1948 CIJ Renault Lafregate Clockwork Sedan In Original Box

1948 CIJ Renault Lafregate Clockwork Sedan In Original Box

Rarely seen Renault LaFregate sedan manufactured in France by CIJ. Purchased from the Kaufman collection (i.e., founder of KB Toys) through Bertoia Auctions where it was graded "near mint". I definitely agree. It's in amazing condition. It's a particularly scarce toy and comes complete with its original box. Also includes old brass key. Best of all it runs beautifully!

This is not a tinplate vehicle. It's enamel painted pressed steel and weighs nearly 1¼ pounds and measures over a foot long. The body was pressed from a single sheet of steel. The body is burgundy with silver striping around the hood, trunk, doors, and roof. The chassis is light gray.

The car is powered by a strong, rear driven clockwork motor. In addition, the rear wheels are precisely balanced on a rocking axle platform to simulate independent rear suspension.

The interior is completely accessible via the driver's side door which opens and closes using the working exterior door handle. The steel litho interior has a single gray bench seat, a cream colored dashboard with turning metal steering wheel, and a turn signal stalk mounted onto the steering column. A lever at the end of the stalk operates the electric head lights which are both original to the toy.

Additional features include wrap around chrome plated steel rear and front bumpers, painted front grille, authentic Renault gold radiator ornament, rear (painted) French license plate and tail lights. Above and to the right of each front quarter panel is an authentic Fregate chrome plated logo. The stationary antenna tip is visible in front of the driver's door.

The chassis was pressed from a single steel plate and covers the entire underside of the auto. The front wheels can be positioned using the lever located between them. The rear suspension system located just behind the rear axle angles up or down depending on the ground tilt. In the center of the chassis the battery holder would've held a European battery which is no longer produced. However, both filaments are intact so there's no reason why they shouldn't work. I checked the internal wiring and everything is connected and properly soldered in place.

The tires are white solid rubber. They have dark painted embossed metal centers with chrome plated bullet shaped hubs. The brass key fits well, but is most probably not original to the toy.

The two piece box is sturdy, but narrow walled cardboard. It's covered with a dark blue textured material and striped orange around the top cover edges. The original manufacturer's label is pasted to the lower right corner of the box bottom. A partial circular green sticker adjacent to the label would typically indicate the body color, however I was told that this box was with this car when when Mr. Kaufman acquired it as unsold store stock nearly 60 years ago. The original directions for inserting the battery are pasted to the underside of the cover.

Size: 12½" x 4½" x 4¼". 

Date Sold: Dec. 2009

Price Sold: $ 1300


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Subject: 1948 CIJ Renault Lafregate Clockwork Sedan In Original Box

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