1966 Chrysler Simca - Feeeeels like the firrrst time.

So you like the Fiat 500, huh? I don't blame you. Even guys can appreciate the shouty angry Abarth version. But apparently this isn't Chrysler's first romance with the Fiat brand, as evidenced by this 1966 ad for a Chrysler Simca. The Chrysler wha? I know. Check it out.

Simca has been owned by a couple different companies around the globe. Such a promiscuous little car! This from Wikipedia:

Simca (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile) (Industrial Society of Mechanical and Automotive Body) was a French automaker, founded in November 1934 by Fiat and directed from July 1935 to May 1963 by Italian Henri Théodore Pigozzi (born Enrico Teodoro Pigozzi, 1898–1964). Simca was affiliated with Fiat and subsequently, when Simca bought Ford's French branch, became increasingly controlled by the Chrysler Group. In 1970 Simca became a subsidiary and brand of Chrysler Europe, ending its period as an independent company. Simca's history ended in 1978, when Chrysler divested its European operations to another French automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën. PSA replaced the Simca brand with Talbot and for a short period some models were badged as Simca-Talbots.

Ok, got all that? Me neither. Long story short, Chrysler wanted a piece of the European market in 1958, and liked the look of Simca. By 1970, Chrysler had bought 71% of Simca from Fiat, until the collapse of Chrysler Europe around 1980.

Simca 1200 Bertone. Holy crap, that looks all right! Do want!
At the time, Americans assumed every foreign car was crap. So how was the Simca? Well, over the life span of the company, Simca models won various Car of the Year awards, assuming it wasn't judged on sporting prowess alone. However, there once was a Bertone version that could do 112 mph. There were also Abarth tuned Simcas, just like the Fiat 500.

Want one? Good luck. Ebay Motors is full of bits and pieces, but no complete cars. There's a windscreen for US $1000 if you want to start small, though.

Click for big.


Steve Miller said...

Here's an interesting take on Chrysler's relationship with Simca: http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classics-plymouth-horizon-and-dodge-omni-detroit-finally-builds-a-proper-small-car/

Post a Comment