The Renault Floride was first seen by the public at the 1958 Paris Motor Show. It was a small convertible car with a rear-mounted engine and styling by Pietro Frua at Carrozzeria Ghia. It was based upon the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine, which proved to be a handicap as its slow performance earned it the moniker of "a sheep in wolf's clothing" from the media. To improve the power of the car, Renault released a tuned version by Amedee Gordini that produced 40 hp.
In the four years following its release, the Floride was available outside of North America. It was then renamed the Renault Caravelle and released in North America in 1959. To increase the power, the engine from the newly launched Renault 8 was put into the car in 1962, replacing the Renault Dauphine-derived engine. The Caravelle designation also replaced the Floride branding in all markets. In 1964, a further improvement was made by the installation of a 1108 cc Renault 8 engine, increasing the horsepower to 55.
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