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Back Alley Simca Sighting


While driving down an gravel alley yesterday, I wondered if there might be any old cars stashed nearby. Within seconds of having that thought I looked to me left and was greeted by this sight. At first I thought it might be an Imp, but then I noticed the four-doors and hood emblem. This was a Simca 1000 and it had obviously been there a while. Simcas are not exactly common in this part of the country so further investigation was required.

If at first you don’t succeed…


It is always a good practice to ask permission before snooping around someone’s yard, so I went around the block to knock on the front door. After ringing the door bell, I waited… and waited… and waited. No answer. I could hear the shuffle of feet and a slight creaking of the floor, but no one opened the door. There was a microwave meal stuffed in the mail drop and a heavy steel outer door with a lock. It didn’t take much investigation to determine that an elderly person lived there and they did not like company.


I could have given up then, but I wanted to know what that little French car was doing in the wilds of Wyoming. I plugged the address of the house into the browser on my phone and after a little searching was able to located a phone number. Of course my call was ignored, but this time an answering machine gave me an opportunity to state my intentions.


Within an hour my phone rang. It was the grand daughter of the 70 year old woman who lived in the house. She may no take kindly to company, but the grand daughter was very friendly. I told her that I would like to look at the car, but wanted to have her go ahead before entering the property. She said I was welcomed to look around, but that the car may have already sold. Someone beat me to it!

You gotta know when to fold ’em


I went ahead and inspected the car. It was complete and solid. Especially considering that it had been exposed to the elements for at least a couple of decades. There was evidence that it had been on the road up through the seventies and even had 3 licenses plates layered over each other on the front bumper to prove it.


The rear mounted engine was still in place and someone had even removed the battery before parking it. I have read that these were fun little cars to drive. Their 65% rear weight bias provided traction in the rear and a light steering feel up front. Not unlike a Porsche, but a lot less power to get you in trouble. Simca even built a Rallye version for serious enthusiasts!


Someone obviously loved this little red car. It had provided years of service and was then carefully parked behind the house instead of being traded in for something newer. I called the grand daughter back to ask her about the possibility of purchasing the car. She said that it had belonged to her grandmother and that she had given it to her daughter. I was now talking to a third generation family member who had had this car in their life. I love the chase, but when she said it had been promised to a family friend, I knew it was time to fold. Well, maybe…


  1. Don

    I thought Simca was Latka’s girlfriend on Taxi.

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  2. Wayne

    I’m sure if you asked any of the old timers at Chrysler they would have said “big mistake”!

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  3. Charles

    I remember those things when I was a kid. There were a couple of them around town. Have not seen one in many years.

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  4. David

    Barnfinds project car in the near future?

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  5. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    In Wyoming Jesse ?! A Simca in the middle of the wild wild west ?! Go figure.
    Here’s another piece in the fabric of life we all wear I’ll share with all- couple days ago young man brings his car into the shop for a scheduled maintenance & he’s a new customer & I’m asking for basic personal info to write a work order & I ask his address- he gives it & immediately I recognize the address. I say- really that’s down close to so & so, I mention landmarks & streets & he confirms. What is interesting here is my oldest friend in the world had lived at that address, that townhouse, some 35 years ago ! Now there’s about 10 miles distance between where we were standing & where he was living & as a college student at Ohio State he could have chosen one of thousands of places to live in the campus area. So… I tell him the ‘tie’ of course he’s floored & amazed- I text friend & tell him & he is the same ! What are the chances ?? Moral to this story ? Never be afraid to ask questions- you might make a new friend & find something special as a bonus !

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  6. Will

    I remember when our next door neighbor brought one of these home. It was brand new. I watched my dad inspect it thoroughly My dad was a VW lover and very much liked having another rear engined car in the neighborhood. I think I was in the second grade.

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  7. Ian

    I worked for the irish importer of Simcas in the 60s,in Dublin. they were a fun and pretty well handling car.

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  8. mtshootist1

    I’m surprised that it ever made it there. Having traveled extensively around the State of Wyoming, based out of Cheyenne, I saw many a foreign car, primarily VWs, burned out and on the side of the road. Must have been brand new when it arrived and never left town.

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  9. gizzmo

    Well, i think the buyer did something good for you. The chassis and the quarter panels are probably full of rust. All of this cars had this problem. My grandfather bought one new and two years later he sold it because it started to rust the quarter panels. The other problem they had was, that the engine position made the car not too confortable or secure to drive because the front was too light, so he had to add a bag full of sand in the trunk
    As he said, “it was one of the worst things i bought in my life”

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  10. John S. Davis

    Really enjoy your articles on here..my brother lives in Sheridan, GREAT town!

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  11. mikeH

    I didn’t have a 1000 but I had a ’69 1204. It was a very advanced, well built car. It had front wheel drive, transverse mounted engine, thermostatically operated cooling fan–all things unheard of in American cars then, but standard today. Once Chrysler stopped selling [killed] Simca, they acted like they had never heard of it. On hand parts were non-existent, and it was difficult to even get the parts dept to order them. Chrysler, like GM, has destroyed every car company they ever bought–including themselves.

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  12. AWScull

    My uncle bought one new in 62 and drove it till the floorboards rusted out. When my dad got the car all I could think is what a piece of junk after seeing how it was assembled we went looking for more ,we found 4. the man had 3 for parts and drove what looked like a new one. but he had parked it due to a radiator leak that resulted in a cracked head. We got them all for $100 and pulled them home I couldn’t get the brakes and clutch to stop leaking at the same time but it was a blast t drive in a small town were foreign cars were rare.

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  13. Mulry

    I found a ’67 1000GLS on CL a couple years ago, it had spent the better part of 25 years in one field or another outside of Waco. We got it with the intention of racing it in Lemons, but once we got into it, the entire underside of the unibody was completely shot. Nothing worth keeping other than the shell of the body, which is a shame because they are such neat looking (if pedestrian) relics. We took that one and put its body on an 86 MR2 chassis, which we race today. Strangely, the wheelbase of the SIMCA was only a couple inches shorter than the MR2, and the SIMCA is about 14″ narrower than the MR2, which wasn’t exactly a big car to start with.

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  14. michaedo

    Why you young whipper snapper.

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