The following timeline of Renault
cars was produced by the Renault Club of the Czech Republic.
1939 - The war started and production of civilian
cars had been stopped. Only a few pieces of Juvaquatre
and Primaquatre with a hydraulic braking system were
produced. During those years all of the firms in the
area occupied by Germany were forced to produce for
Germany. Louis Renault tried his best to slow the production
as much as possible. Development of the French "Beetle"
continued under security measures and the prototype,
called 4CV, was born on December 23rd 1942.
1942-43 - Allies bombed Renault`s factories.
About 80% of the machinery, buildings and raw materials
1944 - Louis was arrested and imprisoned because
of collaboration with Germans. He died during the investigations
on October 24th 1944. Rumours that he was poisoned started
to appear immediately after his death.
1945 - Even without Louis, the name Renault lived
on. In January, Charles de Gaulle decided to nationalize
Renault company. The name of the company was changed
to Regié Nationale des Usines Renault. 21,000
people had been employed in the factory; 12,000 vehicles
were produced, but just about a half of dozen of it
1946 - Production of the passenger cars was relaunched
again that year. Renault produced 8,500 cars, most of
them being of a Juvaquatre type with saloon or estate
body. They had hydraulic brakes and dampers.
1947 - The first production car 4CV was produced
in August. A legend was born.
1948 - Renault had 40,000 employees. 96,000 cars
1950 - Production of Renault Frégate started.
1951 - 4CV`d won 24hrs race Le Mans in its category.
The Renault company was the first to start a diesel-engine
1952 - Prototype of Renault Dauphine was presented.
1954 - The 1,000,000th car after the nationalization
and 2,000,000th since the founding of the company was
produced. Serial production of Renault Dauphine started.
1956 - The company received information about
Amédé Gordini`s financial problems. As
a direct result a contract was signed regarding the
production of a modified Dauphine model. One of Renault's
eminent dealers founded the RDL company and the first
Alpine 106 was born that year. It was based on Renault
4CV and equipped with a GRP body designed by Michelotti.
1957 - A new model of Renault, Dauphine Gordini,
was introduced during the Paris Motor Show. Preliminary
works on new prototypes R4, R8 and R16 commenced that
1959 - Renault car company became the world's
6th largest car producer. Production of models Caravelle
and Floride, based on the Dauphine model, which was
shorter started as well.
1960 - Production of Alpine 110 "Tour de
France" commenced. The model gained great popularity.
1961 - On 4th June the last 4CV car left the
factory. It bore a number 1105543. After 16 years 4CV
was dead -- long live R4! The first R4 was produced
on the 3rd August 1961. Total production of this model
1962 - The first R8 was manufactured. It was
the first production car with disc brakes on all of
1964 - On the 22nd June the first R8 Gordini
left the factory. It was a sports car derived from R8
1965 - The first R16 left the factory gates.
It had another primacy as well - the first Renault car
with the title "the car of the year" and the
first car ever with a hatchback body.
1968 - Production of a little sister of R16,
R6 started. It never achieved the same popularity as
its older sibling. R6 had 850 ccm engine capacity and
following review from contemporary press: "It does
not matter how much you throttle it will not bother
1969 - Renault presented a new model - R12. It
was to become a very popular model produced under license
in Romania (Dacia car), and in Brasil.
1970 - Production of R8 Gordini was over and
R12 Gordini took its place. There were about 10,000
units of R8 Gordini manufactured in total.
1971 - Production of R15/17 and new Alpine A
310 was started.