Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

I did show some coach-built Renault 4CV’s before on a French Friday. And those Barquettes still put a smile on my face when I see them prominently displayed in my showcase. But some weeks ago I ran into one I’ve been looking for for a long time now but I didn’t want to spend over 20 euros on (including shipping).

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

And best part was there was another 4CV-coachbuild at the same exhibitor (I was at a classic show in Belgium) that my collection clearly missed. So this bigger and baby-blue one was added as well. Not a complete hawl with only those two casts, nevertheless I was very pleased with these additions.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

So, what are these? This black beauty looks like ‘50’s Darth Vader choice of weapon: the 1954 Renault 4CV Coach Vernet Pairard R 1062. And if you’ve read my post of the Barquettes: Vernet et Pairard are indeed the constructors of that lovely Tank as well.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

But this one is a true beauty. VP did not make many of these (this is the Coupé, there was a Course purely meant for competition as well) and if my information is correct there’s only one left and that’s this 1:1 counterpart in the Renault Collection. Renault had it restored completely and was displayed on Retromobile when Renault had finally finished it.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

Many say the front is a lot like the Porsche 356. And I think it is, I just wasn’t able to capture it with the model. So maybe the model, an Eligor 1/43 from the 4CV-series, just isn’t that good.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

Maybe I should have shot it from the exact same angle as the car showed in black and white on the left here because I think you know what I mean with the resemblance. Both cars were developed and designed in the same era and those round headlights were the only solution for lighting anyway so I’m not sure if there was some copy/paste done by either one of them. Although it’s a widely spread rumor Renault took quite some ideas from the 356’s (the Beetle) base anyway for it’s 4CV.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

There even was some sort of co-operation with Renault who supplied parts (probably impressed by that record-breaking Tank) and the car was designed by Robert Mauger. It was introduced at the 1953 Salon de l’Automobile at the stand of coachbuilder Jean Antem.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

But somehow Renault’s support was lost in the process and that resulted in not many of these produced. The exact amount of produced vehicles is unknown and, as I said, it is believed only one did survive.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

The blue one is from Eligor’s 1/43 4CV-series as well. And this one is a 4CV by Autobleu. And Autobleu was some sort of a Tuning company, specialized in tweaking Renault’s 4CV. And 6 years after the introduction of the 4CV Autobleu showed this slightly bigger coupé to the press.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

And it still had the steel chassis of the 4CV but it’s two-door body was a Ghia-designed aluminium one. Ghia was actually the partner that built all of the Autobleu-panels, not sure if the complete cars were assembled there as well.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

The aluminium body meant it’s end as well. Aluminium was really the material of the future after the second world war, with Land Rover, Panhard and even Citroën using it. There even was expectation the prices would drop on Aluminium.After that price-drop stayed out and prices even increased rapidly Citroën changed the 2cv (prototypes were in Aluminium at first) to normal steel. Customers clearly didn’t want to pay extra for this lightweight material.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

The nose of that Autobleu however always reminds me a bit of one of the characters from the Cars cartoon. And again I am mighty impressed with Eligor’s value for money because where else can one find such obscurity in 1/43 for only 8 euros.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

There’s one Autobleu I definitely need in 1/43 and that’s this 750 MM. And yes: They took it to compete in the 1954 Mille Miglia. Helped by Porsche to tweak it’s engine they were able to get 70hp from a to 950cc increased capacity engine. A standard 4CV had 17hp from 747cc.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

The one in front for me however will always be the Vernet Pairard. And knowing it’s in Renault’s own collection in Boulogne-Billancourt makes me want to visit yet another French hotspot. The possibility of multi-panning above is another confirmation I need that bigger Diorama. Both in length and wideness of the track because one car always ends up on the curbs. Okay, one more with les barquettes...

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Seigneur Vader, votre voiture est arrivé!

Mon dieu, j’adore les dérivés de 4cv! Montre moi beaucoup de voitures Françaises aujourd’hui! Bon Week-end!

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