:" "Simca" redirects here; for other uses of that term, see
SIMCA (disambiguation)".Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Simca
fate = merged into Chrysler Europe, consequently into PSA
Talbot, a brand of PSA
foundation = 1934
defunct = 1970 taken over by Chrysler,
1979 by PSA
location = flagicon|France
industry = automotive
Henri Théodore Pigozzi, founder
Simca Aronde, Simca Vedette, Simca 1000, Simca 1100, Simca 1300/1500, Simca 1307
Simca was a French
automakerand marque, founded in 1934 by Henri Théodore Pigozzi(1898-1964). Simca was originally affiliated with Fiat, but later, after a period of independence, when Simca bought Ford's French branch, became increasingly controlled by the Chrysler Group, in 1970 becoming a part of Chrysler Europeand a brand rather than independent company. In 1978, Chrysler divested its European operations to another French automaker, PSA, which replaced the Simca brand with Talbot, thus ending the life of the brand (although some models were badged as Simca-Talbots for a time).
During most of its post-war activity Simca was one of the biggest
automobilemanufacturers and most popular automobile brands in France. The Simca 1100was for some time the best-selling car in France, while the Simca 1307and Simca Horizonwon the coveted European Car of the Yeartitles in 1976 and 1978, respectively. Simca vehicles were also manufactured by Simca do Brasilin São Bernardo do Campo, Braziland Barreiros (another Chrysler subsidiary) in Spain, and also assembled in Chile, Colombiaand the Netherlands[ [http://members.home.nl/jurriaanknol/Simca4NL.htm Welkom op Simca en Nekaf site! ] ] during the Chrysler era.Fact|date=February 2007
The founder of Simca,
Henri Théodore Pigozzi(born Teodoro Enrico Pigozzi) was active in the automotive business in the early 1920s when he met Fiatfounder, Giovanni Agnelli. They began business together in 1922 with Pigozzi acting as a scrap merchant, buying old automobile bodies and sending them to Fiat for recycling.cite book |last=Georgano |first=N. |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile |year=2000 |publisher=HMSO |location=London |id=ISBN 1-57958-293-1] Two years later Pigozzi became Fiat's General Agentin France, and in 1926 SAFAF (Société Anonyme Français des Automobiles Fiat) was founded. In 1928, SAFAF started the assembly of Fiat cars in Suresnes near Paris, and licensed the production of some parts to local suppliers. By 1934, as many as 30,000 Fiat cars were sold by SAFAF.cite web|url=http://www.histomobile.com/histomob/internet/26/histo02.htm|title=Simca history|work=Histomobile|accessdate=2006-08-25]
The SIMCA ("Société Industrielle de Mécanique et de Carrosserie Automobile") company was founded in 1935 when Henri Pigozzi bought the former
Donnetfactory in the French town of Nanterre.
The first cars produced were
Fiat 508Balilla and Fiat 518Ardita but carried Simca-Fiat 6CV and 11CV badges. This was followed in 1936 by the Simca Cinq or 5CV a version of the Fiat Topolinoand in 1937 by the Huit or 8CV version of the Fiat 508C-1100. Production of the 6CV and 11CV stopped in 1937 leaving the 5CV and the 8CV in production until the outbreak of World War II. Despite France's being occupied during the war, Simca cars continued to be produced in small numbers throughout the conflict.
With peace, production resumed in 1946 with the pre-war Cinq (5CV) and Huit (8CV) but a new car arrived in 1948 with the
Simca 6with overhead valve 570 cc engine ahead of the equivalent Fiat.
The Aronde and Ford SAF takeover
Simca Aronde, launched in 1951, was the first true Simca car as opposed to a Fiat design. It had a 1200 cc engine and its production reached 100,000 units yearly. Following this success, Simca took over the French truck manufacturers Unicin 1951, and Saurer in 1956, the Poissyplant of Ford SAFin 1954 and in 1958 it bought the Talbotbrand. With the Ford purchase came the Ford designed V-8 powered Vedette range which continued to be made but with Simca badges and various names until 1962 in France and 1967 in Brazil. An Aronde powered version was also made in 1957 and called the Ariane which because of its economy combined with a large body was popular as a taxi.
Chrysler gains control
In 1958 the American car manufacturer
Chrysler Corporation, which wanted to enter the European car market, bought 15% of the Simca stocks and further increased their holding and gained full control in 1963. Also, in 1964 Chrysler bought the British manufacturer Rootesthus putting together the basis of Chrysler Europe. All the Simca models manufactured after 1967 had the Chrysler pentastar logo as well as Simca badging. In 1961 Simca started to manufacture all of its models in the ex-Ford SAF factory in Poissy and sold the factory at Nanterre to Citroën. The rear-engined Simca 1000was introduced in 1961 with its sporting offspring, the Simca- Abarthin 1963. The 1000 also served as the platform for the 1000 Coupe, a handsome sports coupe sporting a Bertone-designed body by Giorgetto Giugiaroand 4-wheel disc brakes. It debuted in 1963 and was described by Car Magazine as "the world's neatest small coupe". 1967 saw the more powerful 1200S Bertone Coupe that, with a horsepowerupgrade in 1970, could reach the dizzying speed of almost 112 mph (180 km/h), making it the fastest standard production Simca ever built. [ [http://www.simcatalbotclub.org/scoupe.htm SIMCA 1000 COUPE, SIMCA 1200S COUPE ] ] In 1967 a much more up to date car, the 1100, appeared with front wheel drive and independent suspension all round, and continued in production until 1979. On 1 July 1970the company title was formally changed to Chrysler France.
The collapse of Chrysler Europe
The most successful pre-Chrysler Simca models were the Aronde, the Simca 1000 and the front engined 1100 compact car. During the late 1970s Chrysler era, Simca produced the new 160/180 saloon, 1307 range (
Chrysler Alpinein the UK) and later the Horizon ( Dodge Omniand Plymouth Horizonin the USA), both of which were European Car of the Yearon their launch. However, Chrysler's forced marriage of Simca and Rootes was not a happy one, and Chrysler Europe collapsed in 1977 and the remains were sold to Peugeotthe following year. The Rootes models were quickly killed off, and the Simca-based Alpine / 1307 and Horizon soldiered on through the first half of the 1980s using the resurrected Talbot badge. The last car to carry the Simca badge was the 1980 Solara, a 1307 with a boot, but by 1981 this had become a Talbot. Fact|date=July 2007
Peugeot eventually grew tired of the Talbot brand, and the last Simca design was launched as
Peugeot 309(instead of Talbot Arizona as had been originally planned), and this was the end of this French brand. The Peugeot 309 used Simca engines until October 1991 when they were replaced by PSA's own TU and XU series of engines. The 309 was produced at the former Rootesfactory in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, UK as well as in the Poissy plant.
Simcas can still be seen on the road in several
European countries and were also manufactured in Brazil, Spainand Finland.
The last Simca-based car to cease production was the Horizon-based
Dodge Omni, which was built in the USA until 1990.
In popular culture
* The Spanish parody group
Los Inhumanosreleased a popular party song titled "Qué difícil es hacer el amor en un Simca 1000" ("How difficult it is to make love in a Simca 1000").
* Les Chevaliers du Fiel French parody duo released a song titled "Je te prendrai nue dans la Simca 1000".
* The French singer Alain Souchon composes in 2005 a song that evocates a "Simca rouillée".
* One of Brazilian rock group
Camisa de Vênusgreatest commercial hits is a song called "Simca Chambord".
* In the classic Brazilian TV Series
Vigilante Rodoviário, the main character, Inspector Carlos, drives a 1959 Simca Chambord. The series was so popular in the 60s that the actor who played the main character regularly appears in classic car owners meetings with the same car used in the series.
* The protagonists of the 1964 film "
Band of Outsiders" by Jean-Luc Godarddrive a Simca convertible.
Michael Palinconfirms in his 1969-1979 diaries that he purchased a new Simca in 1970.
* A character in the manga series Air Gear is named Simca. This character is also dubbed the "flying swallow" by other characters in the manga.
Simca 5= Fiat TopolinoA+B
Simca 6= Fiat TopolinoC
Simca 8= Fiat 508C
Simca 11= Fiat 518Ardita
Simca Vedette(also manufactured in license by Simca do Brasilwith the names Simca Chambord, Simca Alvorada, Simca Profissionaland Simca Présidence)
Simca Jangada(Brazilian model)
Simca Esplanada(Brazilian model)
Simca Regente(Brazilian model)
Simca Tufão(Brazilian model)
Simca GTX(Brazilian model)
Simca 1000 Bertone Coupe
* Simca 1300/1500-1301/1501
Simca 1200S Bertone Coupe
* Chrysler-Simca 1609/1610/2-Litre
* Matra-Simca Bagheera
* Matra-Simca Rancho
* Simca 1307/1308/1309/1510
* Simca Horizon
* Talbot-Simca Solara
* [http://www.simcatalbotclub.org/ The British SIMCA / MATRA / TALBOT Club]
* [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/motoring/2004/0804/2533558803MOT04MARQUE.html A capsule history of the marque]
* [http://www.centuryinter.net/SIMCA/ American Simca owners page]
* [http://www.simcaclub.com/ Simcas in the Netherlands]
* [http://www.simcamatrasportsclub.nl/indexframeset01.htm Dutch Simca/Matra club]
* [http://www2.uol.com.br/bestcars/classicos/simca-1.htm Brazilian Simcas' history]
* [http://www.simca.com.br Brazilian Simca Club]
* [http://www.thecobraferrariwars.com/1543309.html Abarth Simca 2000 - Photos and Information]
* [http://www.ekeren-ton.nl The Simca 8 site]
* [http://www.clubsimca.com] Club Simca France
* [http://membres.lycos.fr/electroniko/simca1000rallye.htm] Simca 1000 rallye de légende
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