Renault Estafette Plein Air Tropique

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Estafette Plein Air Tropique





The Renault Estafette was a light commercial front-wheel drive van, first introduced in 1959 and made by the French automaker Renault between 1959 and 1980, initially using the water-cooled Renault Ventoux engine, then later the Cléon-Fonte engine in a range of body styles. It was replaced by the Renault Trafic.

Following the launch of the Estafette, Renault became the only auto-maker in the world to simultaneously produce and sell vehicles with all three of the drive train configurations commonly used, with the front engined front wheel drive Estafette, along with various rear engined rear wheel drive cars such as the Dauphine and the front engined rear wheel drive Frégate and the ageing Dauphinoise.

Launched in June 1959, the new van was to be called the Estafette from the Italian Staffetta, meaning Courier. At launch, the engine, although mounted near the front of the Estafette, was of the same size and output as that fitted to the recently introduced Renault Dauphine. The Estafette's emphasis was always on economy and practicality rather than on power or heavy-duty performance.

The Estafette in its "Plein Air" version is a particularly rare and interesting car. Its design was developed before 1960 with a view to commercial production. It even appeared in various commercial catalogues, although, unlike the Renault 4 which was also available in a Plein Air version, the project never came to fruition. It also appeared in various Renault documents under the name Minibus Tropique. This extremely rare version of the Estafette is a highly original interpretation of the beach car, with a fully open rear platform fitted with a modular arrangement of wicker seats, and without doors or windows.

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