Renault 1 000 kg
|Renault 1000 Kg|
|Also called||Renault 206 E1
(1949-1956) Renault 1 400 Kg
(1956-1963) Renault Voltigeur (1 000 Kg)
(1956-1965) Renault Goélette (1 400 Kg)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||various light van and light truck configurations. Also available as a chassis with a cab to which specialist body builders could attach specialist bodies.|
1947 - 1956
1952 - 1965
1956 – 1965
1,816cc I4 from Indenor
1961 – 1962
1962 – 1965
|Length||4,540 mm (178.7 in)|
|Width||1,920 mm (75.6 in)|
|Height||2,250 mm (88.6 in)|
|Curb weight||1,835 kg (4,045 lb)|
The Renault 1 000 Kg is light van, initially of a one ton capacity, introduced by the manufacturer in 1947. A 1,400 Kg version followed in 1949 and the Renault 1,400 Kg soon became the more popular choice. A name change in 1956 saw the vans branded as the Renault Voltigeur (1,000 Kg) and the Renault Goélette (1,400 Kg), but in retrospect the Renault 1,000 Kg name is frequently preferred.
The 1000 Kg was originally presented in 1945 as a prototype light van designed for the military, and was offered by dealers from February 1947.
In the summer of 1944 the French Ministry of Industrial Production set out a prescriptive plan for the post war motor industry. It was headed by Pons Plan and so it was known as the Plan Pons. Under "The Plan", Renault and Peugeot (along with their Chenard & Walcker debtor/subsidiary) were restricted to making vans for the 1000–1400 kg market, while Citroën was to make small trucks of between 2 and 3.5 tonnes. In the event Citroën, which had already developed a van in the 1000 kG class before the war, went ahead with the design of the Citroën H Van, which was launched in 1947. It was the Citroën which would be the Renault’s most effective rival in this sector, although the Renault would in the early years beat its rival on volumes thanks in part to the large number of Renaults produced for military and police use and for other public sector vehicle operators such as the French postal service. Police versions gained the informal appellation “panier à salade” (“paddy wagon”), appearing in newsreels removing arrested suspects following instances of civil disturbance during the troubled 1950s or, more memorably for many United States and UK film-goers in the 1960s, removing Inspector Clouseau following his arrest in the wake of a successful bank raid.
Renault obeyed the Plan Pons instructions and designed the 206 E1 following general pre-war design ideas. It had a fixed chassis onto which the van body was bolted and the body was made, until 1950, by fitting metal panels to a wooden frame. At a time when French industrial wages were low the Renault was quick and inexpensive to produce.
In contrast to the rival Citroën H Van, Renault’s design applied a traditional approach, using rear wheel drive and rigid axles attached to a separate steel chassis. Large wheels combined with a short wheelbase to allow for a tight turning circle and good ground clearance, reflecting plans for a four wheel drive version in anticipation of military sales and the poor state of many French roads, especially in the countryside, at this time. Users paid for the rear-wheel drive configuration and big wheels when it came to the raised floor height. Renault were nevertheless rewarded with steady demand for their van, especially from public sector buyers, and 124,570 of these vehicles were produced. By some criteria it was France’s best selling vehicle in its class during the 1950s 
The basic architecture and overall silhouette of the vehicle barely changed during a production run of nearly two decades, but there were numerous minor changes to the sheet metal, door hinge arrangements, front bumpers, lights and indicators as well as extensive adaptations for army or police versions. Later models, from the 1960s, can be distinguished by a small additional windows behind each of the side-doors.
At launch the vehicle appeared as a boxy flat sided van with an advertised load volume of 7.45 m³ which compared with 7.3 m³ for the Citroën H as it appeared in the same year. The Renault’s 2,383cc engine used petrol/gasoline, having originally been introduced in 1936 for the Renault Primaquatre, and in this application it offered 62 PS (46 kW; 61 hp). The dry weight of 835 kg (1,841 lb) gave rise to a maximum laden weight of 1,835 kg (4,045 lb).
During 1947 a flatbed truck version appeared along with a bare chassis version enabling users to specify their own bespoke body variants from specialist truck-body builders.
In July 1949 a heavy duty 1,400 Kg version joined the range, and this was also the year when four-wheel drive became an advertised option. By 1952 Renault were able to offer a more modern engine for economy minded buyers and a detuned version of the 1,996cc 49 PS (36 kW; 48 hp) unit from the recently introduced Renault Frégate appeared as an option for the 1,000 kG vehicle.
In 1956 the vans received a name, now being branded as the Renault Voltigeur and the Renault Goélette . The Goélette, with its 1,400 kG weight limit, was now offered with the 2,141cc “ Étendard” engine, which featured the same 88mm bore as the 1,996cc but now matched this to an 88mm stroke. This unit has also been developed for the Renault Frégate which during its earlier years had failed to win market acceptance, having been seen by many as badly underpowered. However, at 64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp), the advertised power output when the unit was fitted to the van was substantially lower than that produced in the passenger car.
For 1961 buyers could specify a diesel option. The 1,816cc 58 PS (43 kW; 57 hp) diesel unit came from Indenor a company established by Peugeot to specialise in the design and manufacture of diesel engines. The same unit had, since 1959, been offered in the Peugeot D4. Although diesel powered vehicles were still a novelty in France, reduced levels of fuel tax on diesel fuel made a compelling case for cost conscious users. From the middle of 1962 Renault substituted a diesel unit of their own design which, despite its 2,720cc capacity, provided for an advertised output increase only to 61 PS (45 kW; 60 hp)
In 1959 Renault launched the Renault Estafette with a front-wheel drive layout which allowed for a lower floor and much improved space utilisation: and the more bulky but in other respects comparable Renault Voltigeur was formally withdrawn in 1963. The Renault Goélette soldiered on till 1965 when it was replaced by the Renault Super Goélette SG2 range of larger light trucks.
The military version of the vehicle was homologated as the R 2087. It came with even greater ground clearance than the standard vehicle and was built, featuring four-wheel drive, from 1952. A range of vans, with or without extra side-windows, and truck variations was produced. Notably, the military ambulance version was produced until 1969, several years after Renault had stopped offering civilian versions of the van.
- Pascal Meunier, Laurent Jacquot et Jean-Yves Hardouin, Un siècle de véhicules de la Gendarmerie nationale, éditions E.T.A.I.
- Jean-Yves Brouard et Michel Fonteny, Les véhicules du service public de chez nous, éditions MDM.
- Halwart Schrader et Jan P. Norbye, Le dictionnaire des camions, éditions MDM.
- Gabriel Jeudy, Les camions de chez nous en couleurs, éditions E.T.A.I.
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