RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS

The 1920s saw an almost obsessive interest in records. Not to be outdone, Renault broke a few of its own with this impressive streamlined 40CV, which would top 190 km/h.

RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS blue

The race to set new speed records

In the 1920s, carmakers were locked in a battle to set new speed records, in a race that would play out on speed tracks. In France, the Montlhéry track, built in 1924, was the venue for many a stand-off. And Renault had just the car for the job: the flagship 40CV model, with its enormous nine-litre engine.

 

During an initial campaign in 1925, a virtually standard torpedo broke the lap record at 178.475 km/h, then the 24-hour record at 141.03 km/h. The difference between the two averages tells a story, since it arises from the frequent stops required for refuelling and, above all, tyre changes; this heavy car consumed around a hundred!

Always looking for the next challenge

But these figures were apparently not good enough for engineers Plessier and Gartfield, who came back in 1926 with a more streamlined single-seater 40CV with the radiator mounted behind the engine. The pitstop process had been streamlined too, with a 14-strong team cutting downtime to 50 seconds. This time round, Renault would set a new 50-mile record at an average of 190.013 km/h and a new 24-hour record at 173.649 km/h.

 

The car on show is an exact replica of the record-breaking car, built in the 1970s. Owner: Edouard Pichon.

RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS front view
RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS side view
RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS front end
RENAULT 40 CV DES RECORDS parked

More vehicles

RENAULT TYPE LO FIRE ENGINE

RENAULT TYPE LO FIRE ENGINE

Next
By continuing to browse this site, you agree to allow Renault S.A.S and its partners to use cookies to analyse the site's operation and effectiveness and to display ads tailored to your interests and interactions via social networks.
Find out more