Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
Renault brothers Louis, Marcel, and Fernand founded Renault as Société Renault Frères in 1898. Their first Renault car was the A-Type Voiturette 1CV, fitted with a De Dion-Bouton-supplied, single-cylinder engine. The A-Type endured in various forms until 1903. By 1904, Renault was building engines of their own design, and the following year, the Type AG was launched, powered by their 1,100cc twin-cylinder engine. Renault would become the largest car manufacturer in France by 1908, building nearly 3,500 units that year.
With their reputation of durability and practicality, Renault released the Type AG in a series of entry-level models; a “Limousine” sedan, a sporty open carriage “Phaeton”, a “Landaulet”, where the rear passengers are covered by a convertible roof, and a “Camionette”, French for a small truck or panel van. The Type AG seen here is a good example of how Renault was able to transform their road vehicles into these commercial vehicles without too much effort. Everything from the seats forward remains very much an early Renault road car. Its extended wheelbase, from behind the seats to the tailpipe, offers a solid base for an interchangeable truck bed/panel van box.
Although sold to the public, taxi companies and hotels bought a great number of Type AGs, earning them the nickname “Renault Taxi”. In 1905, 250 Type AG taxis roamed the streets of Paris. By 1908 that number rose to 1500. Taxi service provided valuable exposure for Renault elsewhere, as 1100 units were delivered to London during that same time. There were also exports to Argentina and the US. By 1906 Louis had taken full control of the company and, as the only remaining brother, he renamed the company Société des Automobiles Renault (Renault Automobile Company) in 1909. In early September 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, the French Army requisitioned a fleet of 1300 Type AG’s for the transportation of 6000 soldiers from Paris to the First Battle of the Marne against advancing German troops. The Type AG’s significant role earned this vehicle a new, heroic moniker, “Taxi de la Marne”.
Manufacturer: Société des Automobiles Renault (Renault Automobile Company)
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: Water-cooled, 1.1L twin-cylinder engine
Transmission: Three-speed with reverse
Top speed: 35 mph
Years Produced: 1905 - 1914
Number Produced: Several Thousand
Cost: About 3,000 francs (approximately $580 USD)