Tag Archives: Caravelle

Floride – Renault Caravelle

After the run away success of the Volkswagen, Beetle based, Typ 14 Karmann Ghia launched in 1955, particularly in the United States, Renault thought they might be able pull off a similar feat by building Coupé and Convertible versions of the humble rear engined Renault Dauphine that succeeded the 4CV.

Allegedly the idea for the new Coupé and Cabriolet Dauphine variants was suggested at a convention of North American distributors that took place in Florida where Renault Chairman Pierre Dreyfus picked up the ball for the idea which instantly became known as the “Renault Floride”.

Renault Caravelle, Haynes International Motor Museum

The design was the work of Pietro Frua working for Ghia in Italy and the production of the bodies for the Dauphine chassis was by Société des usines Chausson in Paris while final assembly was completed by Brissonneau and Lotz at Creil in Picardy.

Not wishing to offend the other 49 states in the US of A Renault called the new model the Caravelle in all English speaking markets a year after the Floride was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1958.

Initially powered by a standard 37 hp motor or Gordini tuned 40hp version the Floride / Caravelle remained in production until 1968 by which time only 117,000 units had been built compared to the 445,000 Karmann Ghia’s Volkswagen built between 1955 and 1974.

The example seen above at the Haynes International Motor Museum was registered in the UK on the 25th of January 1968.

Thanks for joining me on this “Floride” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be competing in my first Auto Solo. Don’t forget to come back now !


Camp, Sell, Show ‘n’ Shine – Bristol Volksfest

A couple weeks ago I popped along to Bristol Volksfest at Easter Compton, to help some acquaintances from Bristol Advanced Motorists out with a parking competition that was being run in the main field.

Bugle Dune Buggy, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

Among the vehicles on display for sale was this 1964 Bugle Dune Buggy complete with turbocharged motor.

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

Basking in the afternoon sun on very cool Fuchs rims above is a 1971 Karmann Ghia.

Volkswagen Type 2 T3 syncro DoKa, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

The owner of the 1990 Volkswagen Type 2 T3 syncro Dopple Kabina (DoKa) Pickup above told me that it had been in service with the Norwegian armed forces as a fire engine before being imported to the UK.

Volkswagen Transporter Caravelle, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

Graffiti Artist Banksy is vying with Damien Hirst to be Bristol’s most famous living artist and going on the number of tourists visiting his work in Bristol Banksy might well be Bristol’s living biggest tourist attraction, above a 1996 Diesel powered Transporter Caravelle presumed not to belong to Robin Gunningham pays tribute to Banksy.

Volkswagen Golf Mk IV, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

Over in the show’n’shine area a Golf Mk IV receives some tlc.

Volkswagen Polo GTI, Volksfest, Easter Compton,

I suspect the 2006 Polo GTI is bigger, heavier, more powerful and faster than the Golf that started the GTI badge fashion in March 1975, but I’d be interested to know if this one sitting on lowered suspension and tyres with stretched side walls can possibly run so well.

Thanks for joining me on this “Camp, Sell, Show ‘n’ Shine” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again, tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury powered special. Don’t forget to come back now !


Yellow Cab With Disco Lights – Plymouth Caravelle Saloon

As my host Geoff, my girl and I were leaving a Toronto eatery one day we decided to take a cab to see friends who lived on the edge of the city, as I stepped into the street I saw a yellow cab on the far side of the street. I turned to Geoff and pointed at the object of what I thought was our desire and suggested, “Looks like the cab company is one step ahead of us”.

Plymouth Caravelle Salon, Toronto

Geoff rolled his eye’s saying “You can always tell a tourist in Toronto”, “How is that ?” I asked, “always ready to jump into the first cab with disco lights, take another look at the cab” he instructed.

Plymouth Caravelle Salon, Toronto

Sure enough the cab really did have disco lights and the cab company was called Metro Police. I turned back to Geoff and asked “I guess the ‘To serve’ part of the ‘To Serve and Protect’ strap line does not include taking us to where we are headed then ?”, to which Geoff replied “we could try and verify that, but it’s probably best for Limey’s not to mess with armed law enforcement officers.”

Turns out that from the 1960’s to 1986 Toronto Metro Police patrol cars were all painted yellow after which they were painted white the red and blue accents.

The car seen here in 1988 is a rear wheel drive Plymouth Caravelle Salon, a Canadian market only model name for the more familiar US market third generation Plymouth Gran Fury manufactured from 1982 to 1989.

Not to be confused with either the similar looking first generation ’81 – ’89 Lincoln Town Car or the front wheel drive ’83 – ’88 E-body Plymouth Caravelle.

Thanks for joining me on this “Yellow Cab With Disco Lights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Ferrari tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

More on Brighton Speed Trials on this link.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.