The French automotive manufacturer Renault is one of the longest standing companies of its kind still standing, having been founded all the way back in 1899 by the Renault brothers Louis, Marcel, and Fernand. The company was engaged in one of the first major partnerships between a U.S. based automaker and a foreign one when they worked in conjunction with Nash-Rambler in the early 1960s and that partnership continued after Nash evolved into American Motors. These days Renault is allied with Nissan and does most of its business across the pond in Europe.
One very cool Renault that may be of interest to classic car fans is the Renault Caravelle, which was called the Floride for its first four years of production outside of North America. The Floride/Caravelle was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1958 as a rear-engine two-seat roadster that was similar to the Triumph Spitfire that was being built in Great Britain. The Caravelle was designed by Pietro Frua, who was then part of the famed Carrozzeria Ghia design group, and it was first marketed in the United States for the 1959 model year. The Caravelle was originally powered by a 845 cc straight-4 that generated 35 horsepower, but a performance upgrade was available that could ratchet that up to 40 hp.
By 1965 the standard engine in the Renault Caravelle was the 1108 cc four-cylinder, and it was capable of going from zero to sixty in 17.8 seconds and could reach a top speed of just a notch below 90 miles per hour. The ’65 Caravelle could travel over 30 miles on an imperial gallon of fuel, and it sold for £1,039. The last year of production for the Caravelle was 1968, and in all a total of 117,000 were produced, making them rather scarce today.
If you are interested in the Caravelle, which is a very sharp looking little car, there happens to be one available over at FossilCars.com. It is pictured below, and if you would like to see the details simply click here.
Contributed by Fossil Cars Staff Writer