Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3-4, 2023
Benetton’s first year in Formula One was 1986, and their last was 2001 before they became the Renault factory team. The team’s first year using Renault power was 1995, in which they campaigned the Rory Byrne/Ross Brawn-designed B195.
The car featured a 3.0-liter Renault V10 capable of up to 700 horsepower. This one now has a 3.5-liter Judd V10 in it. Drivers Michael Schumacher (in his last season before departing for Ferrari) and Johnny Herbert ran for the team, which won its first and only constructors championship this season. Schumacher also won his second title this season, with some of it spent behind this chassis (#02).
The catalog states that Schumacher won races in this chassis but doesn’t specifically state which ones. Oh well!. The Judd engine was installed prior to the current owner’s purchase, and it’s been gone over apparently. Artcurial estimates this car to sell in the range of $2,165,000-$3,250,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Weybridge, U.K. | November 26, 2022
The Renault35CV range of cars took the place of the 50-60-horsepower cars that ended production in 1910. These were large Renaults, especially compared to the two-cylinder cars that dominated the sales charts for the company.
The DQ is powered by an 8.5-liter inline-four rated at about 45 horsepower and was only built in 1913. This one was restored in the U.K. in the 1990s. There are always these “bare chassis” finds of pre-WWI cars, and I’ve always wondered who buys them and turns them into cars like this.
Not to say this was one of those cases, as the car had been known in the U.S. prior to it being restored. What’s interesting about this one is that it has a wooden boattail in addition to its two-seat raceabout configuration. But it looks like the entire boattail raceabout body was dropped onto a truck chassis (the body was actually built in the 2010s). It’s a big car and is said to be capable of cruising at 60 mph.
The pre-sale estimate is $66,000-$77,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 16, 2022
Renault’s Fregate was a sedan offered between 1951 and 1960, but a few of them ended up as coachbuilt two-door cars, including this pretty cabriolet from Henri Chapron. Chapron actually designed three different variations of the Fregate. This is an example of the third.
Only three of these were built, and this is the only one left. It’s powered by a 2.1-liter inline-four that could be had in 75- or 80-horsepower form. This particular car was restored in the early 2000s.
The paint colors are great for a ’50s car, and are actually period Chapron colors, although this car was previously burgundy. The pre-sale estimate is $77,000-$116,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Moritz, Switzerland | September 9, 2022
For 1988, Williams returned to naturally aspirated power for their FW12. The car transformed into the FW12C for 12 of 1989’s 16 races. During the ’89 season, Williams employed drivers Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen.
The engine was a 3.5-liter Renault V10 that made about 650 horsepower. This car, chassis #10, was initially used as a spare car before being used in competition. It’s race history includes:
1989 French Grand Prix – 3rd (with Riccardo Patrese)
1989 German Grand Prix – 4th (with Patrese)
1989 Hungarian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Patrese, from pole)
1989 Belgian Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Patrese)
The car was later purchased directly from Williams. It has its engine still, though it is said to be incomplete. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022
1983 Renault RE40
First up is Renault’s 1983 entrant, the RE40. It led them to second place in the constructor’s championship that season, with drivers Eddie Cheever and Alain Prost, the latter of whom drove this car. And won a race in it.
The powerplant is a turbocharged 1.5-liter Renault-Gordini V6 that made about 640 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, #3, includes:
1983 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with Alain Prost)
1983 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Prost)
1983 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Prost)
1983 U.S. Grand Prix – 8th (with Prost)
1983 Italian Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Prost)
It was also used as a test car for both drivers during the season. It was restored in 1995 and is now being offered directly from Renault’s collection. The estimate is $850,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold/withdrawn
1986 Tyrrell-Renault 015
Tyrrell Racing was actually around for quite a while, debuting in 1971 and lasting through 1998. That puts this car sort of right in the middle of their existence. The 015 was designed by Maurice Philippe and featured power from Renault.
The Renault-Gordini engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6, which this chassis, #3, retains. Its competition history is not described, but the teams driver’s were Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff, the latter of whom kept this car at the end of the season. He traded it to Renault in 1994 for a 1984 Renault F1 car.
Renault is now selling it, with an estimate $160,000-$260,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold/withdrawn.
1993 Williams-Renault FW15
Williams‘ FW15 was the team’s car for 1993. It was designed by a who’s who of F1: Patrick Head, Adrian Newey, Paddy Lowe, and Eghbal Hamidy. A Renault 3.5-liter V10 was stuffed out back, and the combination proved super successful: Williams won the constructor’s championship, with driver Alain Prost taking the driver’s championship. The team’s other driver was Damon Hill.
Unfortunately, this is not a race chassis and has never had an engine in it. It’s purely a display car and has been retained by “the constructor” since new. Renault is selling other cars, so it’s unclear if this is coming from Renault or Williams, but I’d assume Renault. The estimate is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $54,696.
1997 Benetton B197
Benetton’s 1997 car was the B197, designed under technical director Pat Symonds. It featured power from a 3.0-liter Renault V10 capable of up to 755 horsepower. Unfortunately, this is a pure display car as well, so it’s never even had an engine mounted in it. That said, the body is a real ex-F1 car body, complete with Mild Seven livery.
Benetton utilized Jean Alesi for the entire season along with Gerhard Berger, who was replaced by Alexander Wurz for three races mid-season due to health issues. Berger won a race upon his return, proof that someone else in your seat makes you step up your game. The estimate here is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | May 21, 2022
This one is a little confusing, as is Renault’s early model line. Their first cars debuted in 1899 with simple voiturettes, though they carried more than half a dozen model names in their first few years. Prior to WWI, the company offered dozens of different models, many of which based on the same powertrains.
In this case, I think, we have a 20/30hp chassis in model V-1 form (not VI as the auction catalog labels it). This was a large car for the company, and it’s powered by a 4.4-liter inline-four rated at 20/30 horsepower. No clue how long this model was offered, but it was at least 1908 and 1909.
The body here is by Stareys & Woolleys of Nottingham. The pre-sale estimate here is listed as $115,000-$135,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 2, 2022
The 2004 F1 season was dominated by Ferrari, but Renault’s R24 was a contender. It won the Monaco Grand Prix that year. And this livery is a nostalgic throwback to some good years of F1. It just screams “let’s watch Fernando Alonso tear it up.”
The R24 is powered by a screaming 3.0-liter V10 that made about 900 horsepower (it is unclear if this car still has an engine). This car was acquired by its first private owner in 2016, at which time it was repainted and fitted with the blue and yellow Mild Seven livery that was made famous by Renault’s two world championships in period (which would both come in the two yeas after this car ran). The competition history for this chassis includes:
2004 Chinese Grand Prix – 4th (with Fernando Alonso)
2004 Japanese Grand Prix – 5th (with Alonso)
2004 Brazilian Grand Prix – 4th (with Alonso)
This car, being used so late in the season is likely, technically, an R24B. The only thing it needs to be perfect is a set of period-correct grooved tires. This Renault is from the team’s brink of greatness and looks the part of the later cars. Check out more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Le Castellet, France | November 19, 2021
Sports prototype race cars were kind of getting a little out of hand in the 1970s. Think about Porsche’s Can-Am killer and some of the other wild cars that came out of that era. And look at the intake on this thing. I’m pretty sure there are smaller jet engines.
Alpine was owned by Renault at this time, but this car was designed and built by Alpine (with Renault power and funding, of course). Power is from a turbocharged 2.0-liter Renault-Gordini V6 capable of 490 horsepower. Only four examples of the A442 were built, and the competition history for this one, chassis 4422, includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 22nd, DNF (with Patrick Depailler and Jacques Laffite)
1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – unknown
What? Yeah, there were two A442As, a single A442B, and an A443 entered in 1978’s race. The A442B won the race. But whether that car was chassis 4422 or 4423 has apparently been disputed. Renault says it was car 4423, but RM presents evidence that it could’ve been 4422. You can make up your own mind, but this car is the only A442 in private hands. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $4,600,000-$6,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | February 13-18, 2020
The GTA was the first “Alpine” that was technically branded as a Renault product. Alpine become the model, as this was the first new Alpine model launched after Renault acquired Jean Rédélé’s company in 1973. The GTA went on sale in 1985 and was built through 1991.
There were a number of different sub-models offered, including a base, naturally aspirated version. There was also a Le Mans model, an example of which we have featured before. By 1990, the car had been fitted with power-robbing emissions equipment, and this V6 Turbo model is powered by a, you guessed it, turbocharged 2.5-liter V6 rated 182 horsepower. Sixty arrived in seven seconds, and the car topped out at 151 mph.
This car has aftermarket wheels that make it look like a Venturi, and it is expected to sell for between $10,000-$13,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | March 5-6, 2021
In the 1980s, the French were doing some crazy stuff with their hatchbacks. Renault and Peugeot produced some monsters. Twenty years later, Renault decided to go crazy again and produced probably the coolest hot hatch of the 21st Century (yeah, I said it).
The second-generation Clio went on sale in 1998 and somehow lasted through 2012. It was available as a three- or five-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. Some of them actually looked okay for what they were, but they were all largely sad in the power and front-engined, front-wheel-drive departments.
In 2001, Renault designed a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive version of the Clio (okay, it was a pretty different car, but shared the name and corporate face). It was based on the Clio V6 Trophy race car of 1999 and was powered by a 2.9-liter, 24-valve V6 located in the rear hatch area, like the Renault 5 Turbo.
This is a “Phase 1” example, meaning output was rated at 227 horsepower and that the car was actually assembled by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in Sweden. Later cars were built by Renault themselves and made more power. Top speed was 146 mph. Only 1,513 Phase 1 cars were built through 2003.
These cars will only appreciate with time, and once they are eligible for U.S. import, I expect them to be grabbed up and hard to get for a good price. Check out more about this RHD example here, and see more from Silverstone here.