Renault 12/16 Tourer
Already a household name by the time Ferenc Szisz won the 1906 French Grand Prix aboard its fearsome 13-litre AK 90CV racer, Renault continued to prosper and innovate up until the outbreak of World War I.
Introduced in 1909, the Renault 12CV was based around a sturdy ladder-frame chassis equipped with all-round leaf-sprung suspension (semi-elliptic front / three quarter-elliptic back), shaft drive and hand lever operated rear-wheel brakes. Powered by a four-cylinder 2.4 litre (bore 80mm x stroke 120mm) L-head engine allied to three-speed manual transmission, the 12CV featured magneto ignition and thermo-siphon cooling. Available with a choice of steering column rake and chassis rail profile depending upon the style of coachwork fitted, the model helped lift Renault's sales from 1,615 in 1906 to 5,100 in 1910. Progressively developed to maintain its market appeal, the 12CV evolved through AZ (1909), BZ (1910), CB (1911/1912) and DG (1913/1914) guises. However, each and every 12CV sported Renault's `trademark' bulkhead-mounted radiator and coal-scuttle bonnet.