Veteran Car Club South East Section
To encourage the use and assist in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, exhibition and maintenance of Veteran and Edwardian motor vehicles manufactured up to and including 1918

Make: Renault

Click to enlarge

Body Type: Phaeton

Year of manufacture: 1905

Horse Power: 23/25

Cylinders: 4


Brief History

The car was originally owned by Elizabeth, Lady Cheylesmere, a one-time lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary (who is said to have ridden in the car on numerous occasions and the picnic baskets are believed to have been installed at her request). In 1963 the car was used to open, as the lead car the 50th Paris Motor Show.

The car was originally owned by Elizabeth, Lady Cheylesmere, a one-time lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary (who is said to have ridden in the car on numerous occasions and the picnic baskets are believed to have been installed at her request). In 1963 the car was used to open, as the lead car the 50th Paris Motor Show.

Between 1919 and 1950 the vehicle was unused and its condition deteriorated badly. In 1950 the car was found in a derelict condition in a barn in Southern Ireland and was purchased by Paul Waring. At his mother's Hotel garage in Swindon Paul spent many hours restoring the car to its present condition. He was the owner of the car for some 10 years or so, sadly in 1964 Paul and his son were killed in a motor accident.

In 1965 the AA decided to acquire a veteran car to mark its 60th anniversary. Paul Waring's mother was at this time seeking a suitable home for the Renault car. She had already registered an interest with the VCC (Veteran Car Club) and they put her in touch with the AA. The original registration of this car was OPL 839. The AA had acquired the registration plate AA1 and soon it was attached to the Renault. Since 1966 it has participated in the RAC London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. In 1996, the VCC re-dated the car was to a 1905 vehicle, but with the kind permission of the RAC, it has continued to participate despite the official cut-off date for entry to this famous event being 1904!

Media History

Over the years it has featured in many prestigious events including being included in the film "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" and the Queen Mother's centenary celebration in London. AA1 continues to be used on a regular basis each year enhancing special events and attending veteran car rallies. In addition, it is used, on average around three or four times each year as a wedding car for AA staff and their families.

Points of Interest

This Renault car, built in 1904 and registered in 1905, is a model VB with Park Phaeton coachwork by Rothschild et Cie of Paris. The engine is a 4 cylinder, 4¼ litre producing 23/25 brake horse power. It has a 3 speed quadrant change gearbox operated by a leather cone clutch. The final drive is transmitted via a central propeller shaft to a "live" back axel. The maximum speed is in the region of 50 mph and petrol consumption averages 14 mpg. The fuel tank, which has a capacity of approximately 12 gallons, is located directly underneath the driver's seat! The matched headlamps are powered by acetylene whilst the side and rear lamps burn paraffin.
Denis Bass has been custodian of the car since 1998; He is responsible for the cleaning, maintenance, transportation and driving the car to Events each year. Denis has 53 years' experience within the Motor Trade, 34 years working for The AA.

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