Tiny engined French classic takes on exotic Ferraris and Aston Martins
The 2014 running of the Tour Auto starts on Monday. The annual French completion sees classic cars complete in a mix of races, rally stages and road sections across France. This year the event starts in Paris and runs for five days, finishing in Marseille on the 12th.
The Tour Auto is known for its mix of Ferraris, Porsches other exotic classic cars, but friend and Drive Cult reader Frédéric Brun will be entering in a slightly slower but no less interesting Renault 4CV. The 4CV was built between 1947 and 1961 and sports a rear mounted 760cc engine that originally produced 17bhp. At launch it was not entirely affectionately nicknamed ‘La Motte de Buerre’ (lump of Butter) on account of its styling and the first examples being finished using surplus sand coloured paint from the German Afrika Korps. In many ways the car is also the ancestor of the recently announced rear engine Renault Twingo.
The example that Frederic and co-driver Francois-Jean Daehn are using has a rather special history as it has only ever had one owner, art collector and dealer Adrien Maeght, and has period competition history. The little Renault finished 1st in the 1953 Tour de Belgique Automobile and completed in the 1954 Mille Miglia.
Against the hordes of Italian Ferraris and Alfas, and German Porsches in the event Frederic and Francois-Jean are celebrating the Frenchness of their little Renault. All the parts (including tyres) will come from French companies as will the clothes they will wear on the event!
Pictures supplied by Frédéric Brun