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Renault 1000 kg 

The "1000 kg", contributing to renewal

A military-looking van launched in 1945, the 1000 kg was a symbol of post-war renewal for many French people. By helping small businesses and tradespeople regain their markets, it made an active contribution to the reconstruction of post-war France.

 

France started rebuilding in 1944. As part of the Pons plan, the provisional government sought to identify needs and to distribute the workload between French manufacturers. Among the firms selected was Renault, recently nationalized for acts of collaboration during the war.
The Billancourt site was tasked with developing a solid, inexpensive and functional commercial vehicle. The aim was to supply French tradespeople with a workhorse-on-wheels for their day-to-day business.

A huge popular success 

Following its nationalization in January 1945, Renault was one of the companies selected for the “1,000/1,400 kg” van program. The vehicle had to be robust and to use proven technologies. So rather than follow the example of Citroën whose Type H was launching a front-wheel drive system, Renault opted for the sideways engine launched ten years earlier on the Primaquatre. The body had a wooden frame (dropped in 1950), while the radiator grille featured the horizontal bars found across the Renault range of light commercial vehicles.

A familiar shape 

With its large wheels and short wheelbase for easy maneuvering, it became a familiar sight in the French countryside, delivering bread or driving round local markets. Renamed the Goelette, it was released in a wide range of versions, including an amazing 4WD model that proved highly popular with customers keen to strike off the beaten path. With 124,570 units produced between 1945 and 1965, the 1,000 kg was a huge popular success. At the end of its career, it stepped aside for the Estafette, launched in 1958.