Marcel Renault

14/5/1872 - 26/5/1903

Record updated 14-May-20

Marcel Renault was a French industrialist and racing driver, brother of Louis Renault.

Marcel Renault
In 1898 in the Paris suburb of Billancourt Louis Renault built his first automobile in a small workshop at the end of the garden of his family home. It had a De Dion engine but Renault designed and built the chassis. In the summer of 1899 Louis and Marcel entered cars in the Paris-Trouville race. Louis won the light car class and before long the brothers were building cars for customers. In their first six months they built 60 cars. By the end of 1900 they had built another 179 machines.

Marcel took part in the Olympic Games in the summer of 1900.

In 1902 Renault hired a De Dion engine designer and began producing its own engines. The first big event was the Paris-Vienna race of June 1902 and Renault entered three cars in the light car class. Marcel Renault won the event outright. The following year (1903) Marcel was killed when he crashed near Angouleme on the Paris-Madrid race. He had left Versailles one hour behind his brother, driving a 16HP Renault, following in the dust behind Leon Théry’s Decauville, Marcel didn’t see the warning flag for a sharp corner near Angouleme. He was going to fast and lost control, crashing into a tree. Théry stopped his Decauville to try and help Renault and his riding-mechanic Vauthier. There was no doctor nearby so Théry went and found one and sent him back on a bicycle. Sadly Marcel Renault died at the scene.

After the death of Marcel, Louis abandoned racing.