Vernet and Pairard developed this elegant coupé to follow in the footsteps of the Barquette that broke eight international records in 1952!
A race car
Conversion specialists warmed to the 4CV as soon as it was released. The best known was Jean Rédelé, whose successful developments lay behind the Alpine brand. Vernet and Pairard had a slightly different approach, developing a 4CV-based Barquette to launch an assault on international speed records. Eight records fell in the run-up to the 1952 Paris Motor Show, with the car reaching speeds of over 170 km/h! The record-breaking vehicle was exhibited at the Renault stand, encouraging designers, in partnership with VP, to go one step further. The next year, the Barquette was entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with a coupé version.
The elegance and performance of a coupé
By 1954, the coupé had matured into its final elegant form, with low cockpit and swept-back rear. Hopes were raised for carryover into a volume-production model, but Renault ended up dropping the idea, and the car remained at the prototype stage. Enthusiasts of Vernet and Pairard nevertheless continued their adventure, entering successive upgrades to their 4CV Barquette at Le Mans every year until 1958.
Four VP coupés were made in all: three with a tubular chassis and one on a 4CV platform. This is the model on show, with its luxury finish and leather upholstery.