Cold Start: The Yellow-Eyed Stare That Always Delights

Cs Floride

I feel like one of the ways that I tend to differ with a lot of fellow gearheads is that I genuinely like cars without grilles. I feel like for a lot of people, the absence of any sort of grille is enough to cause a car to be “ugly,” and I just don’t understand that. Besides, as we enter this new electric car era, grille-less is becoming more common so you may as well get used to it. One of my favorite grille-free designs is the Renault Floride. Especially with those yellow headlights.

There’s something about the little Floride’s face that feels so eager and plucky and ready that I just want to spit lug nuts.  The look is clean and sleek but that yellow wide-eyed stare prevents it from ever becoming too self-important. It could likely look great with a grille, too, but that crisp, unbroken expanse of creased sheetmetal just feels so right.

Also, the brochure this came from also features what may be one of the strangest look-what-you-can-cram-in-the-trunk images ever:

Cs Vasetrunk

What is that, a seven amphorae trunk? Wait, no – those aren’t amphorae. I think those are oenochoae, maybe? I’m really not sure. This isn’t an ancient Greek pottery blog, after all – if you want that, you need to go to The Kylixcellence blog. They’re pretty good.

Also, I want to watch her try and close the trunk lid on those. I bet it’s not easy. But I bet with the right tetrising, it can be done.

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42 Responses

  1. Definitely a friendly face that one :-).I’d very happily own it

    BTW i’m now *mostly* ok with grill-less noses.
    I was going to say it only took a couple of years but i see the Tesla 3 came out 5 years ago.How did i lose track of time so badly??

  2. When the Ford Taurus first debuted, one of the things that fascinated me was the grill-less nose.

    Really accentuated the overall futuristic look of it. And doubly so on the wagon, which looked to kid me like something out of an ’80s scifi movie.

    1. 1990: “Small grilles are the future!”

      2022: “Well the entire front of the car was already grille, but we have to enlarge it by 5% annually, so we just made the whole car 3″ taller and 2″ wider to accommodate.”

      1. I know car design beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the other day I walked next to an example of one of the current Lexus crossovers…I’d never been that close to one sitting still. I was amazed at how its grill and grill-related thing is nearly the size of the entire front end of a midsized car. Which there was one of conveniently parked next to it.

        It’s noticeable on the road, sure, but up close wow is it overwhelming. And worse IMO, as you notice the fake parts.

      2. Well, the trouble is that grille area is a universal constant. All the Saturns and Tauruses and Neons created a surplus of grille area, and the dam burst in about 2010, amd now we’re seeing the spillover.

      1. I had that movie poster of him stepping out of the car on my bedroom wall.

        Which was why in the ’10s, with Detroit an actual hellhole and real cops driving Tauruses, I was like “wow…the future is here. But really, this one?”

  3. The Teslas don’t have a grille, they look, in my opinion, like an old bar of soap.

    That Renault doesn’t have a grille but it has style. Enough character lines to be identifiable without looking cluttered.

    1. Ever since the Model 3 came out, I’ve been referring to its fascia aesthetic as, “I have no grill and I must scream.” It’s like a nightmare where you look in the mirror, and there’s just a blank expanse of skin where your mouth should be.

  4. A pretty, terrible car.
    There were three good looking versions, Coupe, Cabriolet and the Convertible, the convertible was a cabriolet that also included a hardtop.
    Make sure the door is shut when you jack it up to change the tire.

  5. Many (many) years ago, I almost bought a Renault Caravelle (Floride) as I’d had a Dauphine and the basics were pretty much the same but the Caravelle was a cooler-looking car. The owner sold it to someone with deeper pockets, which was good for me as it turned out — the new owner had to replace the floor pans, which had a lot more rot than originally believed and re-loom the car as the wiring was all corroded (the electrical systems are pretty simple though.)

    This wasn’t a big surprise to me, which is why I didn’t bid as much on the car — I’d owned that Dauphine which I swear came pre-rusted from the factory!

  6. I have to agree. Grills are for barbecues.

    As a side note. It always amuses me when I travel to older cities or towns around the world, how some of them have mastered the art of setting cobblestones like a pool table and others look like they just poured them out and distributed them with a rake.

  7. There should only be as much grill as the engine requires for adequate cooling. Anything more is just adding drag, reducing both performance and efficiency, which can also add to the overall operating cost. If a car doesn’t need a grill, then I’d prefer it not have one at all. If it only needs a small grill, then that’s all it should have. I’m also not fond of the modern trend of black plastic panels to make the grill look larger, or fake vents/scoops.

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