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A Unique Custom-Bodied Renault Roadster

The first thought that comes to mind after viewing this image taken in San Jose, California and dated 1928, is that this racy-looking early Renault speedster was custom-built for a Hollywood Movie Star. Further investigation of the body’s make up of flat panels and the odd treatment of the upholstery points to the probability that it was more likely constructed by a talented amateur coachbuilder.

The construction of the radiator supported by a pair of trunnions also indicates the possibly of it being a one-off as the coachwork is. Comparing it to the standard pre-1920 Renault cars built with exposed radiators and those used on the Keeton and the other US made cars that share this same type styling reveals that it is fabricated in a different manner.

We are hopeful someone will be able to tell us more about this unique automobile. The image is courtesy of Antique Automobile Photographs.

Keeton or Renault Speedster I


9 responses to “A Unique Custom-Bodied Renault Roadster

    • It certainly appears that way, and the peaked panels of the fenders seem to follow the line of the narrow panel that joins the hood sides and the combination top and front portion of the assembly.

  1. I fear a teens Renault taxicab was ambushed by a person driven to “up-grade” her. The result might have drawn
    admiring glances in 1914, however, the only custom body firm that would hire him in 1928 would be wise to start him out with a broom in his hand.

  2. HI, I have found a 1928 Packard Dietrich, convertible sedan/ limo. It matches in every respect the pictured on the net, with a man , in a raccoon coat with two American bull terrier puppies. In my 1 1/2 years of research to prove the car I have is the same car. I found the man on the cars running is Roscoe “FATTY” Arbuckle, of the silent movie era. And the car was designed for him and installed on the 4-43 1928 Packard chassis. With my extensive I came across a picture of the car you show here, with “FATTY” driving same. The original photo appears to be a dark color not lite, as this picture shows. The car shown is the same car first owned by FATTY Arbuckle.

  3. DAVID, THANKS FOR THE REPLY ON THE Renault. YOU MAY BE CORRECT BUT THE LOCATION of the car AND the changes to the car in the later photo, certainly make one wonder.

  4. There was a large and dilapidated Renault open-drive limousine used in The Marx Brothers’ “The Big Store.” It had a sign on it: “Welcome Home Admiral Dewey, Hero of Manila.”

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