8k Mile French Survivor: 1968 Simca 1100 SCV

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The Simca 1100 Series was one of France’s biggest-selling autos, accounting for sales of two million units between 1967 and 1982. But not that many made their way to the U.S., sold through Plymouth’s network of dealers. This nice example from 1968 came over via a different path as a personal import in 1999. It looks to need little if anything and still wears its European license plates. Located in Salinas, California, this innovative ride is available here on craigslist for $16,500. Another cool tip brought to us by Barn Finder “numskal.”

These vehicles started as 5-door hatchbacks and were considered ahead of their time by many. The 1100 was the first family car to combine a transversely mounted engine and front-wheel-drive with unibody construction, something that would become more commonplace by the 1980s. Add to that an independent suspension and disc brakes and the cars were different than what some competitors were peddling at the time.

As the story goes, this car was part of a French collection (we assume after arriving in the U.S.). The Simca has a 994-cc 4-cylinder engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. The odometer reads in kilometers, but the mileage converts to under 8,000, so the machine has seen very little use over time. The mileage looks fabulous with the only flaw perhaps being a splotch on the burgundy paint on the trunk lid. The interior looks like it has hardly been sat in.

Some minor work has been recently done, presumably to get ready for the road. That includes a tune-up, coolant and brake fluid servicing, and a valve adjustment. The tires are said to be like new, so we hope that means they’ve been swapped at some point due to age. The auto comes with a few spare parts which may be handy as we’re not sure of their availability in the U.S. after 56 years. If you’re looking for something different for Cars & Coffee, could this Simca be it?

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Comments

  1. Philo

    Wasn’t the Dodge Omni based on a Simca platform?

    Like 0
  2. Herbert

    The French have good cheese and wine, plus pretty girls. Cars? Not so much.

    Like 4
    • JYC

      😳

      Like 0
  3. Steve

    It’s about $10,000 too much.

    Like 6
  4. alphasudMember

    When I see comments about a certain cars build quality or reliability sometimes it is from one person’s personal experience but often times it’s from what we hear from other people. If one was to compare reliability of the old cars to a modern counterpart old cars were generally crap. Old cars were much more simple but they broke with greater frequency than a modern one.
    I have been working on cars most of my adult life. I have come to the conclusion that there were some cars built better than others but they all break down. My first car a VW Beetle left me walk more times then my 80’s and 90’s VW. Most everyone would say the bug was a tough and reliable little car. The French built cars for the masses in their home market. They too were tough reliable little cars.
    A lot of it boiled down to the dealer and parts network. Little imports brought to the US market had neither good parts or dealer support. Technicians of the time didn’t like the little imports. Human nature is if you don’t like something you don’t care to work on them. In my over 35 years working primarily on European cars I witnessed this first hand. Techs would get stumped on a problem and instead of trying harder to become a better tech they chose to hate the brand. Customers suffered. Just realize it’s probably not the cars fault they got a bad rap but the support structure.

    Like 28
    • sixone

      Great comment! I would make damn sure I knew somebody to work on it before I bought it if I couldn’t fix it myself.

      Like 7
    • HoA HoAMember

      Thank you, as well. I’ve often heard some cars were poor, mainly because of what their old man experienced, often with poor to little maintenance, like my old man, then complain when it breaks. All cars basically come off the line the same. It’s what happens after that determines how well it lasts. I took have been around cars and trucks my life, and can say without reservation, except subtle differences, one really isn’t much different than the rest.

      Like 6
      • Rick

        You and I must be siblings. My dad didn’t like to get his hands dirty and neglected the maintenance on anything mechanical. Then, when it wouldn’t start or had thrown a rod he’d complain that gasoline engines were a curse. He was his own worst enemy.

        Like 3
    • ramblergarage

      Well said. I have had numerous French cars over the years and most were very reliable and fun to drive and very comfortable as well.

      Like 5
      • Rick

        French cars were noted for their very comfortable seating.

        Like 2
  5. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    Does it come with a white flag?

    Like 7
  6. HoA HoAMember

    Ha! I think I beat the comment snafu, if it doesn’t register on the # of comments, simply delete, and try again,,still a PITA.
    In my religion, Simcha means, joy or gladness. We’d laugh at the few we saw, “there goes one of those Simchas”, we’d say. Simcha unfortunately had a speckled past. It seems Chrysler bought part of Simca from Ford, a decision it later regretted. Chrysler got out of Europe around 1977, right when Mitsubishi came on the scene. While it may look like a Fiat, they couldn’t hold a candle to the French. I bet this was a good car, like all French cars.
    Now for parts. Seems NAPA has some mechanical Simca parts, but looks like Frenchy to supply a fender.

    Like 4
    • Daymo

      Nearly, but not quite. Simca was bought out by the Rootes Group, not Ford, which in turn was bought out by Chrysler Europe. Then Chrysler Europe was bought by PSA (Peugeot) and renamed Talbot.
      Think Hillman Avenger (Rootes) > Chrysler Avenger (badged Plymouth Cricket in the US) > Talbot Avenger (PSA).
      Incidentally, the van versions of this car were sold under the Dodge brand in parts of Europe!

      Like 5
      • z1rider

        Daymo and HOA, the Ford connection revolves around the sale of Ford’s French operations to Simca in late 1954. Simca, was at the time building versions of Fiats under license, and was in need of greater production capacity. Ford had a plant in Poissy, a suburb of Paris and that was part of the sale. Simca moved production of the cars they were building to the plant in Poissy but also continued to build the designs Ford had been building, rebadged as Simca’s, but retaining the Vedette name for the model. They also built a few Comete’s which had also previously been built by Ford.

        Like 5
      • MikeH

        Thanks z1rider. I am familiar with Ford’s Vedette brand and Simca’s Vedette model. I always thought it strange that Simca would use Vedette as a model name. Now it makes sense.

        Like 2
  7. Jonathan Green

    The only thing I’d be concerned about is a service manual.

    I’ve had the pleasure of reading some service manuals that have been translated from a foreign language to English, and holy hell, it’s unreadable, along the lines of:

    “When to make adjustments chainwise for the drive, using of a tool of adequate dimensions is the rule. Enter the fastener from topside and accordingly move with force until results are achieved.”

    Like 6
    • Rick

      Well why didn’t you tootle the authors with vigor? ;)

      Like 2
    • HoA HoAMember

      The Jonathan Green? I know it must be a hassle having the same name as a celebrity, but I listened to “The Green House”, on WTMJ in Milwaukee for years, hosted by a Jonathan Green. He was a very clever guy. If not, disregard last transmission.

      Like 0
  8. numskalMember

    Is it possible the “blotch” on the trunk is part of the reflection of the building it
    is next to? in other photos on the ad there is a palm tree reflection on the trunk in one photo and the building reflection is on the other side of the trunk lid in another

    Like 3
    • kenneth tiven

      absolutely a reflection… too geometric to be a splotch. French car criticism is largely a reflection of the dealers in USA and the lack of car knowledge on the buyers. In my college years I worked in a VW Porsche shop in Yellow springs ,Ohio and proprietor Lou Gregg would only work on said brand. One slow day has asked to take in a Renault Dauphine for a brake job. On the lift the left rear drum would not come off so a puller device was attached and it came off in a burst… striking Lou in the chest, falling to the shop floor and severing a trouble light cable in a s tower of sparks. We didn’t know whether to cry or laugh.When Louie recovered from the shock he said, “only VWs and Porsches. If I forget remind me! and finished the brake job. Incidentally we had a Peugeot 403 won that we used to tow the trailer with the race card to SCCA events around the midwest, circa 1964-67 . IN later years the shop moved to Fairborn and was a BMW dealer. If anyone remembers Lou Gregg, let me know at tivinc@mac.com

      Like 0
  9. TG

    If I’da know one of these could supposedly be worth anywhere that much I’d of kept the ’65 1000 that was my first ride in HS even tho the engine location was different.

    Like 1
  10. jwaltb

    Price is a joke.

    Like 2
  11. luckless pedestrian

    Ha… been a while since I’ve thought about these. When I was a kid the neighbor across the street had one.. red like this. He had it quite awhile if I remember. It was a bit odd at the time… at least where we lived. But then again, at the same time my Dad was sporting an MG 1100… also in red. We were at the odd end of the street.

    Like 1
  12. Derek

    We had one in the mid-70s; my dad liked it because it was quite quick. Still badged as an 1100 but was a 1300 twin carb. Never broke down that I remember, but we had to carry water for the radiator.

    51 is Marne departement.

    Like 1
  13. Tim

    It wasn’t the first family hatchback. The Renault 16 as well as the Austin (and Morris) 1800 appeared in 1965. Arguably, Kaiser got there first in the early fifties.

    No matter what badge they carried, these Simcas were tough little cars that deserved more respect than they got.

    You can get an excellent workshop manual for almost any car from haynes.com, in England.

    Like 0
    • Derek

      The landcrabs had a boot; the Austin Maxi’s the equivalent-sized hatchback. 1969-on, I think. Austin A40 had a hatchback – the Farina rather than the Counties one – but not all of them.

      Like 0
      • Tim

        Oops, you’re right. I am so partial to landcrabs that I can forgive them for that omission.

        Like 0
  14. SaabGirl900

    Occasionally, I will stay up late enough to watch Mannix on MeTV. Peggy Fair, Joe Mannix’ faithful secretary, drove a Simca for the first two seasons before driving a Valiant and then a Dodge Colt. I think Peggy’s Colt was blue…

    Like 3
    • Tim

      You have a brilliant memory!

      Like 1
      • SaabGirl900

        Thank you! Before I went Saab, I had nothing but Chrysler products and was a total A-body geek. I guess I still am!

        Like 1
    • Jim

      I had a crush on Peggy when I was a kid… and Mannix was my hero. And, yes, I remember all the cars on that show, too.

      Like 2
    • HoA HoAMember

      I’m impressed, that was a very popular show, and you are correct, it was a blue 1100. That role she played was actually very important, as she was one of the 1st black women to star in a TV series. Being a “”Saab Girl”, you must be familiar with the movie “Crazy People”, where one of the patients at the mental hospital, walks around muttering the praises of the Saab 99. If you like cars and Dudley Moore, I won’t give the ending away, but it was hilarious.

      Like 0
      • SaabGirl900

        Howard! You are my hero on this website. You are so informative and I love all of your reminisces.

        Yes, I have seen Crazy People……the Saab in question appears to be a ’74 99 GL.

        I loved Gail Fisher on Mannix…smart, pretty and tough. Loved Mike Connors as well, but I don’t know how he survived the series….on just about every episode, Mannix gets the living crap beaten out of him. I started watching Mannix for the cars….ever notice how the bad guys usually drove Imperials or big Chryslers? But the story lines were intelligent and drew you right jnto the episode. Thank God for Freevee…..at least
        T if I want to watch Mannix, II don’t have to stay up until 2AM to watch it…..

        Like 0
  15. Jim C

    All the nasty remarks on here. I LOVE this car! A little pricey and on the opposite coast, but this is such a find. I haven’t even seen one of these in decades! I remember well when Chrysler was marketing these. So sharp, and this one is pristine. I’ll take this over yet another boring muscle car any day!!

    Like 4
  16. 370zpp 370zppMember

    Poissy?

    Like 0
    • JYC

      Yes, like 40-50 miles away west of Paris.

      Like 0
    • z1rider

      Maybe not exactly a suburb of Paris but the plant Ford built in 1939, in Poissy, was completed less than a year before the Nazis invaded France and it is still in use by the PSA group. I drove by it on my way to the 25 hours of Lemans in 2016 where Ford made its return to the Sarthe.

      Like 0
      • z1rider

        Sure wish there was an edit function, I meant…….the 24 hours of LeMans”……

        Like 0

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