Simca first appeared in 1934, making Fiat cars under license in their factory at Nanterre which had previously produced the Donnet cars. For many years the fortunes of Simca were closely linked to those of the tuning wizard Amédée Gordini and many competition successes were achieved including class wins in the 1949-50 Alpine and Monte Carlo rallies in the hands of drivers such as Jean Behra and Johny Claes.
The Simca 8 Sports Coupé made its debut in 1949 and was shown at Earls Court in 1950 in convertible and fixed-head form; the latter had an aluminum body made under license from Pininfarina by Facel Métallon who later became known for their work with the Facel Vega car. It was a handsome car which attracted a great deal of attention. In this form it was fitted with a 1221cc Simca engine developing 50 hp with a quoted top speed of 85 mph.
The car pictured here is the Super Sports version, sometimes known as the Mille Miglia. It uses the twin overhead cam two-liter Fiat-Simca engine which produces 110 hp and has a top speed of 125 mph. Coil-spring independent front suspension is fitted and modifications include center lock wire wheels, a five-speed gearbox and dual circuit servo assisted brakes with discs at the front. Described as being in good condition throughout and finished in gleaming black with green interior trim, this is an extremely rare car which exemplifies the art of the coachbuilder during the highly creative period of the early ’50s and should be suitable for high-speed touring or as an asset to any collection.
|1951 Simca 8 Super Sport
|Original List Price:
|Standard Sport Model $3,495
|Tune Up Cost:
|$25 if Fiat engine
|Chassis Number Location:
|plate on firewall
|Engine Number Location:
|right front of engine block
|Simca Club USA
|"Pre-A" Porsche 356, Bristol 401
The car described here sold for $25,300 (at .6160 Pounds Sterling to $1.00) at the Coys of Kensington Auction held May 10, 1999 in London. The Simca 8 shares more than a little in common with the Cisitalia 202 Coupe. Both are based on the same Pininfarina design and both carry a tuned Fiat or Fiat-licensed 1100cc power unit. Easily one of the prettiest cars of its day, the Cisitalia and the Simca are still stylistic standouts but hamstrung by mediocre performance from their tiny engines.
Even when the 1100 was enlarged to 1221cc in 1951, the performance wasn’t anywhere near as dynamic as the appearance of the car. This Simca however, is fitted with a two-liter twin cam unit. The auction catalog is vague on the origins of this engine-is it from a later Fiat Spider? In any event, a two-liter engine just might make a real car out of a Simca 8.
While essentially the same car as a Cisitalia, the collecting world has never gotten very excited about Simcas. A Cisitalia in driving condition should bring $35-60,000. The Simca 8 would be expected to fetch (in similar condition) much less. The added sizzle of the two-liter engine and European papers certainly increase the figure making the sale price of $25,300 a fair deal for all parties involved in the sale.