France [?], no publisher, 1935-. Oblong folio (22.3 x 26.7 cm). 57 original photographs with typescript captions, mounted. Black, gilt-bordered half morocco over dark green pebbled boards. Gilt bands on the spine. ADDED: a second, chronologically consecutive photo album of similar design; larger, and blue, with another seven photos of Renault cars; the first four mounted, with captions, two mounted without captions, and two loosely inserted (one much smaller, at 6.8 x 10.8 cm).
A fine suite of the most renowned Renault cars built between WWI and WWII, including the famous 40CV. "The 40CV was virtually the only Renault to make a mark in sport between the wars. A saloon driven by Repusseau won the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally and several records were set at Montlhéry with both open and closed models" (The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile). Founded by Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand in 1898, Renault would become France's biggest automobile manufacturer. In 1908 Renault introduced its first six-cylinder model. In the 1920s, the 9.1-litre 40CV six was the largest production automobile built until the introduction of Bugatti's Type 41 Royale. This book contains some fine photographs of these cars. Always built to the individual customer's specification and necessarily very expensive, the Renault 40CV was a worthy rival for the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and sold in similarly limited numbers, some 608 being completed between 1924 and 1928, when production ceased. Only six survivors are known, most of which are owned by museums, and the Renault 40CV is one of the scarcest of cars rated as a 'Full Classic' by the Classic Car Club of America. The first photo shows the Torpédo 12 CV, built in 1918-1919; the last photo with caption (in the second volume) depicts the Coach Decapotable Viva Grandsport from 1938. The first photo album has a London manufacturer label on the rear pastedown, but all other elements point towards a French origin, e.g. the captions are entirely in French. Boards rubbed, hinges partly split. Some leaves a bit spotted, photos very good, clean. A very good item.