Renault Caravelle (1962 – 1968) Review

Renault Caravelle (1962 – 1968) At A Glance


+Nice to look at, cheap to run and surprisingly fun

-Bit of a rot box, best chance of parts support is via France

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).

Ask Honest John

Would whitewall tyres cause my Renault 10 and Renault Caravelle to fail the MoT?

"I am getting my Renault 10 and Renault Caravelle back on the road now that I've built a large garage/workshop. I was thinking about getting my new tyres whitewalled (, but have you any comments? Would this affect the sidewalls? Would it be an MOT failure?"
One of my deals back in the 60s was a Renault R8 1100. Same colour as yours. Same long nose body but with round rather than oblong headlights. It had been crashed at the front and badly repaired. I got it for less than £200, re-repaired it, had it painted and donated it to my mum, who eventually wrote it off on some black ice. No reason why whitewalled tyres should fail the MoT. They're more appropriate on the Caravelle than on the R10, though.
Answered by Honest John
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