Renault Caravelle

1968 Renault Caravelle Introduced to the UK in 1962 as the Caravelle and designed by the Italian studio Frua, this model was built for Renault by Chausson with final assembly and trim, virtually by hand, by Brissoneau and Lotz. The genius of another Italian, engineer Amde Gordini increased the output of the small Dauphine engine somewhat - the larger 1108cc R8 engines in the later Caravelle versions such as this one - producing a brisk and respectable performance, matched with all-round disc brakes. Oozing French Riviera styling, the Caravelle Convertible was not cheap at £1296 against the £582 Morris Minor Convertible - consequently attracting more affluent drivers seeking that little bit of extra style in those swinging sixties. Economy, practicality and personality are the characteristics of this overlooked and rare Sixties classic.

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Dr Eric Gavin

I have had four of these cars since 1968 when my mother bought one new. Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly had one, so she had to have one. In 1975 I drove the same car to Istanbul and around Greece from London and down to Crete for 6 weeks and had no problems. A simple engine, good fuel economy 35+mpg and still easy to get parts. I still have two of the vehicles. They should be the surfers adjunct to the VW Karmann Ghia. Would have been great if they had given it more power, but then at the price losing it as a great touring car.

Performance 3   Maintenance 5
Reliability 5   Overall 4

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