1914 Renault type EF Torpedo

1914 Renault type EF when owned by Ed Roy

Another image from Dad's collection - He took this at the Larz Anderson Carriage House (VMCCA headquarters) in 1955. This car is a 1914 Renault type EF Torpedo (I believe this is chassis 47043). The car was owned at the time by Edgar Roy, whom I've written about before. As Dad tells it, this was Ed's first nut & bolt restoration - done right there in the basement of the Larz Anderson Carriage House.

Edgar Roy was an enthusiastic car guy (always on the lookout for a powerful early car to restore) and a master machinist. Ed was very involved with the VMCCA at the time (though not a founder of the organization). Ed worked for Warren E. Collins Inc., patent holder and manufacturer of the "Drinker respirator" - better known as the "iron lung" - instrumental in the treatment of Polio at the time. Warren Collins was also a member of the VMCCA (president in 1951) and it was Ed Roy, his employee, who played an important roll in translating the prototype to a manufacturable product.

Ed's restorations were legendary in his day and after the Renault he acquired and restored a 1911 Simplex. Although Ed restored a number of cars, it was the Simplex that inspired his model making later in life. It's one of Dad's great regrets that he was unable to purchase one of Ed's scale Simplex models before his passing.

Renault, on the other hand, was going though a turbulent time when this car was produced. According to Automobile Topics of September 20, 1913 Renault Freres Automobile Company expanded their service facilities by leasing 20,000 sq ft in Long Island City, NY - only to loose their US sales agent (Renault Freres Selling Branch, 63rd Street & Broadway, NYC), N. Nason Morris the following year (he had been with Renault for 7 years). In Europe things were even more challenging, the Motor Age of February 27, 1913 reported a walk out at the Renault factory due to the implementation of an "American system of timing". The article goes on to say "Louis Renault gave the order for the entire factory to be closed... until his workpoeple have adopted a more sensible attitude." Of course, by 1914 the winds of war had over taken France and the Motor Age of September 10, 1914 published an article titled, "Touring Car Production in France at a Standstill". Renault stopped producing cars and its aviation engine factory was taken over by the miltary.

It's not surprising that the production for the 1914 type EF (2.6 liter, 4-cylinder, 13hp) is said to have been only 700 cars. Ed Roy passed away in 1995. This car, however, has found it's way to another enthusiastic car guy in Joris Bergsma. Joris is the founder and editor of prewarcar.com, and I couldn't be happier that the car has found a good home in the Netherlands.

1914 Renault type EF today (photo credit: willemalink)

Motor Age, September 10, 1914

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