“Renault” R5 E.B.S. Cabriolet, the story
E.B.S. (Ernst Berg Systems) was commissioned by Renault Netherlands to build a prototype cabriolet of the new Renault Supercinq called supercabrio for the Amsterdam Autorai in February 1985.
Renault France was very interested in the car and after the exhibition the car went to Bureau d’etudes Renault for further investigation.
Renault indicates some changes and after these have been implemented the car goes back to Paris in July 1985. Renault wants to add the car to its range and a contract was signed for the production by E.B.S of 20,000 to 25,000 cars over a period of 4 years.
At the Geneva motor show in March 1986, the final production model was shown on the Renault stand. Production was scheduled to start in September 1986, 25-30 cars per day, eventually this should go up to 50 cars per day (5,000 to 6,000 cars per year). Delivery of the first cars was planned from February 1987.
Renault took care of the crashtesting and homoligation of the vehicle.
The Renault factory in Vilvoorde Belgium would have a special production line for the construction of the convertible bodies and E.B.S. built a new assembly hall for the new company E.B.S. Dinavision where the cars would be finished.
The start of production was promblematic and delayed. this, together with poor build quality, was reason for Renault to withdraw from the project in mid-1987.
After Renault pulled out, E.B.S. wanted to build the car itself and had two options; build cars completely new with the purchase of drivetrain, engines, etc. from Renault or convert existing cars into convertibles. The latter was chosen with a production scheduled for 15 cars per day.
The cars entered the E.B.S. factory as 3-door hatchbacks and were cut off to the bulkhead and completely rebuilt with new specially designed bodyparts, the conversion took 68 hours per car.
Production of the fase or type 1 starts in August 1987, the car can be ordered from various Renault dealersships in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Austria and Italy. The convertible could be ordered new, but used cars could also be converted. until February 1990, 559 convertibles were built.
In 1990, the fase or type 2 was developed, the conversion of which is simpler and cheaper because no new bodyparts where needed such as doors, fenders and tailgate. 384 convertibles of this type were built in 1.5 years.
The total number of cars built is uncertain, the production lists indicate a total of 950 cars, but the register contains several convertibles that are not in the production lists. Ernst Berg himself lists a total of 1,800 convertibles built in his autobiography.