become the largest French automobile manufacturer.
The AX was one of the most popular models that Renault produced in the pre-Great War period, being closely related to the slightly earlier and marginally larger Type AG that is best remembered in taxicab form. Introduced for the 1909 season the AX continued to be made until 1914. It was nearly always carried a two-seater body, whether this was built by the factory or by independent coachbuilders.
This car left the Billancourt works on the 27th September 1909 and was sold on by the British selling branch of the French company, Renault Limited, London, on the 3rd December to R.Y. Dickson of Glasgow, the Glaswegian Renault agents. It carries a Lanarkshire registration and at one time was owned by John Walker of Annan, Dumfries, it reputedly being rescued for preservation from under a pile of fishing nets on the Dumfries coast of the Solway Firth.
It has recently been re-painted and lined and it presents well. Mechanically it is good order with all the right parts in all the right places both in respect of the under-bonnet area and the dashboard.
The popularity of the AX when it was new is mirrored by the enthusiasm for the cars today with at least 90 known to the Veteran Car Club (never mind others existing worldwide). This speaks volumes for the original build-quality, their durability and practicality. They are a familiar sight on both Veteran Car Club and the Renault Frères events, and are of course suitable for the increasing number of single-and-twin-cylinder rallies.
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