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Juvaquatre

1937 Renault 4 Break, France. [Alamy image ref. BRD531]

Because classic car rallies bring out a high number of photographers compared to casual passers-by, I should be prepared to accommodate the presence of others with cameras more than I am. When I see other snappers hovering in the close vicinity of a subject I’m interested in, I wait until they have finished, then I get my shots, and then I clear off to another location and leave the way open for any others.

On this day, however, there were too many photographers and spectators hanging around as a long, slow line of old cars arrived in town to park in front of the town hall… in harsh sunlight and deep shadow. The only clear space I had to capture the cars was as above… messy background, even worse out of frame to the left, and terrible behind me which was where the cars were trying to park. The photographer and his wife in the background, and the rally sign on the roof rack of the Renault 4, made the situation worse… and had I planned the shoot better I would have waited well-away from the arrival point and shot each approaching vehicle with a telephoto lens from a distance and then from close-up with a wide angle as they passed my position.

A little history from the internet… The Renault Juvaquatre was a small family car automobile produced between 1937 and 1960, although production slowed considerably during the war years. The Juvaquatre was produced as a sedan / saloon until 1948 when the plant switched production to the new Renault 4CV. In 1948 a Juvaquatre based panel van appeared, and later models of the station wagon (from 1956) were known as the Renault Dauphinoise. The sedan/saloon found itself overshadowed and massively outsold after the appearance in 1946 of the Renault 4CV (which was France’s top selling car in the post-war years). However, both the 4CV and its successor, the Renault Dauphine, were rear-engined and unsuitable for simple station wagon adaptation, which is why the Juvaquatre “Dauphinoise” station wagon remained in production until effectively replaced by the Renault 4 in 1960.

Despite the relatively high production numbers and long manufacturing life-span, this is the only example I think I have ever seen in France. But this image – the best of a three I took – was licensed RM by Alamy for a 1/4 page reproduction for 5-years in Worldwide text and e-books with a 50,000 print-run under my “Autos” pseudonym.

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