This is one of just eight examples of the Formula Renault Go Kart that were ever built, they were designed to accommodate either an adult or a child and they’re powered by a 77cc JLO engine which is mounted in the rear.
The concept behind this go kart is said to have originated back in 1968 when Renault created a series of karts based on the styling of the popular Alpine-Renault A220. Two years later they took the same concept and fitted a Formula Renault body over the top, creating a go kart that could be enjoyed by young or old.
The go karts were often used at special Renault events, some of which were held alongside races in France. Many French racing drivers from the period are said to have spent time behind the wheel of these mini-Formula Renaults including Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Henri Pescarolo, and Jean-Pierre Jabouille.
Delighted crowds would watch the men battling wheel-to-wheel with all the gusto they normally reserved for their full-scale competition cars.
The styling of the Formula Renault Go Kart was strongly influenced by the upcoming first generation of Formula Renault cars which were launched in 1971, after a number of years in development. There was also a marked similarity to the Alpine A364 Renault Formula 3 cars of the same era (see above image).
This go kart has a box section steel chassis with a lightweight fiberglass body over the top, painted in Renault’s iconic racing colors. Although at first glance it looks like the car has double wishbone front and rear suspension it’s actually a rigid arrangement designed to evoke the styling of the full-scale car’s suspension, with braking done by rear drums on both wheels.
The mid-mounted engine is an air-cooled single-cylinder unit that sends power to the axle via a chain drive and a centrifugal clutch – for ease of operation by children and those not conversant with the finer points of clutch control.
There’s a wing on the back and a tubular steel roll bar for safety, and the controls consist of a steering wheel with a pedal on either side of the steering column – one to go and one to stop. The listing notes that this car is in full working order and that it benefits from a recent overhaul of the braking system.
It’s now due to roll across the auction block with Artcurial on the 30th of June at their Le Mans auction with a price guide of $10,750 – $21,500 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Artcurial © Alexis Ruben
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.