Sunday, 24 October 2010

Favourite Sets #4 : 1926 Renault

Next up in my list of favourites is set 391 which is the 1926 Renault released in 1975.


This is another set which I had as a kid, and at the time it seemed almost impossibly elegant and detailed when compared with other LEGO vehicles in my possession which were generally small, simple affairs made up of around 20 pieces. This set contains 237 pieces, including some amazing large white spoked wheels which have only ever appeared in one other set - the 1909 Rolls Royce set, in case you're interested. All in all, the LEGO company released 3 vintage cars in 1975 and 1976 under the 'Hobby Sets' moniker, namely the Renault, the Rolls Royce and Set 390 1913 Cadillac, all of which shared many design cues and were in my opinion streets ahead of the kind of vehicles previously released in terms of detail and authenticity - clearly the shape of things to come.

                

I couldn't resist building the Renault again recently, and you can see pictures I took of the completed set below (click to enlarge). It was lovingly constructed from the original pieces and building instructions, although the box has unfortunately disappeared into the mists of time. That's what eBay is for, however, and this set has such sentimental value for me that I later ended up buying another one complete with box....



I also subsequently managed to pick up a boxed Rolls Royce and Cadillac from eBay - if you're patient and don't overbid, they can be had for surprisingly little money given their rarity. You can see pics below.

Set 395 1905 Rolls Royce
Set 390 1913 Cadillac
Three lovely sets, but the Renault was the one I owned when I was a boy and it therefore beats the Rolls and Cadillac by a nose to make it into my favourites list.

6 comments:

  1. Great post - I had no idea Lego made these elegant vehicles in the 1970s. Seems like an early nod to the adult market?

    I was just digging through a box of Lego I got at a yard sale - filled with lots of sets from the past 7 years or so, LOTS of Star Wars stuff. Again and again, I was shocked at the number of bizarre specialty pieces. I'd bet if Lego remade the Rolls Royce today, it would consist of several very large specialty pieces. Every jagged edge would be smoothed out in one way or another. Kind of like the LEGO Slave 1.

    It's almost hard for me to consider some pieces as Lego pieces. Anyhow - thanks for the blast from the past!
    -Dan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow - these are valuable! This one on eBay is listed at $999.99 with $50 shipping!

    :)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/LEGO-395-1909-Rolls-Royce-VERY-RARE-/130445651746

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bargain ! Not. The most I paid for any of these sets was about £20; admittedly not MISB, but still complete, with box and instructions, and in good condition. The Rolls Royce cost me less than £9..... There's really no need to pay 1000 bucks to get a good example I can assure you !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely to see :-)

    I was given the Cadillac in the 70s, and still have it in the loft.. alas one of the lights has disappeared over the years :-( Last time I put it together would have been in the early 80s, and it's not been take apart since!

    I remember the Renault and the Rolls - I think I might wander over to ebay for a look!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous4/1/11

    I still have my Renault that I bought in Billund Denmark while visiting my grandparents in 1975. It's still the 'treasure' on my office shelf that all of the kids notice. . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Precursors to the Model Team series, I'd say!

    Thanks for your blog - I read through all of it a few months ago. Had some pages bookmarked to leave a comment on later, like this one ;)

    Now I want a 391... which is 7 years older than myself :D

    ReplyDelete