1901 Renault 4 1/2 Tonneau
Lot 301
In current ownership since 1963,1901 Renault 4½hp Type D Rear-entrance Tonneau with Canopy Engine no. 6006
Sold for £62,000 (US$ 104,946) inc. premium
Lot Details
In current ownership since 1963
1901 Renault 4½hp Type D Rear-entrance Tonneau with Canopy
Registration no. BE 29
Engine no. 6006

Footnotes

  • 'In the year 1901 the car I had ordered in the previous year for my daughter was ready at Renault's works, Billancourt, Paris. It was of 4½ horse-power, with a De Dion engine ... The mechanism was just like the inside of a watch, and by a clever arrangement it was possible to change speeds with the left hand.' - Frank Hedges Butler, 'Fifty Years of Travel by Land, Water & Air', 1920.
    Founded by Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand in 1898, the company that would become France's biggest automobile manufacturer started humbly enough, with a solitary 1¾hp De Dion-engined prototype, the sprung rear axle of which would soon be copied by many contemporaries. Production at the Billancourt factory was soon under way on a large scale, demand for its products being enhanced by the performance of Renault cars in the great inter-city races so popular in France at the turn of the 19th Century.
    From the outset Renault engineering was of the highest quality, as exemplified by this 4½hp De Dion-Bouton engined Type D, which is typical of the first generation of Renault cars. In July 1901 'La France Automobile' referred to the Type D Renault as being a very elegant and practical reduction of the large type of automobile carriage, of which it has all the advantages of comfort, sweetness and elegance without the inconveniences of expense, weight, consumption, bulk and price. The Type D was launched at the Salon de l'Automobile held in the Grand Palais in Paris at the end of January 1901 and homologated with the Ministry of Mines (responsible for approving new car models) in February 1901.
    Despite having a single-cylinder engine developing only 6.5bhp, the Type D was a willing performer. In May 1901 Miss Vera Butler drove her father, the balloonist and wine merchant Frank Hedges Butler, from Paris to Nice and back via the Alps, a round trip of some 1,250 miles. Her Type D climbed several Alpine passes, including the ascent to La Grande Chartreuse, where the snow had drifted to depths of six feet, and eventually returned to Paris 'without mishap ... creating a record at the time for a journey with a lady driving and so small and low-powered a car'.
    Dated as 1901 by the Veteran Car Club some time ago (Certificate 255), 'BE 29' featured in that most famous motoring motion picture, 'Genevieve' (1953), and has been a regular participant in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The car was purchased by the current owner in 1963 from his brother-in-law (a Mr Littler) who had owned it since the late 1950s, and last participated in the Run in 1996, since when it has been kept in storage, untouched. This most usable and practical little veteran is offered with old-style logbook. At the time of cataloguing the V5 registration document had not been located; however, we have confirmed that the vehicle is registered on the DVLA computer and Bonhams has applied for a Swansea V5C registration document.

Saleroom notices

  • This vehicle does not have an old-style logbook but we are pleased to report the V5 has been located and accordingly Bonhams have not applied for a V5C.
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

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Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

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    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
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