Renault 40 CV

In the 1920s, almost every car manufacturer went to great lengths to try and break speed records. Renault decided to take up the challenge with its large 40 CV fitted with a huge, nine-litre plus engine. This beast of a car broke the single lap record at a speed of 178.475kph and the 24-hour record at an average speed of 141.03kph, despite using about a hundred tyres! A few months later, Plessier and Gartfield came up with a more streamlined design for the car. Pit stops were also worked on in unprecedented fashion, producing unequivocal results: the updated version set a new 50-mile speed record of 190.013kph and clocked an average of 173.649kph over 24 hours!

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Renault Nervasport des Records

With the Nervasport des Records, Renault produced a car with the sole aim of breaking speed records. A single-seater car with a rocket-like profile somewhat reminiscent of an aeroplane: a long bonnet, rounded at the front, with a tapered rear…
Powered by an eight-cylinder, 4,825cc engine, the Nervasport headed onto the Montlhéry racetrack on 3 April 1934 for a 48-hour race, with four drivers taking it in turns to complete three-hour stints. On 5 April 1934, the car crossed the line having beaten the 48-hour world record for three to five-litre engine cars at an average speed of 167.445kph. It also managed to set new average speed records over 4,000 and 5,000 miles in the process.

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