1953 Renault Frégate
Year of manufacture1953
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Chassis No. 24 34 085 (Study 741)
Engine No. 8477
- Unique and original car
- Fibreglass body
- May have belonged to Edith Piaf
- No reserve
Here's a car that may well be unique. The first version of this convertible was unveiled by Renault at the Paris Motor Show in 1953. Built in steel, on the base of the Amiral, the car was shown with luxurious equipment, including radio, leather seats and fitted luggage... its beautiful design was the work of Luigi Segre, the design director who left his mark in the history of the famous coachbuilder Ghia. This model met with much acclaim, but the high price of the car signaled the end of its future at the end of the show. However, this project did not completely disappear into oblivion, as in 1957 three polyester models were presented in the Renault workshops. Their numbers were: 741, 742 and 743. The last two, and the model exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1953, seem to have disappeared, since many years of research have failed to trace them. The one that seems to have survived is 741, the car we are offering. According to the record books at Régie Renault, this car was delivered to the Garage Rey on 15 April 1957. The garage then sold the car on June 20 of the same year to an owner in the French Alps. From 1957, we have no records on the car till it reappeared in January 1968, still in same region, when it belonged to a Mr. Marcel Giron, who remembers that this car was used by Edith Piaf before he acquired it. The file provided by the current owner gives a list of five names who confirm that this car would have indeed been made available to the famous singer for advertising purposes during the period between 1953 and mid-1957. History records that the Régie Renault had actually resorted to such practices. Another of these convertibles had been entrusted to Mr Jacques Goddet, director of the Tour de France cycling race, in 1955, and was placed at the head of the advertising caravan and admired by millions of people. Therefore, it is possible that a star of the fame of Edith Piaf, and who loved convertibles may well have been entrusted with the model 741 ET.
The history of our Fregate Cabriolet continues from 1969 to 2008 with six successive owners, including Philippe Charbonneaux's Musée de Reims, where it remained, without being restored, till 1992. It was sold in 1993 to a Mr. Robardey, who undertook a comprehensive restoration over four years. The current owner bought this car in July 2008 and continued to care for it. What we have here is a historic car: beyond the fact that the car may have crossed paths with Edith Piaf, it is a piece from a great coachbuilder, and what is more, being made out of polyester, it is probably unique. It will have its special place in the most beautiful and the most prestigious of concours d'elegances.