Sunday, January 27, 2019

1959 Simca Aronde - A Cool Piece Of Simca History

The Aronde is a significant piece of Simca history. This was the first Simca that was not based on a Fiat. Fiat had been associated with Simca since its inception in 1935. It was also their first unibody car.

Introduced in 1951, there were three generations of the Aronde. This is a third generation car, known as the Aronde P60.

This appears to be an Aronde P60 Montlhéry. The Montlhéry was a slightly upscale four door sedan. It used a higher compression engine that pumped out 57 HP. (The standard - Élysée - sedan had 41 HP on tap.)

Interestingly, this car seems to have a Simca "Rush" 1290cc engine in it, which, to the best of my knowledge, wasn't available until 1960. The body has some surface rust, but -amazingly - no serious rot that I can see. The interior is shot, but it's all there. The engine runs, but it needs a fuel pump at the very least. All-in-all, it's a very restorable car.

This is another one of those labor of love cars. A fully restored Simca Aronde is not worth a lot money. Unless you have a parts car handy, you will most likely spend more restoring it than it's worth. But with its cool looks - sort of a French take on a 1950s American style trends - its scarcity and its importance in Simca's history, it is a car that needs to be restored.

Located in Edmonton, AB, Canada, click here to see the Kijiji ad.

A big thanks to Tyler for sending me the link to this car!

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Some Simca history / trivia...

Simca's business history started getting complicated in the 1950s. In 1954 they purchased Ford's French operation, including Ford's Poissy factory. In the deal Ford wound up with a 15% stake in Simca. In 1958 Chrysler bought Ford's 15%. By 1963 they increased their shares of Simca and eventually had controlling interest in the company. 1964 Chrysler bought the British car company, Rootes, and with the Rootes Group and Simca created Chrysler Europe. Chrysler Europe collapsed in 1977 and was sold to Peugeot. Peugeot killed off the Rootes Group cars and changed the Simca name to Talbot. Peugeot eventually dropped the Talbot name. The last Simca designed car was called the Peugeot 309.

The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon were based on the Simca Horizon. While they looked alike, very few parts were interchangeable.

Simca's Poissy factory - which Simca got from Ford, Chrysler got from Simca and Peugeot got from Chrysler - still produces Peugeots today.

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