Owned by only two families from new 1909 Renault AX Tourer Coachwork by Ripon Bros Registration no. AW 657 Chassis no. to be advised Engine no. to be advised
Powered by a 1,100cc twin-cylinder engine of 8hp and featuring the 'coal scuttle' bonnet and rear-mounted radiator that would characterise Renaults until the late 1920s, the AX arrived at a time when the motor car was beginning to gain a measure of respectability. The unreliability of early cars had provided good cause for public scepticism but the advent of the AX, destined to become Renault's pre-WWI best seller, ushered in a new era. Here was an easy-to-drive car of simple design, whose mechanical workings even an inexperienced layman might begin to understand. The water-cooled twin with its mechanically operated valves was simple and robust, endearing qualities to the novice motorist, and the three-speed gearbox was easy to master. For so small a car the AX possessed unparalleled flexibility between 5mph and 35mph in top gear, clinging to that gear on all but the steepest gradients.
This particular AX was purchased new by Sir William Rouse-Boughton of Ludlow and used on a regular basis until it was stored in a garage until after WW2. The car was then purchased by Mr John Parsonage, a motor engineer whose business was in Ludlow. He carefully brought the car back to its original condition, the only exceptions being the two front wings and the hood. For these items and a repaint it was returned to the original coachbuilders, Rippon Bros of Huddersfield. Mr Parsonage was a member of the Veteran Car Club and during the 1950s attended many of their rallies, badges for which are displayed on the bar above the radiator. Mostly the car was driven to these rallies and it was even driven to Dover for a rally in Le Touquet. As this was before the advent of drive-on ferries, the car was hoisted on to the ship's deck by crane. In Le Touquet they were greeted by the Mayor and, because they were driving a French car, were made quite a fuss of.
Eventually, because of the increase in traffic and tired of repeated soakings, Mr Parsonage had a bespoke trailer constructed, which made attending rallies, especially the more distant ones, much easier. The Renault eventually passed to his son and daughter who still own the car, which thus has been owned by only two families since 1909. Gentle re-commissioning will be required before 'AW 657' returns to the road following a period of inactivity. The car is offered with (copy) buff logbook and old-style V5 registration document.