Titanic's cars : the Renault CB Coupé de Ville.

Do you know the Renault Type CB Town Coupé de Ville (1912-1933), the famous place where Jack and Rose live their love. Why a car was onboard the ship? One of the 1st class passengers, William Ernest Carter bought that Renault luxury model during his Grand Tour in Europe. In the real history, the car was really registered as a cargo during the maiden voyage of the transatlantic liner.

The shipping : the beginning of the european motoring concurrence.

At the end of the 19th century, some carmakers managed to develop commercial models that wealthy men acquired with curiosity. Some of them improved to the technical problems. John Jacob V, the wealthiest passenger from the Titanic belonged to that kind of men. In 1896, he was one of the first American people to own a car. Horses and carriages stayed the main transportation to move in streets but the world was changing with the "fordmania". American newpapers began to understand the importance of the cars in the 20th century. The motoring became modern and fashioned. John Rockfeller founded the American Standard Oil meanwhile Henry Ford was the pioneer of the American motoring globalization.

On the left to the right, Barney Oldfield and Henry Ford in 1902.

During a long time, that unique model defined the perfect American motoring world. With the decrease of the price of the Ford T, the American aristocracy prefered choosing new European brands during their Grand Tour. Rolls Royce or Renault introduced a new way to visit the European cities at that time. Louis Renault, a French car engineer, contributed to the democratization of that new transportation in France.

In 1904, he introduced 1,200 taxis in Paris. The Renault CB Town car was one of that famous luxury models of the French company created in 1899. You drove it at the speed of 60 km/h. Only wealthy people bought those models in 1912. If you wanted to own that luxury car in your collection, you had to pay 3,000 francs (in former francs). You must pay $270,000 to have that historical model in 2003.

Louis Renault, founder and engineer of the French famous car brand.

Like the infamous and popular Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), king of the American shipping and railroads, Ford transformed the American society by creating a new motoring phenomenon. The famous Tin Lizzie (or Flivver) became the first affordable car of the world whereas the steam cars were expensive and not pratical at all. The European cars were a way to introduce a fair concurrence and limit the success of the Fordmania.

The rebirth of the Renault CB Town : from a luxury car to an automotive star.

What was the fate of our car inside the hatch of our legendary ship? As you know the RMS Titanic sank with 1,500 passengers and crew’s members on 15th april 1912. Carter’s car, protected by a wooden box, disappeared in the bottom of the Atlantic. Discovered in 1985, the wreck of the Titanic lies on the ocean floor in the darkness atmosphere. But where was the Renault Coupe de Ville? The car was eaten by the bacterias from the deepest Atlantic. William Ernest Carter and his family survived to the sinking.

A movie can be perfect without car? (Photo : Pinterest)

His car was lost amongst the cargo which was valued for $420 000 ($4,500,000). After his return in the USA, he obtained $5,000 by his insurance company. That car would been forgotten after the disaster but one director had a great idea. James Cameron used the Renault Type CB in his famous movie, Titanic. The car was transformed in a shelter for Jack and Rose’s love story before the collision between the Titanic and an iceberg. Our heroes choose that place to symbolize their love as I'm doing it on DriveTribe.

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