Curious Creation: 1948 Simca Custom Cabriolet

1948 Simca Cabriolet Custom

It is quite hard to comprehend what is for sale before you. This car is listed as a 1948 Simca cabriolet and can be purchased for a buy-it-now price of $12,500. You can also make an offer. The question is, what are you making an offer on? There is a lot of deciphering that needs to be done in order to understand the listing. The seller is kind enough to provide their phone number to call and ask them questions. They say that there is no VIN markings on the car, but the clean Waukesha, Wisconsin title has something listed in the VIN section. Thank you, Ikey H, for the tip. You can view more on eBay.

1948 Simca Cabriolet Custom

The four cylinder engine has 33,112 miles on it, at least according to the odometer. While the engine does turn, hey have not tried to turn it over for fear of damaging the engine, but they have the ever famous, ran when parked, notated. How long has it been sitting? They are unsure. There are some gray areas about the listing.

1948 Simca Cabriolet Custom

The car is claimed to be a “vintage survivor” yet, only a sentence later, the car is said to have been customized by a body shop in the 1950s. Later on, they describe how it is unknown how many original parts remain on the car. Then they suggest that you’d have a hard time finding another Simca, especially in convertible form. That is supposedly good news, as it means you should definitely restore it. If we’ve learned anything over the years, it is how hard it really is to restore a car that is one of one.

1948 Simca Cabriolet Custom

I have done some quick Google searches and read up briefly on Simca, and I am quite certain that if this is a 1948 Simca, there is nothing left of its original body. I also found that the car was for sale before, at an increased price. The seller suggests that this car should not be taken on by an inexperienced restorer. Yet, at the same time, this car seems to me to scream for a total tear down and wild custom build. Hopefully, someone out there can set the record straight on what this car actually is.


  1. canadainmarkseh

    Very interesting roadster but quite the odd duck. In my opinion rare does not mean valuable and the case of this car it’s never going to be real valuable. If your going to restore it you will be making not finding a lot of the parts. Restoring to original is not impossible but it is impractical. As it sits right now I’d say $5k at the very most and even that is optimistic. I personally would keep it looking as original as possible but changes would be made to the drive line. I would find a Toyota with a 22r engine and sr5 transmission, I’d take everything I could out of the Toyota and transplant it into this car. Then I’d restore the body and paint it red with black fenders. I’d put on a new black top and black leather interior. The work that this needs just doesn’t justify the price. Nice find though.

    Like 5
  2. James HGF

    The chassis and all mechanical components for this American “special” (not a sports car special) is a 1949 (serial numbers 851.383 – 862.380) Simca 8 and whether it’s registered as a ’48 or ’49 doesn’t impact the value.

    The Simca 8 is of course a Fiat 1100 built in France with the most prized being the elegant Simca 8 Sport cabriolets and coupes of 1948 – 1951.

    The eBay Simca has a sedan chassis and that’s good starting point as the Fiat 1100 and Simca 8 were the basis for a large number of carrosserie built series and one off machines. That’s not to mention all the etceterini sports car specials that took to the Italian roads based on Fiat 500 & 1100 mechanicals.

    Rather than change the engine/gearbox I’d (if I were younger) be inclined to sell the body work and start anew with light weight “specials” body work and Fiat 1100 performance upgrades.

    Like 5
  3. James HGF

    Roger Barlow’s Simca Specials were recognized as a threat to much larger displacement cars in US competition.

    Here’s a photo of Roger Barlow racing in the 1951 Pebble Beach main event – click on the Pebble Beach link to review the Racing Sports Car’s results:

    Note that Barlow finished behind 2 Allards, 1 XK120, and Phil Hill in his impressive Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B and in front of Jackie Cooper in his XK120, John von Newmann in his MGTD Special, Panzer in another Allard, Jack McAfee in a super charged MG TC and the Cannon Mk1 Mercury Special.

    Like 7
  4. JohnfromSC

    The readership of BF is what makes it great. My thanks to James HGF for this one, and also to many more of you for sharing your expert knowledge across many diverse postings.

    Merry Christmas, et. al.

    Like 9
  5. Solosolo ken tillyUK Member

    If the body is to be re built to existing specs it could be a really nice little runabout. I owned a 1958 Simca Aronde 1300cc, I think, and the only reason that I moved it on was because every time I used the clutch my knee would sound the horn as the horn ring was UNDER the steering wheel.

    Like 3
  6. William Cockayne Member

    Way cool, I would clean it up try to get it running put a weekend worth of body and paint work on and drive it. Then again I would have to buy it for 3 or 4 thou. Be a good little cruiser with later brakes and drivetrain. Datsun B210 setup would work well. Beats all the VW based replicas any day.

    Like 4
  7. steve sammut Member

    What is nice about barn finds is that the comments are usually more “macro” of the mark, rather than the “micro” version, as in “hey that one bolt on the far end of the head that you have to crane your neck to see….I don’t think it is right”. Crap like that. I have no interest in this car, but wanted to read the comments hoping someone could enlighten the group on this particular model….and I wasn’t disappointed. Thanks for the information as well as the picture. Quite a difference between that sweet racing machine and what is shown here.

    By the way…$5K to restore? I must have read that wrong.

    Like 3
  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Someone with a good eye and metal working talent could make some subtle changes to this car and come up with a neat looking car. Way too much money for what isn’t there….

    Like 2
  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    I’ll bet that there’s someone out there looking for old Harley fenders that would love to have the rears off this car.

    Like 2
  10. John B. Mc

    What this car is-over priced!!!

  11. Little_Cars

    Hood sides appear to be Chevrolet truck from a decade before. Stude wheelcovers. At first glance, I thought I was looking at a Siata Spring, but much better proportions especially in the rump area on this Simca.

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