1964 René Bonnet Djet Coupe  Chassis no. 1148

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Lot 201
1964 René Bonnet Djet Coupe
Chassis no. 1148

Sold for € 17,250 (US$ 20,298) inc. premium
1964 René Bonnet Djet Coupe
Chassis no. 1148
Partnered by Charles Deutsch, René Bonnet formed Automobiles DB in 1949, building a highly successful series of Panhard-based, Le Mans class-winning sports prototypes. In 1961 they split, Deutsch continuing with Panhard-based cars while Bonnet turned to Renault, creating the stylish Djet, one of the first ever mid-engined road cars, though most examples ended up on the racetrack. The Djet’s 1,100cc Renault engine produced 70bhp (95bhp in Gordini tune), while beneath the typically slippery glassfibre coachwork there was a tubular spaceframe chassis, all round independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. A French motoring milestone, the Djet continued after Matra acquired René Bonnet in 1964.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise’s racing career began in René Bonnet cars and he acquired this example from a French industrialist in 1981. Finished in British Racing Green with matching leather interior, the car was restored by René’s nephew Georges Bonnet in the early 1980s and is presented in excellent condition. The odometer shows 74’913 km, very likely to be original considering the condition. The car is offered with French Carte Grise and Contrôle Technique.


René Bonnet, en partenariat avec Charles Deutsch, créa Automobiles DB en 1949, s’en suivit la construction d’une série de sport-prototypes sur la base Panhard qui gagnèrent leur classe au Mans. En 1961, les deux associés se séparent: Deutsch continuant à produire des voitures sur base Panhard alors que Bonnet se tourne vers Renault et crée la Djet au style incomparable, l’une des premières voitures de route avec une moteur central arrière, la majorité de la production étant cependant utilisée pour la course. Le moteur Renault 1,100 cm3 de la Djet produisait 70 ch. (95 ch. avec la préparation Gordini), tandis que sous la carrosserie en fibre de verre on pouvait trouver un chassis tubulaire avec des suspensions indépendantes et quatre freins à disque. La Djet, jalon indégnable de l’industrie automobile française, continua d’être assemblée après le rachat de René Bonnet par Matra en 1964.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise débute sa carrière de pilote et signe chez René Bonnet. Il achète alors à crédit ce petit bolide dont il rêvait depuis longtemps. Pendant ses longs mois à l’hôpital après son grave accident à Reims en 1964, il est obligé de vendre sa Djet. Depuis ce jour, son grand désir était de racheter un modèle similaire. Il fait donc l’acquisition de cet exemplaire auprès d’un industriel français en 1981. La voiture est restaurée les années suivantes par son ami Georges Bonnet, neveu de René Bonnet. Jean-Pierre choisit de la faire repeindre en British Racing Green, représentant pour lui la couleur idéale de toutes les petites sportives des années 60. Son compteur indique un kilométrage de 74’913 km et correspond très probablement à son kilométrage d’origine vu son état. Elle est présentée ici en très bonnes conditions et sera livrée avec sa carte grise et son contrôle technique.

Footnotes

  • No Reserve
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