1961 Renault Caravelle Barn Find

1961 Renault Caravelle Buried

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UPDATE 1/30/12 – We just heard from Pete that this Renault sold right away for $1,000.

With just a quick glance most people wouldn’t recognize what’s buried under this pile of old junk, but if you look close enough you’ll notice a license plate, tail lights, and a bumper. Under all the stuff lies a 1961 Renault Cavarelle that’s waiting to be saved.

1961 Renault Caravelle Front Corner

This Caravelle was parked in this barn in 1980 and has been sitting in the same spot since. The owner, Peter W, bought the car from a neighbor who was moving. The car wasn’t running at the time, so he parked it in his barn. It has slowly fallen into disrepair and needs the attention of a new owner.

1961 Renault Caravelle Motor

Peter says the engine was rebuilt by the previous owner over 30 years ago, but he couldn’t ever get it to run. He believes it to be a timing issue, but where it’s set so long it’s hard to tell what the problem is. If the engine isn’t seized we would imagine this 845 cc inline-4 would be easy and cheap to rebuild. If it is seized we would try to find a Gordini tuned engine from a performance model Caravelle.

1961 Renault Caravelle Front Corner Cleared Off

The barn seems to have sheltered the car from the elements well, but the car has accumulated quite a lot of dust and dirt over the years. The body looks straight and we haven’t been able to find any major rust on the car. The car was vandalized about 15 years ago, so the windshield, rear window, and headlights have been broken out. Peter found a replacement rear window, which comes with the car, but the rest of the damaged pieces will have to be sourced. This car does include the factory hardtop and even though it is rough, it looks to be in better condition than this project car listed on eBay.

1961 Renault Caravelle Interior

The interior looks to have fared well, but is very dirty. We hope that all the interior needs is a good cleaning, but it will likely need some pieces replaced or restored. We would be sure to check under the carpets for rust. Even though these cars are rare, there is still quite a following of enthusiasts for this model.

1961 Renault Caravelle Rear Corner Cleared Off

This Caravelle looks to be in really good shape considering how long it has been parked. We would love to see this convertible back on the road and Peter would too so is only asking $1,000 to let it go. If you’re interested please contact us and we can put you in touch with the seller.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. George Bignell

    Well, seeing that old 61 Caravelle brings back memories. While stationed in France in 1961 I bought a 61 Caravelle and drove it for a bit over 1 year before I was transfered back to Canada. I paid $1800 US for the car, drove it for almost 3 years at home , then sold it for $2500 CDN after being transfered to Goose Bay, Labrador. I now have a 1966 that I am rebuilding. Good fun.

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  2. Mike Rosproy

    Just have to ask, is it for sale & who is the contact person. My ten year old son just bought a ’61 model that he “had to have” as his first car project. But after getting it up in the air and inspecting it, we’ve found the rockers and front chassis are so rusted that it is impractical to even try and rebuild. Needless to say, he’s pretty upset that he spent all his allowance money on a hunk…, but I promised him we’d find another one to build or a shell to use pieces from. Thanks in advance.

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  3. Daniel Wasilewski

    I have 1962 Carevelle witch I thinking of parting out. It has perfect rust free body. I have rebuilt engine block, rebuild cyl head and rebuild trans with all new rear suspension axle parts. I have a lot of new parts with the car. The car is complete but needs to be put together. If any body want the whole thing or parts call me 973 277-5987.

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  4. Jim Yarborough

    My first car is Houston Texas was a 1961 Caravelle. Sweet. Made it into my school yearbook.

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  5. George Bignell

    I bought my 61 Caravelle in late 1960 while stationed in France with the RCAF at Grostenquin, 2(F)Wing. I paid $1800 US for it and when I was posted to Goose Bay, Labrador in 1963 I sold it in Montreal for $1800 CDN. It was a fun car to drive, not too peppy, but fun. I now have a 1966 in the shop and hope to have it going this summer.

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  6. jack ogborn

    i found my 1961 caravelle convert hardtop one year ago behind a nebraska barn. an air force officer stationed in wyoming brought it from germany it found its way to nebraska where it rested behind a barn for 15 years now back in wyoming. i am searching for a windshield and stearing wheel. land line 307 534 1850

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  7. Cristina

    I have a 1961 Renault Caravelle. Not sure what to do with it.

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