Monday, June 24, 2013

5k: Good For Your Teeth: 1966 Renault Caravelle

The Renault Caravelle was a small convertible from Renault based on the Dauphine.  It was marketed around the world as the Renault Floride, except in the US where this would have been confused with a dental hygiene product, but it was actually named after the sunshine state, Florida.  Find this 1966 Renault Caravelle located in San Jose, CA and currently bidding on ebay for $3,349 reserve-not-met with 1 day to go.  Tip from Scooter.

The story of the Caravelle involves Renault trying to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle convertible, which is believable because the Caravelle uses a rear-engine rear-drive configuration similar to a Beetle, 911 or Corvair.

However the Renault is watercooled, and this 1966 example is powered by a 1.1 liter inline four cylinder engine putting out 55 horsepower from its iron block and aluminum head configuration.  It won't be fast compared to anything on the road today, but it will beat a Beetle in a drag race and the rear engine setup should give interesting handling. Hooray for lift-throttle oversteer!

The inside of this Caravelle isn't perfect, but it looks to be in driveable condition and isn't bad at all for the current bidding price. 

All Caravelles received 4-wheel disc brakes after 1962, so this car should at least stop well if it doesn't go well.  This example looks to be well worth the current bidding price and we are surprised at the price with one day to go.

See a better classic rear engined roadster? email us here:


  1. 55 hp? Hey, that's 7 more than in the Chevy Sprint I drive to work every morning. There's nothing wrong with an under-powered car if you are an enthusiast. It makes everything else you drive seem faster, you learn how to squeeze out every last pony and you get better gas mileage.

  2. My brother bought a '67 brand new. We had never seen 4 wheel disc brakes or Michelin radials and though it was a pretty cool ride when most guys had Migets, Sprites and Karman Ghias in the local sports car club.

  3. This car was picked up by BAT back in August 2012 when it was on e-Bay with a buy-it-now of $10k.

  4. Funny related story:

    I was looking at cars at the local AMC lot in Leavenworth, and I spotted what looked like a car that had folded in half. Turns out, it was one of these in terrible condition. The story I got was a couple of young Army guys were there to look at the car because it was sporty. Being a sunny day, a top down drive was suggested. The hardtop was removed, both doors opened at the same time, and the salesman got in with one of the soldiers, with predictable results. Turned out that the sills and the floors were so rotten that the center hump couldn't take the stress, and so the car folded up.

    To this day, I still get a giggle from that image that was seared, seared into my brain.

  5. Ran with this car briefly in the last Snowball rally. Driver and co-driver looked to be having a blast. If it made it though that, it can basically be driven anywhere.


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