This event is inseparably linked with the name of William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of the powerful family of the American billionaires. Being an avid car enthusiast, he in 1907, ordered to Renault for themselves and their ten friends 11 AI cars Type 35/45hp. Of them to the present “lived” only four supercar that distant era, one of which will soon be auctioned.
In the story of William Vanderbilt came in as the organizer and active participant in the first automobile races, which, since 1900, has consistently passed on the racetrack Aquinas Park in the state of Rhode island (USA). He personally set a record of speed: the first in 1902 – 122,4 km/h, and the second in 1904 – 148 km/h.
The interest of enthusiastic racing driver for Renault 35/45hp is not accidental. According to experts, it was created on the basis of the car Renault AK 90 CV, who in 1906 won the first world Grand Prix in France. Then the car, driven by Ferenc CECE, overcame the distance of 1236 km with an incredible average speed of 101.2 km/h.
The technical possibilities of Type AI 35/45hp looked for the beginning of the XX century is highly impressive: the engine size is 7.5 l, which corresponded to 65 HP Here also it is necessary to add a special design of the wheels, which gave the opportunity to engineers to replace the two rear wheels in less than 4 minutes. Once in the U.S., zealous “the Frenchman” twice won the 24-hour race at Morris Park in new York in 1907 and 1909.
Past achievements and undeniable uniqueness guaranteed one of the surviving supercars veterans a decent price at auction in 2006 for 1.1 million dollars. It is logical to assume that his “brother”, being a participant of an auction in Bonhams (one of the oldest and largest auction houses in the UK – approx. ed. Techcult.ru), will go for a much higher amount.
Source — Bonhams