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“Joaninha” (Renault 4 CV)
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The Renault 4CV is an economy car made by the French manufacturer Renault from August 1947 to July 1961. As the very first French vehicle to sell more than a million units, the 4CV was eventually superseded by the Renault Dauphine.
The 4CV was a four-door sedan of monocoque building, three.six meters in length with rear suicide doors and using Renault’s Ventoux engine in a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.
The car’s name, 4CV, translates from the French for 4 cheveaux or four horse, particularly 4 taxable horsepower.
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of the 4CV, in 1996 Renault presented a completely roadworthy concept auto, the Renault Fiftie, with styling that recalled the 4CV, only in a two-door, mid-engine design and style.
Conception and history
The 4CV was initially conceived and developed covertly by Renault engineers for the duration of the German occupation of France during World War II, when the manufacturer was under strict orders to design and style and make only commercial and military autos. A design team led by Fernand Picard, Charles-Edmond Serre and Jean-Auguste Riolfo envisioned a tiny, economical automobile suitable for the economically difficult years which would inevitably comply with the war.
The first prototype was completed in 1942 and two more prototypes had been made in the following three years. Pierre Lefaucheux tested the 4 CV prototype at Renault’s Herqueville estate. The 4CV was eventually presented to the public and media at the 1946 Paris Motor Show. The cars went on sale a year later.
In 1940 Louis Renault had directed his engineering group to "make him a automobile like the Germans". And till the arrangement was simplified in 1954, the 4CV featured a ‘dummy’ grill comprising six thin horizontal chrome strips, intended to distract consideration from the similarity of the car’s general architecture to that of the German Volkswagen, while recalling the contemporary styles of the trendy front engined passenger cars made in Detroit throughout the earlier 1940s.
An essential component of the 4CV’s success, owes to the new methodologies used in its manufacture, pioneered by Pierre Bézier. Bézier had begun his 42 year tenure at Renault as a Tool Setter, moving up to Tool Designer and then becoming head of the Tool Style Workplace. As Director of Production Engineering in 1949, he made the transfer lines (or transfer machines) producing most of the mechanical parts for the 4CV.[five] The transfer machines have been high-functionality work tools designed to machine engine blocks. Although imprisoned throughout WWII, Bézier developed and enhanced on the automatic machine principle, introduced before the war by GM (General Motors). The new transfer station with multiple workstations and electromagnetic heads (antecedants to robots), enabled various operations on a single component to be consecutively performed by transferring the element from one station to yet another.
On the 4CV’s launch, it was nicknamed "La motte de beurre"(the lump of butter) — due to the combination of its shape and the truth that early deliveries all utilised surplus paint from the German Army vehicles of Rommel’s Afrika-Corps, in a sand-yellow color. The 4CV was initially powered by a 760cc rear mounted 4-cylinder engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission.  In 1950 the 760cc unit was replaced by a 747cc version  of the "Ventoux" engine making 17 hp (13 kW).
Regardless of an initial period of uncertainty and poor sales due to the ravaged state of the French economy, the 4CV had sold 37,000 units by mid-1949 and was the most common auto in France. The automobile remained in production for a lot more than a decade afterwards. Claimed energy output enhanced subsequently to 21 hp (16 kW) as increased fuel octanes permitted for greater compression ratios, which along with the reasonably low weight of the automobile (620 kg) enabled the makers to report an – 90 km/h (56 mph) time of 38 seconds and a best speed barely under one hundred km/h (62 mph). The engine was notable also for its elasticity, the second and prime gear both getting usable for speeds between five km/h (3 mph) and 100 km/h (62 mph): the absence of synchromesh on 1st gear would presumably have discouraged use of the bottom gear except when beginning from rest.
The rear mounting of the engine meant that the steering could be hugely geared even though remaining fairly light: in the early vehicles only 2¼ turns have been needed from lock to lock. The unusually direct steering no doubt delighted some keen drivers, but road tests of the time nonetheless integrated warnings to take great care with the car’s handling on wet roads. In due course the companies switched from 1 extreme to the other, and on later vehicles 4½ turns have been needed to turn the steering wheel from lock to lock.
The 4CV’s direct replacement was the Dauphine, launched in 1956, but the 4CV in fact remained in production till 1961. The 4CV was replaced by the Renault 4 which used the very same engine as the 4CV and sold for a comparable price tag.
Though most of the cars were assembled at Renault’s Île Seguin plant situated on an island in the river opposite Billancourt, the 4CV was also assembled in seven other countries, getting Australia, Belgium, England, Ireland, Japan (where the Hino assembled examples gained a reputation for superior high quality), Spain and South Africa. 1,105,543 cars have been developed the 4CV became the very first French car to sell over a million.
The 4CV was simply modified and was employed extensively as a racing car. The first collaboration in between the Alpine business and Renault was the Alpine A-106 which was primarily based on the 4CV. The partnership which would go on to win the World Rally Championship with the legendary Alpine A-110 in later years,