Guy Grosset-Grange, the engineer in charge of the project designing a van, decided that the most rational solution would involve a front-mounted engine for the new van. This was quite a revolutionary step for Renault at the time. The idea was to keep the rear of the vehicle as uncluttered as possible, making for the lowest possible loading height, an important criterion for customers of the time. One design stipulation was that it should carry a wine barrel located transversely between the rear wheels.
Renault was worried if the 845 cc engine would cope with a 600 kg payload, and they doubted it would have enough power or durability, until they heard of the German Gutbrod Atlas that was carrying 1000 kg using a tiny 622 cc engine. They brought one to France, and used it as a test bed for the 845 cc engine and were soon satisfied that it would work well. And so began over 2 million kilometres of testing.
The Estafette gave all it had promised, with its low floor and wide rear opening; the high roofed version were especially popular because it did allow a man to stand inside. And it was very popular as a mobile shop, which at markets became as typically French as the ice cream van is English.
This Renault has the strongest 1,289 cc petrol engine. It remains strong and spicy even with the heaviest load and was a leader for its class at the time.
The Estafette is equipped with a input for 220V, a distribution board and LED lighting. There is also a sink with a tap with cold and warm water.
The Renault was delivered new by the Renault dealer NGL from Lens and now has a Belgian registration.