1964 RENAULT CaravelleView vehicle description
Designed by Frua, the Caravelle was Renault’s attempt to capitalize on the Karmann Ghia’s success in the United States. Rear-engined and sleek in design, it was gradually updated over the years with changes to the suspension, gearbox and engine, all of which made it more usable and more satisfying to drive.
The echoes of 1950s American cars are obvious in the bodywork and the badging shows a strong Art Deco influence. The bullet-shaped wing mirrors and red coachwork help move the car from being merely very attractive through to utterly beguiling.
The engine might be small, but it is fitted into a small, light car so performance is stronger than you might imagine, at least up to 50mph or so! The Caravelle’s nature is more cruiser than sports car though, so it might be better to view it as a sprightly, fun convertible that can show bigger, more expensive cars a clean pair of heels at the lights than a trackday hero.
As a 1964 model it benefits from almost all of the updates that occurred throughout the Caravelle’s lifespan.
It is also a genuine right-hand-drive car, which makes it a far better bet for British roads than the far more numerous LHD models and appears to have been restored by a previous owner.
On the Outside
The red paintwork has been recently polished but otherwise left untouched to allow potential buyers to see for themselves how good it is.
The only problem area looks to be under the edge of the bonnet, where there is some bubbling of the paintwork. Please see the photographs for more details.
On the Inside
The black vinyl trim is in good condition and is paired with black carpets. Renault has never been known for the quality and durability of its interiors but this one is in very good condition and is a testament to its previous owner.
It has the rear fold up seat which many owners used as legroom was tight and they preferred to use the space for their luggage - and it doesn’t come with the tonneau cover either.
Cars built from 1963 onwards benefitted from an all-synchromesh gearbox, which makes this model much more useable than the early cars for anyone that didn’t grow up double-declutching!
The larger 1.1-litre, 46bhp engine gives a useful performance advantage over the smaller-engined cars too. Thanks to an all-up weight of just 825kgs and 59 lb/ft of torque, the Caravelle can hit a top speed of around 90mph and fuel consumption can be as low as 40mpg.
The photographs of the underside show that it looks to be in good, oil-tight condition and is very solid, backing up our suspicion that it has been restored at some point in its recent past.
There is a sheaf of old MOT certificates until 2007 and a check of the MOT history on the excellent DVLA website shows that the only advisories since then are: ‘Nearside Front wheel bearing has slight play (2.5.A.3c)’ in 2009 and ‘steering noctey’ (sic) in 2010. For an old French car that is a remarkable achievement.
It also comes with the owner’s maintenance book and various bits and bobs of paperwork. It couldn’t be said to be a complete history but this, along with the MOT history, should be enough to convince a potential owner that this is a good ‘un!
What We Think
The Renault Caravelle is an attractive and appealing alternative to the usual 1960s convertible suspects. This is a good, solid example that draws attention wherever it goes and would be very usable as it currently is.
Locating a replacement rear seats for the bench might be a bit of a challenge but it’s certainly not an impossible one and half the fun of owning an older car is spending long, winter evening trawling European eBay websites with Google Translate to hand in the hunt for a bargain…
With that fitted it would make an ideal family classic for runs to the coast on a sunny day or taking part in local classic cars shows and events.
The car can be viewed in Essex, to arrange to view use the 'Contact Seller' button above, or to find out more about The Market take a look here.
Estimate £8.5-9.5k (but remember the reserves on The Market are always less than the estimate)
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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