1967 Renault Caravelle: 8k Mile Survivor

1967 Renault Caravelle

I’m a sucker for drop top European sports cars and low mileage survivors. Put the two together and you have the perfect combination, well at least in my book. In all honesty, this Renault Caravelle wouldn’t be my first choice of topless European cars, but with just 8k miles on the clock I might make an exception! The seller claims his wife’s Aunt bought the car new in ’67 and kept it in her garage in California for all of these years. The aunt is now 90 years old and has no need for it, so she sold it to the couple. They had it transported from California to Erie, Pennsylvania, where they live. It looks to be in great condition, although the paint is looking quite oxidized. With a good cleaning, some careful detailing, and lots of elbow grease, this classic could look almost as good as new! If you are interested in taking a closer look at this Renault, you can find it here on eBay with a BIN of $14,500 and the option to make an offer.

1967 Renault Caravelle Interior

I am a little worried about the motor, as the car hasn’t run since 1985 and the seller hasn’t tried to get it started yet. While I’m alright with them not trying to start it, I would like them to at least check to see if the engine is free. Finding parts for these here in the States isn’t impossible, but challenging so knowing the engine is free seems rather important to me. I’m going to guess they are going to have to take a considerably lower offer if they plan on finding a good home for this one in a timely manner. Would you pay their asking price or offer them considerably less for this survivor?

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Comments

  1. jean Lecointe

    Hi barn finders,
    The Renault caravelle has never been a “sport car”.
    It was a rather good looking small convertible at a time when convertibles were not popular in France.
    Renault used Brigitte Bardot (famous french film star) to promote the car.
    It has been considered as a girl car.
    The one shown on ebay is in a wonderful condition.
    The asking price is quite interesting. It would be more expensive in France in that condition.
    What about a gift to the wife or the girl friend?

  2. Chris A.

    A PPI is sure indicated for this one. The Caravelle’s are a pretty car, but not all that well regarded, especially compared to a VW Ghia. Puny engine, and on this one it will need some serious work. I’m 30 miles from Erie if anyone really wants it looked at. But it’s not a $14,500 car regardless of alleged 8K mileage having “rested” for 30 years.

  3. Stuart

    I had a fraternity brother who owned one of these, albeit in nothing like this condition. It was pretty rusty, which played out one bright day when he and his girlfriend opened both doors, sat down at the same time, and it broke in half.

  4. viking

    Back in Sweden my dad owned a car dealership, we sold renault, among other cars. Caravelle is called FLORIDA in Europe, it has the gordini motor in it, a hopped up renault dophine motor. Renault cars have never been any good, the wont last very long, poor quality cars. I have worked on a lot of them, both in Sweden and here in California. This one is in good shape, but terrible overpriced.

    • Olaf E

      Viking
      To my knowledge the Gordini engine (40 hp) was optional, or do you think this one is a Gordini?

  5. Chris A.

    Further research on the Renault Caravelle indicates this may not be a bummer after all. 1967 is near the end of the production run and many improvements were put in place after the initial production began. By 1967 the Caravelle had a larger 5 bearing engine, 4 speed transmission, improved suspension and 4 wheel disc brakes. If it is rust free, it may be worth checking out as it could be the basis as nice hobby car.

  6. jim s

    BIN is now $13500 and still taking offers.

  7. Dolphin Member

    Based in Jean Lecointe’s comment, which I think is accurate, this Caravelle would bring more in France than it ever will here, maybe even more than a home market Floride because of the rarity and novelty factor of a No. American version.

    Get it running, service the safety systems, clean the interior—but don’t buff the paint—and then arrange to have it displayed at the next Retromobile and auctioned there. I think the seller would get his price and maybe more, and more than make back the shipping charges besides.

  8. Wayne

    I’ve got a parts car with hardtop!

  9. Luke Fitzgerald

    This will go back to Europe

  10. Rex Kahrs Member

    I visited France a few years ago, then became interested in old French cars. I searched ebay, and the only car I could find was a Caravelle way down in the hollers of West Virginia.

    I brought it back to my garage and re-habbed it to running condition, and really enjoyed the experience of putzing around in the garage again working on a project car. I spent a lot of money with Jacques’ Rear Engine Renault Parts in El Cajon…so much so that he sent me a personalized pen/pencil set that Christmas.

    It was a fun car, and people loved it…chicks, kids, everyone. And I didn’t care that it couldn’t outrun a moped, it was cool. Yet, it was such a tin can on wheels that I knew if I hit even a squirrel, I’d probably have no better chance than the squirrel. So I sold it and got a real car…an MGB. Trust me, the B is a way better car.

    My next car? Probably a 71 Vista Cruiser….now there’s a real car that chicks also dig.

  11. Howard A Member

    This is just an incredible find. When I was a kid (60’s),my old man bought and sold cars, as a side line, and dabbled in a few imports. British and French cars were the only foreign cars he’d buy ( think WW2). He had several Dauphines and a Caravelle once. I don’t remember much about it, except. like Stuart above sez, it was rusted badly, and the doors wouldn’t close, and he had to have the body reinforced. ( before we’re too hard on the poor Caravelle, my MGB did the same thing) I do remember the Renaults being good cars, ( with an actual heater) although, severely underpowered for Americas roads ( and drivers). I do believe the price is justified, as there are probably 5 examples of this car in this condition in the world. Great find.

  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    The heater setup in this car is positively mental. The heater core sits in the engine compartment. A blower on the core box is attached to a 2.5″ rubber coated jute tube which then runs underneath the car up to the firewall, then into a register boot for distribution into the car.

    Obviously the heater core would be better placed inside the passenger compartment and not in the drafty engine bay. Strike one. And of course ducting the “hot” air forward via a tube that’s being cooled underneath the car isn’t the best idea either, I don’t imagine anyone’s done it since. Strikes 2 and 3.

    The tube on my Caravelle was in tatters as you’d expect, riding underneath like it does.

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