The Renault 40CV was launched in 1911 powered by a 7.6 litre / 460 cui straight six and could be ordered with either an 3.6m / 11′ 9″ or 3.9m / 12′ 9″ chassis.
With the introduction of the 40CV Type HF in August 1920 the engine was upgraded to a 9.1-litre 9,120 cc / 557 cui straight six.
From 1920 to 1928 the Renault 40CV replaced the Panhard 20CV as the French Presidential vehicle of choice.
François Repusseau drove a 40CV to victory in the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally and the following year a vehicle similar to today’s featured 40CV MN was modified and fitted with a single seat Coupé body and taken to the Montlhéry Oval outside Paris for a record braking 24 hour run.
Facilitated by a pit crew of 14 who could complete a pit stop including changing all four tyres in 50 seconds every hour and a team of unnamed drivers the 40CV set a new 50 mile average speed record of 190.013 kmh / 118 mph and a 24 hour record of 173.649 kmh / 107.9 mph, by comparison the fastest average speed on the road course at Le Mans for the 24 hours race in 1926 was just 106.35 kph / 66 mph set by Robert Bloch and André Rossignol in their 3.4 litre / 207 cui Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6.
Jean-Louis Pichafroy is seen at the wheel of an exact replica of the 40CV MN Montlhéry Coupé, built in the 1970’s by Renault, at last years Goodwood Festival of Speed,
Thanks for joining me on this Presidential Speed King edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be revisiting the Monterey Rolex Reunion. Don’t forget to come back now !