Lot #1399 - The Renault 40CV (known in export markets as the Model 45) defined the concept of luxury in the early 1920s: power, silence and opulence. It was the ultimate luxury car. Costing more than a contemporary Rolls-Royce, it embodied the best skills, methods, precision machining and forming from within Renault's vast enterprise. The 40CV was the largest production automobile built until the introduction of Ettore Bugatti's fabled Type 41 La Royale. Its 9-liter, 6-cylinder engine churned out 140hp, on a chassis that measured nearly 150" between axles. With relatively lightweight open bodywork fitted, a Model 45 could achieve nearly 100 mph. With its typical attention to engineering, Renault put extensive attention into making the massive automobile not only swift but also easy to drive, and 4-wheel servo-assisted brakes were added to bring the big machine easily to a stop. The 40CV's power is attested to by the accomplishment in 1925 of a Renault 40CV achieving a 24-hour average speed of over 100 mph at Montlhéry, in the process setting a closed course record of 107.9 mph. A saloon-bodied 40CV also won the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally. Always built to the individual customer's specifications and necessarily very expensive, the Renault 40CV was a worthy rival for the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and sold in similarly limited numbers. This 1925 Renault 40CV with its manual transmission was acquired by the renowned Nethercutt Collection in January 1984, and the car immediately became the subject of a comprehensive, cost-is-no-object restoration by the Nethercutt family's famed shops. Afterwards, it was driven by J.B. Nethercutt on several tours, where its power and speed were much appreciated. Typical of Renaults of this era, the 40CV's well-preserved Nethercutt restoration is filled with spectacular fine detail, including wooden artillery wheels with robust centerlocking hubs, correct Phare Besnard headlamps and Marchal taillamps and spectacular, warm interior woodwork, including commodious jump seats hidden behind roll-top doors. The pure Ivory livery, set against complementing shades of Biscuit Tan, is light, subtle and exaggerates the Renault's immense appearance of power. Possessing abundant power and fabulous style, this ultra-rare Renault is the ultimate in 1920s motoring. With so few of its kind produced and only a tiny handful surviving, this exceptional example, blessed by the ownership of knowledgeable connoisseur J.B. Nethercutt, possibly represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.