|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Also called||Renault Type RM|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Engine||7100 cc straight-8, 75 bhp (56 kW)|
|Length||5,300 mm (208.7 in)|
The original Reinastella was the first of Renault's Stella series, high-end luxury automobiles intended to compete with contemporary marques such as Hispano-Suiza, Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Packard, and LaSalle. The Stellas, or Grand Renaults, were marked with a star riveted to the radiator grille above the famous Renault lozenge.
The Reinastella was, at 5.3 meters (17 feet) long and 2 meters (six feet) wide, the biggest car ever produced by Renault upon its market debut. It weighed about 2.5 tons and was the first Renault to be fitted with a 7.1 liter, 8-cylinder engine, delivering a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). It was also the first Renault to have its radiator placed ahead of the engine, leading the way for all future Renaults.
The hood of the Reinastella was longer than that of the later Nervastella and Vivastella, but like those later models the Reinastella was available in different trims: a closed sedan, berline, and town car. Coachbuilding was by leading French coachworkers, exhibiting the luxurious fittings of the golden age of classic bodywork. These models were produced until 1931.
In 1933, a coupé, the Reinasport, was introduced. It was a lighter and more economical car, designed to compete with British and American models in the difficult economic environment of the Great Depression.
In its day, the Reinastella had the same cachet of luxury and privilege in the Francophone world that Rolls Royce had in Britain and America. As a result it may sometimes appear in contemporary popular media as a symbol of wealth. For example, it appears in The Adventures of Tintin series of Belgian comics The Blue Lotus (1936) and The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941). (The depictions may be of a Vivastella in taxi configuration.)
The high proportion of aluminum used in construction made all the Stellas desirable for recycling during World War II. Only a few hundred examples of the vehicle were produced, and most of those that survive are in museum collections.
The name was also used for a prototype flying car in 1992. The flying car made its public debut in Circle-Vision 360° film, Le Visionarium, an attraction at the Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort Paris, which Renault sponsored from 1992 until 2002. The prototype still can be seen at some special auto fairs in Europe.