1912 RENAULT CE 20/30 TOURER
COACHWORK BY THE REGENT CARRIAGE CO
Registration No. PA 8667
Chassis No. CEC 31710
Engine No. 4331
Green with green hide upholstery
Engine: four cylinder, side valve cast in two blocks of twin cyliders, 5,026cc, 24.8hp; Gearbox: four speed with reverse; Brakes: rear wheel drum; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Right hand drive.
Louis Renault produced his first car with a 1¾ hp air-cooled De Dion engine in 1898 and within six months the small firm founded by Louis and his brothers Marcel and Ferdinand had delivered sixty cars. The Renaults began to produce their own engines and had a number of successes in various races including Szisz's win in the first French Grand Prix of 1906. The staid little twin cylinder Renaults served as runabouts and taxis alike, while the larger and more stately 4's and 6's were in great demand as Town Carriages and open Touring cars. Their high build and coal scuttle bonnets mounted in front of their huge brass radiators make them particularly distinctive.
The Type CE Renault was introduced for 1911, the first car of this model being certified by Le Service du Mines on the 26th December 1910 and was car Number 25391. (All cars marketed in France had to obtain 'type approval' before any could be sold and for reasons of history it was the Department of Mines who handled this business.) The engine, a (big) four cylinder of over 5 litre capacity came with a four speed and reverse gearbox with, of course, direct drive on the top gear. In 1911 & 1912 this model was sold as the 20/30; in 1913 & 1914 as the 24.8. The VCC list only has one car of this type (with limousine body) and one 24.8 (ditto). There is also one earlier 20/30, but with a shorter stroke engine.
This Renault tourer would therefore appear to be a unique example in this country with its original large capacity 5-litre engine (compared to the standard 4.3-litre 20/30) and open coachwork by the Regent Carriage Co., of Kings Road, Fulham who were well known for their high quality coachwork on luxury chassis - particularly Napier. Reputedly, the first owner of this vehicle was a director of a leading motor dealership for Daimler vehicles and he sold it on in 1920 for ¨600. In 1925 it changed hands again and remained in the same family ownership until 1962. During this long ownership it is known that on occasions this Renault would be driven to Scotland for a weekend run from the Isle of Wight! In 1962 the current owner, also from the Isle of Wight, purchased the vehicle and has used it sparingly although admits enjoying the occasional Continental motoring trip. For a while it was painted white and was used for some wedding work. In the past few months the owner has finished renovating this handsome vehicle, repainting it to its original green colour and re-upholstering in green leather. It also has new Dunlop Cord tyres and battery a new exhaust as well as having had the magneto overhauled and it comes with a current MoT certificate and tax. The Renault is said to run very well and has the advantage of a fitted Dynostart system.
It has a full set of brass lamps, hand horn, twin spare tyres and a shell petrol can mounted on the running board. This rare Renault, which truly epitomises the Edwardian elegance, will be driven to the auction. It is interesting to note at our annual May sale at Beaulieu, Christie's successfully sold a 1906 20/30 Limousine for ¨51,000.