The Renault Estafette was built from June of 1959 through 1980. It was given its name from the Italian Staffetta, meaning Courier. It was a light commercial vehicle that had a front engine and front wheel drive layout. The design was by a team headed by Guy Grosset-Grange who had been given orders to use existing Renault parts. Power initially was from the same unit found in the recently introduced Renault Dauphine. At the time of introduction, four body styles were available. The base model had a rear door in three sections. The upper part had a window that hinged upwards while the lower position was divided into two halves, opening to the right and left. The side of the vehicle facing the pavement was normally fitted with a sliding door. A sliding door was typically fitted for the driver as well. Other versions included a pickup, minibus, and a high roof version.
The Renault Estafette was a utilitarian workhorse that had a wide rear opening and a low floor. It was typically used for transporting goods or as a mobile workshop.
The Alouette version was introduced in 1961. It was like the minibus but with removable seats that could be converted into a camper van.
The following year, in 1962, it became the first vehicle to be fitted with Renault's newly developed 'Sierra' series water-cooled four-cylinder engine.
In 1968, the police at the winter Olympics held in Grenoble were given a series of 70 vans, which later led to a long term contract. Also in 1968, the Estafette was given a 1289cc engine later used in the Renault 12, giving it a full 1000kg capacity. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2018