Renault Type 45CV Series JP by Kellner

Car producer : 



Type 45CV Series JP by Kellner





French automaker Renault, formed in 1898, was always a few steps ahead of its competitors. It was one of the first marques to begin racing, and its early prestige enabled it to build a fine reputation both in Europe and abroad. The cars were instantly recognized for their “coal scuttle” hoods, which was a design necessitated by the radiator being mounted behind the engine, rather than in front of it, and the first three decades at Renault were filled with new models and new innovations. Most of the cars that the company produced were small, low-horsepower automobiles that were ideal for thrifty buyers and narrow European streets. Yet, for the customer who sought something different, and had the vast bank account to back up their wishes, they also had the Model 45, which the factory almost charmingly referred to as, simply, the “Big Six.”

Big, it was. The Model 45 was the largest production automobile built until the introduction of Ettore Bugatti’s fabled Type 41 La Royale. Its nine-liter, six-cylinder engine churned out 140 horsepower, on a chassis that measured nearly 150 inches between axles. With relatively lightweight open bodywork fitted, a Model 45 could achieve nearly 100 mph. With their typical attention to engineering, Renault put extensive attention into making the massive automobile not only swift but also easy to drive, and four-wheel servo-assisted brakes were added to bring the big machine easily to a stop.

Even though very few were produced, due to the car’s great cost and custom-built nature, it is a testament to the model’s glory that its visage has become synonymous with Francophile culture of the 1920s. In many ways, the Model 45 embodied its country in the same way that the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost embodied England: it was audacious, quirky, brilliant, and French to its very core.


Carrosserie Kellner

As was the case with many prominent automotive coachbuilders, Kellner’s origins date back to 1861 when Georges Kellner founded the company to cater to the carriage trade. When the automobile came along at the turn of the century, it was only natural for Kellner to make a transition to automobile bodies. The company’s first automobile bodies were delivered in 1903.

Georges Sr. retired in 1910, leaving the company in the hands of his two sons, Paul and Georges Kellner, Jr., who is widely credited with the invention of the ‘torpedo’ style. For the next ten years, the two brothers ran the company together, but in 1919 Georges Jr. purchased Paul’s shares and became the sole proprietor.

As the company focused on the top of the market, it became known for its offerings on the leading chassis of the day, including Hispano-Suiza, the Bugatti Type 41 “Royale,” Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Locomobile and many others.

As the company prospered, it progressed through a series of factories, the most impressive of which was opened in 1920 along the Champs-Élysées. The volume of coachbuilding work declined throughout the 1930s, and the company transitioned to manufacturing aircraft parts.

Georges Jr. passed away in 1931, leaving the company to his son Jacques, who had studied engineering and law. In 1942, at just 44 years of age, he was accused by the German occupying forces of being a reluctant collaborator, and on the 21st of March 1942 they shot and killed him. The firm was liquidated, and the long line of the most prestigious Carrosserie Kellner came to an end.

Sold for: 220000 USD
Go to restoration
See other models

You may also like these cars

to top