Renault Floride (1959)
The Renault Caravelle was a roadster automobile produced by the French manufacturer Renault between 1958 and 1968. Outside of North America for its first four years of production it was known as the Renault Floride.
The Floride was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show. A small rear-engined convertible designed by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia, it used the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine sedan. The now infamously slow Dauphine running gear was something of a burden for the car however and it was dubbed "a sheep in wolf's clothing" by the media in its early years. A model tuned by Renault performance guru Amedee Gordini was sold, which produced 40 hp as opposed to the standard model's 35. The Floride was launched in the United States and Canada as the Renault Caravelle a year after its introduction in Europe.
The car's lack of power was aided somewhat by the replacement in 1962 of its Dauphine-derived running gear with a new 956cc engine from the recently launched Renault 8. The Caravelle name also replaced the Floride name in all markets from 1962 onwards. In 1964 another R8-derived engine of 1108cc was introduced to the Caravelle, producing 55 hp.
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