Renault introduced this six-wheeler type MH at the beginning of the 1920s with a view to crossing the Sahara Desert and thereby facilitating communications between Algeria and French West Africa. It paved the way for the African expeditions that were organised between 1923 and 1925.
No barrier is too great!
Between Algeria and French West Africa the Sahara was a barrier that railway tracks had not yet crossed. Could the automobile do it? Citroën dispatched its caterpillar track vehicles in 1922 and, the following year, Renault developed its six-wheeler. (The vehicles were twelve-wheeler to be precise, because the six wheels were twin wheels to carry the car more effectively over the sand.) With their rear two-axle drive, the cars allied a powerful off-road ability with ease-of-use.
Expeditions and adventure, guaranteed
At the end of 1923, the first mission was accomplished—an overland drive from Touggourt (Algeria) to Tozeur (Tunisia) in two days. Hot on its heels, the Gradis-Estienne expedition in January 1924 linked Algeria to Niger.
On 15 November 1924, Mr and Mrs Delingette, accompanied by their mechanic Mr Bonnaure, set out to cross Africa from Colomb-Béchar (a town in Southern Algeria) to Cape Town! They arrived in South Africa on 3 July 1925, having overtaken the Citroën Centrafrique on the way. It was an extraordinary feat: 23,000 kilometres during which they crossed 35 rivers in dugout canoes and built or rebuilt 129 bridges.