I was interested in the Editor’s favourable impressions of the 1911 AX Renault as I also recall these machines as pleasant to drive and able to run happily at 35 m.p.h. without the slightest sign of stress.
My memories of the later 8.3 model are quite different; this type weighed a ton, had little inclination to rev and required an axle-ratio of 6.5:1, consequently speeds above 20-25 m.p.h. seemed too fast by any standard.
A friend, active in aviation circles during the nineteen-thirties, managed to get his 1927 8.3 from Nice to Heston in five days by driving all hours God sent, but judging by his remarks afterward, he was not entirely satisfied with his choice of car for that kind of journey!
The 8.3 was known as the 9-15 h.p. model, but it is doubtful if it gave as much power as the Austin 7 of the period, which was 11.8 b.h.p. at 2,600 r.p.m., consequently fully-laden saloons weighing nearly 30 cwt. must have been most depressing to drive.
Perhaps some knowledgeable reader will be able to explain how Renault, having introduced their attractive AX model in 1907 and discontinued it in 1914, somehow failed to produce its equal in terms of utilitarian transport until the outbreak of the Second World War. What could they have been thinking about in Billancourt all those years?