1950s / 1960s / French / Renault

Rust in peace: Renault R2087

renault-r2087-13We photographed the Renault R2087 pictured below next to the Mercedes-Benz 1413 truck we featured last week. Like the big Benz, the R2087 looks like it has been sitting outside for quite some time.

It was fairly easy to tell why the Mercedes was taken off the road, but it’s a little harder to decipher why the 2087 was parked on the outskirts of a tiny village. The biggest clue we found was a carburetor sitting on the passenger side of the dashboard, which might indicate the truck had fuel delivery problems.

Based on the Renault 1000 kg van, the R2087 was designed at the request of the French army in the early 1950s in order to replace its fleet of Dodge WC 51/52 trucks purchased from the U.S. army after World War II. The R2087 was equipped with 64-horsepower version of the gas-burning 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine that powered by the Fregate sedan. Power was sent to all four wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and a Sinpar-designed four-wheel drive system.

The R2087 tipped the scale at roughly 5,000 pounds (2,290 kilos) so it certainly wasn’t fast, but period reports indicate it was exceptionally robust and could tackle just about any terrain.

Renault offered several different versions of the R2087 including a standard pickup truck, a panel van that was often used as an ambulance and even a water tanker. The example pictured below is a pickup truck with a canvas top (a body style called Torpedo) designed to carry soldiers on two wooden benches installed in the bed. Alternatively, the truck could be quickly turned into a roomy pickup by simply removing the benches.

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