The 18 CV chassis proved an ideal basis for some very fine coachwork. This elegant, two-seater torpedo skiff measured nearly five metres long, typifying the insouciance of the roaring twenties.
A range in recovery
After the immense upheaval of the First World War, Renault recomposed its catalogue in the early twenties, with a six-cylinder 18CV holding the mid-range between the 12CV and the prestigious 40CV. The JY succeeded the JS, introducing a change of style in 1923, with a round badge that would later evolve into the famous diamond, and a profiled bonnet replacing the previous “alligator”.
A success for the ages
The long wheelbase and big 18CV engine meant it could accommodate some very impressive coachwork. This torpedo skiff was rather special, because Louis Renault intended it to appeal to a different kind of clientele: motorists rather than chauffeur-driven customers. This explains the glamorous coachwork, with just two seats for a total vehicle length approaching five metres!
The carefree spirit of the roaring twenties is very apparent. The splendid silhouette is the handiwork of coachbuilder Henri Labourdette, though a lot of the mouldings were made by Renault at Billancourt. Under various names, the 18CV would stay in the Renault catalogue until 1928, when it gave way to the Nerva series.