1951 Renault 4CV 1063 Pilots: F. Landon, A. Briat Team: RNU Renault Race: 24th GC (1st in S 0.7 class) at Le Mans in 1951 Spark - S5210 (resin)
During World War II, being in occupied France, Renault was under orders of only producing commercial or military vehicles. However, despite Nazi orders, their engineering department conceived and designed the Quatre Chevaux. The war ended and for the post-war recession the 4CV was perfect, with production beginning in 1947. It was a really small car, weighing only 620 kg. For an engine it had an inline-4 displacing 760 cm³, that in 1950 was reduced to 747 cm³. Attached to a three-speed gearbox, the 0.75 l engine delivered 17 hp. In stock form it had a top speed of 99 km/h and a 0 to 90 km/h of 38 seconds. Not exactly powerful, but reliable, so of course privateers took it to Le Mans. The first time a 4CV raced at La Sarthe was in 1949, but that sole 4CV only lasted 21 laps.
With the popularity of the car, for 1950 Renault created a special race version for the 750 cm³ class. Called 4CV 1063, Renault produced only 80 cars. The 1063 had the same inline-4 as the production version, but tweaked to produce 36 hp. With a bare interior to lower weight, it also counted on double shock absorbers for the rear wheels. In 1951 at Le Mans, RNU Renault was the manufacturer’s works team, with three 1063 in the race. Their car #50, though finishing in 27th, managed a first place in the S 0.7 class. Not bad, since there were a total of 13 cars in the class, including another five 4CVs.
In scale it’s sublime – great paint job and terrific detail. Well, your average Spark, to be succinct. And it’s a particularly interesting one for me, since it’s a milestone. It’s my 300th car, and my 240th race car. Also, it’s my 100th Spark, the most frequent brand in my collection. Conversely, this is one of the three smallest models in the whole W-143 garage. Therefor, a truly mini might 🙂
BUT, not everything is roses – oh yes, there is a bad part. The bad part? My 300th model. These 1:43 may be small, but bunch them up and you´ll need (lots of) display space. So, reality kicks in and I’m reminded that space will become an issue in the future.