Here’s an unusual one; go figure, coming from me. This t-square special is a 1969 Simca 1118. What a sexy name! 1118! If you’re dead-set against square cars, this one isn’t for you, this car defines the “three-box design” better than a lot of cars do. This little French wonder is on craigslist with an asking price of $3,000 and it’s located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California.
I absolutely love the front of this car, there’s just something about it that gets to me. I wish that the designers, which had roots in Italy as well as in France, had carried out that funky coolness throughout the rest of the car. The Simca 1000 was marketed in the US as the 1118, for its engine displacement.
The back end is.. no wait, this is still the front end.. just kidding. The Simca Mille (1000) is a light car, weighing about 1,600 pounds (730 kg) with only 35% of that weight being in the front. Yep, this is a rear-engine car, and luckily it’s a rear-wheel drive car so as far as traction goes it should be snow-country-friendly. This car weighs over 100 pounds less than a VW beetle does, for a comparison. Inside the “hood”, which is actually the “trunk“, or boot, looks good, although the battery appears to be missing, for some reason? Maybe it’s on a trickle charger or something. And, it’s wet in there, hopefully the hood/trunk seals are good, I’m not sure why it would be wet in there?
I see a lot of Fiat in this car, and in fact, the president of Simca at the time of this car’s design was born in Italy and had known Fiat’s founder. Fiat held the majority stake in Simca until 1963. The Simca Mille, or 1000, was made from 1961 all the way to 1978 and 7,776 of them were made in 1969.
You can see that the door panels are missing, that can’t be good. The seller mentions that this car “drives, stops, current reg in my name. The main seal leaks oil but I have new seals and some other important parts.” I wonder if any of those “important parts” are the door panels? There are two other interior photos, one of the dash and one of the transistor radio, both of which look to be in nice condition. I think the seats have been recovered, too, not that anyone would buy this car in hopes of restoring it for Pebble Beach with the exact interior fabrics and patterns.
Here’s the rear-engine powering this little Boîte (box): a 1.1L, 1,118 CC inline-four with around 56 hp. There will simply not be any tire-screeching with this car, other than maybe on some tight corners. If a person were looking for a highly-unusual car and knew a good, French mechanic, this could be a good one to check out. There doesn’t appear to be any rust on the car and other than an oil leak and it needing door cards, it would be an interesting car for jaunts around the city.