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Restoration Started: 1929 Renault NN2

Certain automobile marques were always identifiable by a styling trait. In prior years, it was the radiator shell and shape such as that found on a Duesenberg or Rolls-Royce. Even certain models got into the act like the Chevrolet Impala with its distinctive three taillights, either side, formation. French builder Renault got into the act too with its instantly recognizable sloped, rectangular hood. Whether you are probing the depths of the Atlantic and looking for the lost 1912 model CB that went down with the Titanic or checking out today’s find, a 1929 NN2 two-door “Torpedo” model, the hood of a Renault is a dead giveaway. This example is located in Bailey, Colorado and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $3,000, reserve not yet met and zero bids tendered. Thanks to Darrun for this tip!

This listing gives us little to work with so, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on your perspective), I’ll be brief. The Renault NN series, manufactured between 1924 and 1930, was considered to be a compact car and realized about 150K copies over its seven-year run. Specifically, the NN2, like this example, was produced in ’28 and ’29 and was powered by a 15 HP, 951 CC, in-line, four-cylinder engine; not exactly a speed-demon. The seller states that this car’s engine turns over so at least it’s not seized, but it is a non-runner. I’d like to show you an image but one is not included. Power(?) is transmitted via a three-speed manual, transmission.

The body of this Renault is in pretty reasonable shape but it’s hard to get a feel for what is and isn’t present. The seller states, “Needs restoration or parts car. Complete, Wheel and partial wood restoration have been done.” The wheel reference is probably attributed to the wire wheels, they look either new or refurbished. The distinctive hood and nose piece of  Renaults like this NN2 was possible by virtue of the radiator’s location behind the engine. Cooling was facilitated via the side “gill” vents, obviating the need for a typical front cooling grille.

While there are no images of the interior included, there is one of the open trunk and a collection of various and sundry parts. And there is part of the problem, what’s included and what’s not? This is a pretty uncommon car, 150K units constructed or not, and NAPA, or wherever, is not going to be a helpful source for parts and advice. But that said, the Renault brand, past and present, is well known; perhaps there is a historical group that can help with knowledge and access. There are no takers for this ’29 NN2 so far; it will be interesting to see if anyone decides to belly up to the bar and make a bid. It would be good to hear from our readership; has anyone had ownership experience with a Renault of this generation?


  1. Derek

    I haven’t owned one, but it would give anyone a good excuse to visit Retromobile – as if you needed one!

  2. Dual Jetfire

    Finally! A car slower than a Model T. And, of course, it’s French.

    Like 5
  3. Eric

    Salut les amis

    For infos,

    Like 5
  4. Lance

    Non. Merci.

  5. Hotjavajim

    I had a 1911. Bought it at Hershey in the ’70’s. It ran perfectly and started on the first crank through a compression stroke. The cylinders had a device on the top of each one that looked to be a compression release and/or a place to insert oil. Research indicated that it was likely one of a large number of cars, mostly Renault taxis, used to evacuate French and Allied troops at the battle of Marne in 1914 (Refer: The Marne Taxis). It was a large car. For those who don’t know, the radiator was positioned behind the engine. Earlier cars had a narrow engine cover and the firewall, on both sides of the engine cover, was the radiator.

    As for how fast they were, in 1906, the first year of production, they were raced with average speeds exceeding 60 mph, faster than a Model T before the Model T was even built!

    Like 6
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx Hotjavajim, always good to hear from an actual owner!


      Like 3
  6. Maestro1 Member

    Non,here as well but what a wonderful and unique project for the owner interested in mildly esoteric European machinery. I guess the first thing to do after purchase would be to join the Renault Owner’s Club and then take it from there. There is also an independent parts dealer who has it seems a commanding position in a narrow market whose business name is Kip and I don’t know where he/she is. The ad was discovered in Hemmings.

  7. Eric

    NN2 was the last of the NN-line, it is a good runner and speeds exceeds 80km/h. The engine is of the most simpel mechanic and easy to put back to life. The engine was upgraded for 1929 with a dry plate clutch instead of a leather cone, and Delco ignition replaced the magneto.
    The wheels shoud be Michelin platewheels with 13×45 tires.
    Spare parts are easy to find in Europe, no problem.

    Like 2
  8. Richard Kirschenbaum

    Talk about betting on the wrong horse. Louis Renault one of the richest men in Europe cut a deal with the Devil in 1940, agreeing to produce trucks for the victorious Germans.that then occupied France. Had he not done so the Bosche would have dismantled his factories and moved them to Germany, so the claim goes. In 1940 it looked like there was no reasonable scenario by which Hitler could lose. Fast forward to 1944, France is liberated and Renault is imprisoned as a collaborator. He died awaiting trial having been beaten repeatedly by the largely communist guards.

    Like 2
  9. Pugsy

    Man, is that an ugly car. What’s being paid for me to take it away?

    Like 1

    Salut les Amis
    In 1906, the A.C.F. (Automobile Club de France, founded 1895***) organized the first race with the name of GRAND PRIX .
    It was an exceptional competition, it took place over two days in June that year on le “MANS” circuit.
    Of a development of 105 kilometers, this circuit had a roughly shape.
    The competitors had to do do six laps a day, with represented a total of 1260km.
    There were 32 entrants representing 12 different automotive firms….

    The winner of that first “Grand Prix” was the Hungarian driver Ferenc SZISZ (1873-1944)
    behind the wheel of a RENAULT…!

    ***The A.C.F. had been founded on the initiative of the Marquis Albert de Dion, a major vehicule manufacturer and passionate about motor competitions.

    Like 2
  11. Phlatheah Phil

    Looks like a phish. Leave it to the Phrench to goof up looks.

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