The 4CV was of monocoque construction, 3. CV is the abbreviation of cheval-vapeur, the French equivalent to “horsepower” as a unit of service manual renault trafic download. The name 4CV refers to the car’s tax horsepower.
The 4CV was originally conceived and designed covertly by Renault engineers during the World War II German occupation of France, when the manufacturer was under strict orders to design and produce only commercial and military vehicles. In November 1945 the government invited Ferdinand Porsche to France to explore the possibility of relocating the Volkswagen project to France as part of the reparations package then under discussion. Lefaucheux was a man with contacts. As soon as the 4CV project meetings mandated by the politicians had taken place, Porsche was arrested in connection with war crimes allegations involving the use of forced labour including French in the Volkswagen plant in Germany. The first prototype had only two doors and was completed in 1942, and two more prototypes were produced in the following three years. Later Pierre Lefaucheux, appointed to the top job at Renault early in 1945, tested the 4CV prototype at Louis Renault’s Herqueville estate.
In 1940, Louis Renault had, according to one source, directed his engineering team to “make him a car like the Germans’. An important part of the 4CV’s success was due to the new methodologies used in its manufacture, pioneered by Pierre Bézier. Bézier had begun his 42-year tenure at Renault as a tool setter, moving up to tool designer and then becoming head of the Tool Design Office. The 4CV was ultimately presented to the public and media at the 1946 Paris Motor Show and went on sale a year later. Volume production was said to have commenced at the company’s Billancourt plant a few weeks before the Paris Motor Show of October 1947, although the cars were in very short supply for the next year or so.
German Army vehicles of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, which were a sand-yellow color. Despite an initial period of uncertainty and poor sales due to the ravaged state of the French economy, the 4CV had sold 37,000 units by mid-1949 and was the most popular car in France. The unusually direct steering no doubt delighted some keen drivers, but road tests of the time nonetheless included warnings to take great care with the car’s handling on wet roads. Early in 1953 the manufacturer launched a stripped-down version of the 4CV bereft of anything which might be considered a luxury. Tire width was reduced, and the dummy grille was removed from the front of the car along with the chrome headlamp surrounds. The seats were simplified and the number of bars incorporated in the steering wheel reduced from three to two.
The only colour offered was grey. The car achieved its objective of retailing for less than 400,000 Francs. The 4CV’s direct replacement was the Dauphine, launched in 1956, but the 4CV in fact remained in production until 1961. The 4CV was replaced by the Renault 4 which used the same engine as the 4CV and sold for a similar price. The first car of the Renault 4CV manufactured by FASA-Renault at the factory of Valladolid. The factory was opened in 1951. This copy is located in the Valladolid Science Museum.