The Renault Caravelle was an uprated and facelifted rear-engined Floride. Renault did the simple thing, and applied the name the Floride always went by in the USA. To distinguish new from old, the Floride included smaller chrome strips, and lost its trim from around the air vents. A larger rear cooling grille, bigger bumpers, heater vents under the front bumper and Caravelle badging across the front panel, made it easily identifiable, as did larger wheels and revised wheeltrims. The new car’s roof was also raised in order to improve headroom – a criticism of the outgoing car.
The first Caravelles used the tried and tested 956cc engine from the Floride S. It was a power unit derived from that used in the Renault 8 and was reliable. From 1963, the engine capacity was increased to 1108cc (67 cu in) and the extra power certainly showed the coupé’s performance potential to its best advantage. The downside was wayward handling – especially in the wet. Other modifications for 1963 included an all-synchromesh gearbox and larger petrol tank, while convertible models came with a detachable hardtop as standard (above).
This fabulous Caravelle has enjoyed a comprehensive restoration by a Renault enthusiast and is presented in first class order. All in all a wonderful, stylish, easy to maintain and practical summer classic car.