French pickup or French flathead Ford V8?
We’;re staggering back into the sulfurous quagmire that is daily life in the Undertaking Car Hell garage, and we’;re feeling a require to stick to up German luxury coupes with close to-complete value depreciation with one particular of the mainstays of Project Car Hell: French autos! And not just your ordinary everyday Peugeots and Renaults but goods of the French vehicle manufacturer with the most tangled lineage: Simca.
The Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile started out out developing Fiats, then took above Ford’;s French operations, then went on to be consumed by Chrysler and merged with the bewildering array of Rootes Group marques.
Naturally, all this commingling of automotive genetic material led to some exciting — and quite French — cars, which, sadly, by no means sold especially properly in the United States. Nonetheless, enough Simcas were sold on these shores to make it possible to uncover some fascinating projects nowadays, and that is just what we have done.
The Simca Vedette has about the most fascinating lineage of any postwar European automobile, made even far more fascinating by the truth that it commenced out as a 100-% pure Detroit auto. The Ford Motor Organization anticipated a period of financial depression following Globe War II, so they created the Ford Vedette as a small, V8-60 flathead-powered sedan to promote to presumably income-strapped Americans. As it turned out, the economic climate boomed like by no means prior to right after the war, and so Ford built the Vedette, which boasted the very first-ever use of a MacPherson strut front suspension in France for the European market.
Simca bought the Vedette factory from Ford, which had become weary of continuous labor disputes, and created the Vedette till 1961 (production continued in Brazil till 1969). Vedettes are not exactly simple to uncover in North America, but we searched and searched and finally found this 1954 Simca Vedette Trianon in southwestern Colorado (go right here if the listing disappears). Asking price? Just 500 bucks!
The interior is obliterated in that special way that you get in large-altitude deserts with 2-% humidity and solar flux not unlike that on the surface of Mercury and practically all the paint has been irradiated into nonexistence, but the vendor says there’;s just “A Minor RUST.” V8-60s that sit for decades (as this one particular seems to have carried out) tend to have caught valves and other troubles, but perhaps the dry climate has spared this 1 from complete and long lasting seizure. If not… effectively, these engines are quite simple to discover.
The Aronde was Simca’;s very first non-Fiat-based mostly vehicle, and it was built in every single imaginable configuration: convertible, coupe, sedan, van, and — of program — a pickup-truck edition. Given that Americans in the late 1950s could purchase huge, sturdy pickups for low-cost from any quantity of domestic makers, the demand for tiny French pickups with 1290-cc engines wasn’;t specifically mind-boggling.
Still, at least 1 Aronde pickup was offered here in 1958, and we have found it for you: this 1958 Simca Aronde pickup in Georgia (go here if the listing disappears). Like all Craigslist sellers with a beat-to-crap weird outdated automobile, this one particular refers to this truck as a “RAT ROD,” but it really is actually the starting stage for a meticulous restoration back to showroom condition. Given that it has no engine, no interior, no glass, no trim, and plenty of rust (“WAS Kept Underneath A SHELTER, THE RAIN BLEW IN AND Triggered IT TO RUST,” in accordance to the CAPS LOCK-enamored seller), that restoration will maintain you occupied for, properly, eternity.
Get a lot more car information, evaluations and view every single day: Indicator up to have the Autoweek Day-to-day Drive delivered appropriate to your inbox.