Exceptional DB Renault R1066 chassis n°1, Le Mans 1953 with Rédelé / Pons N°54

The story of this open two-seater actually begins with a coupe in the first months of 1953. The pilots Pons and Bousquet decide to produce a coupe using the mechanics of the Renault 4 CV, a series of 50 units manufactured by a company SCVS is planned. The study of the chassis is entrusted to Deutsch and Bonnet, they design a structure consisting mainly of a central beam and side members in perforated metal sheet. This very light set is to receive a berlinetta-style body in aluminum sheet designed by Charles Deutsch and Jean Dupuis. The aim of the project was to run this car at the Mille. Miglia 1953, but many issues appeared and it was finally a sedan 4 CV that was entered for Pons and Rédelé. This Renault-powered berlinetta project was therefore abandoned and once it had been removed, the bodywork has probably been used as a basis for Pietro Frua to design the “Coach HBR” D.B. Panhard for Deutsch and Bonnet. But while Pons and Bousquet made the difficult apprenticeship of car manufacturers, the Régie Nationale Renault, which succeeded in classifying two of its cars for the Biennial Cup of Le Mans in 1952, expressed its intention to take part again in the event in 1953, this time with more competitive cars to aim for victory. An agreement is made with three “privates” so that three cars will be built from components supplied by Renault. Among these “privates” are Deutsch and Dupuis who hasten to dress the chassis ordered by Pons with a very attractive open two-seater body, fitted with two rear fins. The engine is a “1063”.

At the start of the 24 hours of Le Mans 1953 there are three prototypes ready to defend the colors of the Régie:
– The Renault 1064 chassis n°1, designed and built by Vernet and driven by Briat and Lesur, n°52
– The Renault 1068 chassis n°1, designed and built by Louis Rosier and driven by J-L. Rosier and Schollemann, n°53
– This Renault 1066 chassis n°1, driven by Pons and Jean Rédelé, n°54
The “1066” is fitted for this event with the standard 4 CV star wheels. With an average speed of 130 km/h with peaks around 175 km/h, it is the fastest of the three Renault. The performance achieved is exceptional considering that the 1063 engine only develops 50 horsepower! Unfortunately the mechanics did not resist this too fast pace for long and gave way on lap 36 during the 4th hour of the race.

Its engine was then repaired, the car was sold and competed in several races. It was then found with Borrani wheels and without its fins at the 1955 Bordeaux Grand Prix where it won the 750/1100 cm3 category in the hands of Parisian driver Rispal. This car was then found in the 1980s, complete but without engine and windshield. It received a complete restoration with new rear fins and a 1062 engine, thus regaining its looks with its two original bucket seats.

In superb condition, this piece of French automobile history was acquired by its current owner in 1990. Eligible for Le Mans Classic and Mille Miglia, French registration certificate.