Renault has been developing, manufacturing, and selling vans to meet the needs of demanding business customers for more than a century. To celebrate the anniversary of the launch of Renault Pro+, Renault’s expert brand for Light Commercial Vehicles, we review some of the most pioneering Renault models to date.
Taking the tailor-made route from the beginning
Because no two businesses are the same, Renault partners with a wide range of Accredited Converters to deliver both [out-of-the-box and bespoke conversions<LINK>5 things you should know about Renault Conversions</LINK>]. The goal: delivering vans that meet the specific needs of craftsmen and women everywhere. This commitment, and resulting expertise, are not new – they come from over a century of crafting and engineering tailor-made vehicles.
1900: Renault Type C ‘Milkman’
The year is 1900, and there is already a market for utility or service vehicles. Renault engineers waste no time in creating this early Type C panel van – a small 3.5-horsepower vehicle, capable of hauling a 250-kg payload. These humble beginnings constituted the first ever self-propelled vehicle for industrial and commercial use.
1926: Renault Lo Type Fire Fighter
Fire fighters have always needed vehicles they could rely on in life-or-death situations, but technology took some time to catch up. A pioneer in tailor-made vehicles and van design and engineering, Renault was only too happy to propose a solution.
When business grows, so does the fleet
To meet the specific needs of small business and company fleets worldwide, Renault draws on its considerable experience designing iconic business vans.
1947: the 1,000 KG Van
In helping merchants and tradespeople resume normal business life, this iconic van symbolized France’s economic recovery after the Second World War. It held its place for a whole 12 years, when it was eventually superseded by the Renault Estafette as France’s most beloved work van.
1970: Renault 4 F4 Service
One of the world’s great automotive successes, the Renault 4 was created 1961, with more than 8 million units produced in France until 1992. This 1970 small orange and white Renault 4 F4 van by “Renault Service” became synonymous with proximity.
Affectionately known as the ‘blue jean car’, the Darty was the prototype for a new philosophy in vehicle design that prioritized multi-use versatility. The Darty, spiritual antecedent to the unclassifiable Kangoo Van, innovated a roof flap – exclusive to Renault – known as a ‘giraffe roof’, for its fold back capabilities that could potentially allow its user to transport, well, a giraffe!
Making room for the entire team
Offering space, unparalleled driving pleasure, and comfort: such is the exciting challenge of meeting the needs of private and business customers. Here’s the history from which the Trafic Passenger and Master Passenger vans were forged.
1927: Renault PR Type
Louis Renault took an immediate interest in buses and coaches even before technology caught up with his imagination. The model here is from 1927, but the first Renault buses were delivered for use in Parisian public transport as early as 1909!
1975: Renault Estafette
The Estafette marked an important shift in van design, switching to the front-wheel drivetrain now standard in the industry. The Estafette has a flat floor, independent wheels, a then-impressive turning radius, and sliding doors on the driver side.
1980: Renault Estafette Minibus
It wasn’t until 1980, with more than 553,000 units produced, that the Estafette finally gave way to the Renault Trafic, a line that continues to lead the pack among its van type today. Of course, it owes more than a little credit to its predecessor.