The original arrangement of the engine gave more space in the cab, which could carry 3 front passengers. To prove its strength and gain publicity, an expedition to Africa was arranged.
The 11,000 km route went from Douala (Cameroon) to Dakar (Senegal) via Fort-Lamy (Chad) and Bamako (Mali). A televised report at the time shows the situation (see the video). When Saviem was founded in 1955, the "lazy" Renault was the first truck to take on its colours. 2 versions were produced, the 5 tonne (known as Mondragon), and the 7 tonne (known as Tancarville), and production exceed 25,000 units. 2x2 and 4x4 versions were designed for military use.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION…
Book : Atlas des camions français, l’ère des grands routiers (Atlas of French trucks, the age of great truckers), Editions Atlas, 2007.