Tintin returned to Europe from China after his adventure in the “Blue Lotus”. The next book was “The Broke Ear” which begins with a fetish South American sculpture being stolen from the museum. During the course of the book, the villains try to run over Tintin while he was crossing the road. The car used for the purpose was a Renault Celtaquatre.
Renault produced a small family car, a compact sedan called the Celtaquatre from 1934 to 1938. The car design was inspired by American cars of the day and had rounded edges and a rounded silhouette.
These cars were made available in the following three body shapes:-
- Two door coach.
- Two door convertible.
- Four door sedan.
The car used during the attempt to run over Tintin was a 4-door sedan. This car was built to a budget and was competing in the market mainly on price. As a result, the Celtaquatre was offered with rigid axles at both ends at a time when the competitors, mainly Peugeot was offering independent suspension. But then the Renault was nearly 18% cheaper than the equivalent Peugeot.
The Celtaquatre was a five seater car which was powered by a four cylinder inline, 1463 cc (89.27 Cu inch) petrol engine producing 56 BHP at 3300 rpm. It was a naturally aspirated engine with two valves per cylinder and produced 131 N-m of torque at 2300 rpm. The turning power was transmitted to the rear wheels through a 3 speed gear box. The car weighed 1125 kg giving it a power to weight ration of 49.8 BHP/ Ton. This car had a huge turning circle of 10m.
The Celtaquatre had a wheel base of 2460 mm and an overall length of 3810 mm.
However, in modern day India, despite being a small car, it would have been placed in a higher excise bracket because it had a 1463 cc petrol engine. The car was 1560 mm wide and 1600 mm tall with a ground clearance of 210 mm.
Renault produced a total of 44,000 cars between 1934 and 38. With the onset of World War II, all cars held in stock with the company in 1940 were handed over to the French Army.