As the first major motoring development after the Second World War, the 4 CV was ideally matched to customer expectations of the time, achieving sales of over a million.

RENAULT 4 CV black

The first post-war car with a focus on comfort

The 4 CV was unveiled in 1946 at the first post-war Paris Motor Show. It was marvelously attuned to the spirit of the times, and the challenges of post-war reconstruction, after the years of suffering and denial. A rear-mounted engine gave the 4 CV a flat floor, enabling this lightweight, economical little car to carry four people comfortably. Though it was developed under cover during the most difficult of wartime conditions, the 4 CV went on to enjoy a bright and brilliant career, with production topping the million mark.

RENAULT 4 CV on the road

The original Alpine

Production techniques included extensive use of transfer machines, marking the dawn of the automation era. Many different versions were made, from the low-cost “Service” model to the high-appeal convertible, and the racy 1063 sports model. The 4 CV had considerable international scope, extending to sales in USA, and production in Japan.


In France, specialist coachbuilders appreciated its ready adaptability, and Jean Rédélé would use the 4 CV as the basis for his famous Alpine racers. Despite the arrival of Dauphine in 1955, the 4 CV continued through to 1961, when it finally gave way to another best-seller, Renault 4, after a magnificent career in bridging the post-war transition to freedom.

RENAULT 4 CV front end
RENAULT 4 CV black and white
RENAULT 4 CV rear view

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