Rare French Classic: 1950 Simca 8 Sport

While build totals can’t be confirmed, the Simca 8 Sport could be considered to be a rare French classic. Bringing together renowned designers and builders, the car that rolled off the production line possessed classic lines that hold up well today. This 1950 example will need to be restored, but most of the parts required to commence that process are included in the sale. It also has the potential to be an affordable project because bidding has only reached $3,050, and the reserve has been met. Located in Tacoma, Washington, you will find the Simca listed for sale here on eBay.

The Simca 8 first appeared on the French market in 1937 and remained in production until 1951. It was considered to be basic transportation for the masses and held no significant sporting pretensions. This all changed in 1948 when Battista “Pinin” Farina was commissioned to pen a Sport version. The result was a classically elegant vehicle with panels made from aluminum. Due to the low-volume nature of the Sport, construction was contracted by Simca to Facel S.A. The good news for potential buyers is that this car does appear to be mostly complete. All of the chrome and trim pieces appear to be present, and they look to be in a restorable state. The frame and bows for the convertible top are also present and are said to function as they should. The body has a few marks on it, but the panels won’t take a lot of work to return them to their best. The frame wears a coating of surface corrosion and would benefit from a media blast and repaint. There are some holes in the floors, but I think that these could be addressed with patches.

The interior of the Simca will require plenty of attention, but at least it isn’t missing many parts. It appears that the clock is gone, along with a few of the minor switches and the grilles for the air vents. The seat frames and springs are there but will require new foam and covers. The same is true of the door trims, while the dash and gauges will need to be refurbished. A new section will need to be fabricated for the transmission tunnel, and the carpet will probably have to be custom made to fit. The wheel will also require restoration, but undertaking this task should be no more complicated than for any other classic from this period.

When the 8 Sport was introduced, the engine bay featured a 1,098cc 4-cylinder engine, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. At about the time that this car was built, the capacity was increased to 1,221cc. The basic engine was designed by Fiat and initially would have pumped out 50hp in the Sport. The larger-capacity unit did provide a modest power boost to 52hp. That means that the Sport was not a fast car, but it could spring a surprise due to its low weight. This vehicle is not numbers-matching, but it does come with one of the larger engines. There is a transmission in the car, and it appears that another two are included in the sale. It isn’t clear what state the engine is in, but a rebuild may be on the cards. The buyer might also need to do some hunting because this engine doesn’t feature the twin carburetors and matching intake that were a standard part of this package.

When we think of classic sports cars from the 1950s, more often than not, we will be thinking of offerings from Britain. The Simca 8 Sport is like a breath of fresh air, and it is a rare car. Many of the mechanical components that this car features would have been shared with the basic Simca 8. That means that sourcing parts should not be difficult. If a classic sports car has been on your radar, but you are seeking something different, then this is a car that would be worth a closer look.

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Comments

  1. Bultaco

    Is this the car Grace Kelly (I think) drove around Monte Carlo in “To Catch a Thief”?

    Like 1
    • James HGF

      Grace Kelly drove a Sunbeam Alpine.

      However a Simca 8 Sport did feature, with and without bodywork in the 1960 movie “Zazie dans le Metro”. Ten year old Zazie sets out to see Paris resulting in outrageous chaos. Available on Amazon, it’s a fun flick for car spotters. From ’51 & ’55 Caddy convertibles and 1935 Matford (emphasis on “ford”) V8-48 coupé de Ville to the spectacular windows galore French tour bus. Take a look at the IMCDb dot org thumbnails:

      https://www.imcdb.org/movie.php?id=54494

      Like 3
      • James A. Mogey

        Looks as if one could base a restoration on these photographs!

    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      That was a Sunbeam Alpine. Ken Tilly UK

  2. James HGF

    Simca 8 sports are extremely good looking limited production cars . Not fast , but a few were raced and they provided the basis for Roger Barlow’s Specials.

    Having most of the little bits and basically rust free makes this a car to restore for one with skills, time (Pandemic) and (some ?) money to spare.

    This Arctural car sold for just € 29,000 in Oct 2019 – 20 plus photos:

    https://www.artcurial.com/en/node/1129575

    Like 4
    • JolietJake Member

      Thank You for the link… Great to see one all restored!

      Like 3
  3. James HGF

    The Roger Barlow Specials looked a bit like the early Ferrari 166 with cycle fenders. Looks aside the Barlow specials were successful. Raced at a variety of venues including Pebble Beach.

    The Veloce Today page “And How! Bob Temple at Palm Springs” opens with a photo of Barlow mechanic Bill Pringle at the wheel of #5. Photos include Nardi Danese Chevy (not a V8 of course), formula III Cooper, Crosley Scorpion, Al Coppel’s Palm Springs winning MG Special, Brooklands Riley, Seigried Mercury Special, Sterling Edwards Special, the “Yellow Beast” a 32 valve Stutz and more – text & photo captions expound:

    https://velocetoday.com/and-how-bob-temple-at-palm-springs/

    After taking in all above click on “Studebaker Proving Grounds” link in the text for more amazing machines. When was the last time you saw a front wheel drive special powered by a V8 made from two Austin 750 fours? There’s a Simca 8 that was raced, one of the earliest (the first series?) Porsche cabriolets with a split windscreen and a smooth customized Ford convertible and more.

    BTW the Healey Silverstone is fourth in line behind the Allard J2 in the photo of the SCCA regional race grid.

    Like 4
    • MikeH

      What great pics!! Thanks

      Like 2
  4. SamM

    Would it be terrible to do a period hat rod with this? Flatly Ford or an early Cad, either with a period McCulloch blower and a 4 speed,, early 5 spoke mags,
    It’d be fun, I think

    Like 1
    • Elanguy

      There was a nicely done, in period, Simca with a Ford V8 60 and some period speed equipment,
      https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1951-simca-8-sport-convertible/

      Like 1
      • SamM

        That’s what I had in mind

    • Charles Sawka

      You would essentially need to build a chassis. The light components of the Simca couldn’t take the weight and torque.

  5. JolietJake Member

    Thank You, Barn Finds! This is why I check your site out every a.m. I’m 69 yrs. old and never saw a Simca sportscar before, I only remember the compact sedan from the 50’s? 60’s? and saw them rarely in the Chicago area. VERY cool… I’d like to see what the buyer does with it.

    Like 1
  6. V12MECH

    I was thinking the same thing, keep the original driveline, install something era correct that doesn’t add too much weight up front, to keep some handling balance, and stock appearance.

    Like 1
  7. Mike

    Sold for $8,700. Seems like a good deal for such a cool car.

    Like 1
  8. Charles Sawka

    Late model Japanese running gear. Easy to do.

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