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Old 07-22-2009, 02:23 PM
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Default Renault CV60 Truck

Louis Renault constructed his first automobile towards the end of 1898. He converted his De Dion-Bouton tricycle into a small, four-wheeled vehicle and added an invention that would soon propel the motor car into a new era: a universal jointed propeller shaft which included a three-gear box plus a reverse, with the third gear in direct drive: the chains and belts which had been used until then immediately became old-fashioned. After that, it lasted only two years till the first truck was made. It was made on the chassis of a passengerís car. Provided with a 3,5hp one-cylinder engine, this vehicle could transport some 250-kilograms of load.

The first real commercial Renault truck, with a loading capacity of some 1000 kilograms, was made in 1906: that was the two-cylinder 10 CV. It had a loading capacity of 800 kilos. In 1909 came the four-cylinder 20 CV truck, with a loading capacity of 1200 kilos, soon to be expanded to 1500 kilos, and paired double wheels at the rear. One very distinctive mark of the Renault in those days was the radiator, which was always placed right BEHIND the engine, instead of in front of it, as is standard today. Plus the very typical slanted bonnet.
Already in 1913 some 5200 people worked in the big Renault factory in Billancourt, at the outskirts of Paris, and the production reached 10.000 cars a year. And at once when the Great War started, Renault joined in. The Renault factories were quickly converted to military production and would in four years manufacture impressive quantities of all types of war materiel: shells (up to 6,000 per day), machine guns, military cars, aircraft engines (up to 600 per month), aircraft (up to 100 per month), rifle barrels (up to 1,200 per day), artillery equipment and tanks, tanks, the famous FT-17 (up to 300 a month). Plus, of course, trucks: up to 300 a month.

The 20 CV truck proved very useful and versatile in times of war. It was reliable and sturdy, at the same time that a lot of specialized trucks could be built on basis of the proven chassis, like trucks for the transport of petrol, or for search-lights. Also the performance of the truck could be increased by the use of stronger engines. Soon trucks with bigger and bigger capacity were turned out. In the end of 1915 there were already 2.5ton, 4ton and 6ton variants. The truck shown below (that can be seen in the famous Tank Museum in Saumur in France) is the 60 CV variant. It was used in many roles. Some were employed as tractors for the famous "75" field gun, others were used to transport Renaults most famous war-time creation, the FT-17 tank. It had a maximum speed of 18 km/h.

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