- This is the same model of car driven by Marcel Renault in the 615- mile “Paris to Vienna Race” in 1902.
- The black box on the dashboard is the oiler for the engine.
- The brass “trumpet-like” valves control the flow of oil through copper tubes.
The first Renault vehicle, a Voiturette, was built at the end of 1889. By 1902 Renault motor vehicle production had been successful for several years and Louis and Marcel Renault, besides liking the sport of racing, understood that victories helped sell cars. Renault won many important European races during the early years of the 20th century and sales figures jumped: 60 cars sold in 1899, 179 in 1900, 347 in 1901, and 509 in 1902.
This Renault racer is the same type as that driven by Marcel Renault at the 1902 Paris-Vienna Race, a distance of 615 miles. The roads through France and Switzerland were excellent. In Austria, however, the racers had to conquer the nearly 6,000 foot high Arlberg Pass. The roads were hardly more than ruts and gullies with boundary stones marking the edge of the road and the cliffs. For four days, Marcel Renault maneuvered his racer through all obstacles only to arrive at the Vienna finish line heading in the wrong direction! He lost time getting turned around, but still won the race with minutes to spare.
Today, Renault is a prominent French multinational vehicle manufacturer and remains a powerful force in racing.