1902 Renault Type G,
Lot 201
1902 Renault 8hp Type G Two-Seater Chassis no. 416 Engine no. 8617
Sold for £89,500 (US$ 139,046) inc. premium

Lot Details
1902 Renault Type G, 1902 Renault Type G, 1902 Renault Type G,
1902 Renault 8hp Type G Two-Seater
Registration no. BS 8336
Chassis no. 416
Engine no. 8617

Footnotes

  • Founded in 1898 by Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand, 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. At a time when automobile design had yet to crystallise, Renault's front-engined, rear-drive design presaged that of the modern car, while other advanced features included wire-spoked wheels shod with the newly invented Dunlop inflatable tyre. Few changes were found necessary before the Type A was ready for presentation to the public in 1899. 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.
    The single-cylinder Renault was updated annually, the Type G of 1902 featuring an 864cc water-cooled De Dion motor rated at 6hp. Twin, side-mounted radiators had been adopted when water-cooling arrived in 1900 on the Type C and these were enlarged for the Type G, which was the first model to feature Renault's so-called 'coal scuttle' bonnet, a style widely copied by other manufacturers. The largest Renault model so far, the Type G was built on a longer and wider chassis, made from heavier gauge tubing, which now relied on semi-elliptic springing instead of the fully elliptical springs favoured hitherto. By this time a circular steering wheel on an inclined column had been standardised, replacing the semi-circular control and vertical column used since production began. Six alternative final drive ratios were available, giving the car a top speed of anywhere between 19 and 33mph approximately. 1902 is also particularly noteworthy as the year the company began making its own engines, one of which powered Marcel Renault to a remarkable victory in that year's Paris-Vienna Race, defeating the larger Panhard-Levassor opposition to achieve worldwide acclaim and recognition for Renault products.
    From the outset Renault engineering was of the highest quality, as exemplified by this 8hp De Dion-engined Type G, which is typical of the first generation of Renault automobiles. The car appears to be to original mechanical specification in all major respects and has Renault's trademark twin, side-mounted, gilled tube radiators, while the two-seater coachwork is in the style of the period. The car is most attractively presented in silver/grey livery with black upholstery. It is equipped with a magnificent pair of brass acetylene Ducellier headlamps and bulb horn, and carries a Veteran Car Club of Great Britain Dating Plate.
    For many years the Renault was in the Stevens Institute in the USA where it was used as an engineering study. In May 1987 it was purchased by noted car restorer, John Caperton of Louisville, Kentucky, who fully restored both the mechanicals and the body, and used the car on rallies in the USA. It then spent a period of time in Japan before coming to the UK where it was auctioned at Brooks' RAF Museum, Hendon Sale in April 2000 (Lot 752) and purchased by Bob Ames from Portland, Oregon. During both his ownership and that of the current vendor the car has remained in the UK and been professionally maintained to a high standard. Although referred to in some of the documentation as of 6hp, the engine is an 8hp De Dion that is correct for the car, which has been dated by The Society of Automotive Historians and The National Museum of Science & Industry (letters on file). Taxed and MoT'd to October 2012, this delightful smaller Renault is well catered for by both the Veteran Car Club and the Renault Frères and, of course, is eligible for the London-Brighton Run. '416' has a most impressive performance record in the latter, having completed the last ten Runs. It has an early start (last year 193) and runs strongly at over 30mph.

Saleroom notices

  • This car is now offered with an entry to the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and will be car no. 199. The chassis and engine number are printed incorrectly in the catalogue. Chassis no. 187 Engine no. 9737
Auction information

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