Discover The Renault “des Records”, three examples with a glorious past

Delve into the history of speed records with the 40 CV, the Nervasport and the Riffard-Tank, three cars that stand out from the crowd!

A record-breaking trilogy

The record-breaking trilogy!

Maybe you saw them in action a few days ago at the Montlhéry Speedway for the Losange Passion International. Some of you were doubtlessly intrigued, others will have recalled glorious moments from the history of motorsport. Here, we shine a spotlight on these three beautiful, blue record-breakers. 

The 40 CV “des Records”

1926, the 40 CV “des Records”

The 1920s saw an almost obsessive interest in records. Renault broke a few of its own with this impressive streamlined 40 CV, which would top 190 km/h.


During this decade, any car manufacturer worthy of the name had to enter the competition to beat records, which was encouraged by the building of speedways. In France, the one built in 1924 at Montlhéry became the arena for hard-fought battles against the speed dial. Renault was not about to be left behind in this race for speed. And it had just the car for the job: the flagship 40 CV model, with its enormous nine-litre engine!


In 1926, Plessier and Gartfield, the engineers responsible for the operation, launched a highly streamlined 40 CV on the speedway. It had a single-seater cockpit and the radiator was behind the engine. 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 40 CV picked up several other records along the way (1,000 and 2,000 miles, 2 km, 3 km and 4 km). It was a massive success for Renault.


The car on show is an exact replica of the record-breaking car, built in the 1970s. To find out more and see the other models, head to The Originals Renault Museum website

The Nervasport “des Records”

1934, the Nervasport “des Records”

Ten or so years after the world records set by Renault 40 CV in 1925, then in 1926 with a slightly more streamlined model, Louis Renault asked his specialist teams to once again work on a record-breaking car.


He used a standard engine from the production line and built the car’s structure on a wooden frame and standard chassis, while the bodywork was conceived by an engineer specialised in racing aircraft profiles. The project was led by four drivers and headed by Auguste Riolfo. The Nervasport to be used as the reference model for this record-chasing machine would combine exceptional power and aerodynamic qualities.


The car and the drivers drove non-stop on 4 and 5 April 1934, on the Montlhéry track. On 5 April, after 48 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds of driving, Nervasport crossed the finish line having broken nine international records and three world records, including one historic record: 8,037 km in 48 hours, i.e. an average of 167.445 km/h. 


To find out all about the Nervasport “des Records”, to explore it in 3D and listen to the sound of its engine, visit our virtual The Originals Renault Museum

The Riffard Tank

1956, the Riffard Tank

All of the tubular chassis and mechanics of the Renault Riffard Tank 4 CV came from one of the 2 Guépards with Renault engines built by the SER (Société d’Étude et de Recherches - Study and Research Company) in Paris in 1953 with bodywork by Pichon-Parat.


After an accident, a decision was made to have one of the two cars repaired and fitted with bodywork aimed at beating the world speed record for the 750 cc category. Studied and designed by Marcel Riffard (an aerodynamics expert who worked for Caudron-Renault and for Renault), the bodywork was extremely sleek and looked like an aircraft wing. The tank took the name Riffard-Renault during its new certification in 1956. The mechanics were made up of a Renault 4 CV 662-2 type block topped with a 1063 cylinder head with big valves, coupled with a 5-speed Claude gearbox.


In 2018, this model was completely restored by Renault Classic.

Montlhéry Speedway

Keeping the legend alive.

These three torchbearers of automotive history are still thrilling the public today when Renault Classic takes part in events at the Montlhéry Speedway or elsewhere.


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