These days, you can hire most popular types of van. But there are some models that are just a bit special and are usually only available if you’re prepared to buy one.
A good example of this is the Renault Formula One team’s new van-based F1 car transporter. Based on the Renault Master large van, this custom-built vehicle carrier is used to transport Formula One cars all over Europe.
I should point out that the cars transported in this new transporter are only show cars. These are static display models based on last year’s R.S.17 car. They have the current livery, but have had their R.E.17 engines removed.
However, the new transporter has turned out to be so useful that it has been used to transport ‘live’ F1 cars to testing and to collect and deliver vehicles that are being worked on at local suppliers.
Renault F1 previously used a tow vehicle and trailer, a contractor or even a 40-tonne lorry to transport its show vehicles. This new solution is cheaper, more manoeuvrable and quicker to unload than any of these. The team says a car can be unloaded by a single person in just 15 minutes.
Despite the big body, payload isn’t a problem. The transporter offers a payload of 844kg, which is ample for a show car (350kg) or a race car (700kg). It can also be driven on a normal car licence, increasing the number of team personnel who can drive the van.
This success story highlights a theme we’ve discussed before — having the right-sized van for the job is crucial. Too big is wasteful and expensive. To small is unusable. Kudos to Renault’s converters for devising this neat solution.