Facel Vega Automobiles 1939-1964 Paris, France

Facel Vega car logo

Facel SA
Industry Automotive
Founded Facel SA 1939
Defunct 1964
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Jean Daninos
Products Automobiles from 1954
Website www.facel.de

Facel S.A. was a French manufacturer of steel furniture and pressed steel components, later complete automobiles to their own design, founded in 1939 to make components for Bronzavia’s military aircraft. In 1945 in conjunction with Metallon Facel began to make short-run special bodies, coupés or cabriolets, for Simca, Ford, Panhard and Delahaye.

Monocoque bodies without a chassis became general for mass-produced cars and Facel lost their big customers. French niche manufacturers ended production. Metallon left the partnership in 1953. Facel set about designing and making their own complete cars using engines made by Chrysler, Volvo and Austin. Their first design named Vega was shown to the public in 1954.

Though initially successful Facel closed its factory in October 1964. Their Facellia model introduced in 1959 was under-developed and losses brought about by its warranty problems became impossible to recoup. Prior to closure Facel had been placed under the control of Sud Aviation subsidiary SFERMA.

Business history

Facel, Forges et Ateliers de Constructions d’Eure-et-Loir, was founded 20 December 1939 by Bronzavia, a French manufacturer of military aircraft to make special components. Jean Daninos, technical director of Bronzavia, had begun his career with Citroen where he assisted in the design of the Traction coupés and cabriolets. He moved to Morane-Saulnier then to Bronzavia. During WW II he worked with General Aircraft in USA who were using Bronzavia patents but he returned in 1945 and took charge of Facel. Facel merged with Metallon, a tie maintained until January 1953.

Daninos put Facel to the manufacture of short-run and special complete finished bodies for the major French brands. In conjunction with l’Aluminium Français Facel designed the all-aluminium alloy Panhard Dyna X and then built around 45,000 examples for Panhard.

Luxury cars

A luxury car division was established in 1948. It made various models of Simca Sport and drew publicity by designing with Farina and then building a special body on a Bentley Mark VI chassis. The car was named Bentley Cresta. The exercise was repeated in 1951 and named Cresta II. September 1951 saw the introduction of their Ford Comète. Production of the Comète ended in 1955 when Simca took over Ford France. The styling of the Crestas and Comètes was developed into the shape of the first Vega.

Scooter bodies, truck bodies, tractor bodies, jeeps and smaller components

During the same period Facel-Metallon pressed out body panels for: Delahaye’s army jeeps (painted and upholstered) ; Simca, Delahaye and Somua’s trucks (painted and upholstered); scooters by Vespa, Piaggio and Motobécane; tractors by Massey-Ferguson and stainless-steel bumpers, hubcaps and grilles for Simca and Ford and for Renault.


In conjunction with Hispano-Suiza Facel-Metallon and Facel also turned out for Rolls-Royce combustion chambers in special metals for their jet engines.

Facel Vega

1951 Facel-Metallon bodied Bentley Mark VI

 Facel-Metallon bodied 1951 Bentley Mark VI

The marque Facel Vega was created in 1954 by Jean Daninos (brother of the humorist Pierre Daninos, who wrote Les Carnets du Major Thompson), although the Facel company had been established by the Bronzavia Company in 1939 as a subcontracting company for the aviation industry. FACEL (Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir, in English: forge and construction workshop of the department of Eure-et-Loir) was initially a metal-stamping company but decided to expand into car manufacturing in the early 1950s. Facel entered the automobile business as a supplier of special bodies for Panhard, Delahaye and Simca.

Facel Vega FV, HK500 and Facel Vega II
Main article: Facel Vega FVS
Main article: Facel Vega Excellence
Main article: Facel Vega Facel II
1961 Facel Vega HK500 Castle Hedingham

 Facel Vega HK500 1961

The Vega production cars (FV, later and more famously the HK500) appeared in 1954 using Chrysler V8 engines, at first a 4.5-litre (275 cu in) DeSoto Hemi engine; the overall engineering was straightforward, with a tubular chassis, double wishbone suspension at the front and a live axle at the back, as in standard American practice. They were also as heavy as American cars, at about 1,800 kg (3,968 lb). Performance was brisk, with an approx 190 km/h (118 mph) top speed and 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just under ten seconds.

Most cars were two-door hardtops with no centre pillar, but a few convertibles were built. Fully 77% of production was exported, due to the punitive Tax horsepower system in France.

The 1956 model was improved with a bigger 5.4-litre (330 cu in) Chrysler engine and updated transmission and other mechanicals. In the same year production began of a four-door model, the Excellence, with rear-hinged doors (suicide doors) at the back and no centre pillar. The pillarless design unfortunately made it less rigid and the handling was thus poorer than that of the two-door cars, and surviving examples are rare.

1959 models had even bigger engines, a 5.8-litre (354 cu in) and later a 6.28-litre (383 cu in) Chrysler V8, and were quite a bit faster despite their extra weight. The final evolution of the V8 models came in 1962 with the Facel Vega II, which was lighter, with sleeker, more modern lines, substantially faster still, and famously elegant.

Facel III av

 Facel III
1959-63 Facel Vega, french sportscar, made by Facel from 1954 to 1964 in different evolution steps, this model is one of the later cars (Facellia F-2)

 Facellia F-2, 1959 to 1963

In 1960, Facel entered the sports car market with the Facellia, a small car similar in size to the then popular Mercedes 190SL. Facellias were advertised in three body styles: cabriolet, 2+2 coupé and 4-seat coupé — all with the same mechanical parts and a 2,450 mm (96.5 in) wheelbase. Styling was similar to the Facel HK500, but with rather elegant (though fingernail-breaking) flush door handles. Following Facel Vega’s demise several of M Daninos’s styling cues were “borrowed” by Mercedes-Benz. Prices were roughly US$4,000 for the Facellia, US$5,500 for the Facel III and US$6,000 for the Facel 6.

With the idea of creating a mass-produced all-French sports car competing with the Alfa Romeos, Facel moved away from American engines. The Facellia had a 4-cylinder 1.6 L DOHC engine built in France by Paul Cavallier of the Pont-à-Mousson company (which already provided manual gear boxes for the company’s larger models). The engine had only two bearings supporting each camshaft, using special steels, as opposed to the usual four or five. Despite the metallurgical experience of Pont-à-Mousson, this resulted in excessive flex, timing problems and frequent failures. Famed engineers Charles Deutsch and Jean Bertin were called in to solve the issues, but it was not enough and the engine was pronounced a disaster and the Facellia with it. Company president, Jean Daninos having been obliged to resign in August 1961 in response to the company’s financial problems, the new boss, a former oil company executive called André Belin, gave strict instructions to the after-sales department to respond to customer complaints about broken Facellia engines by replacing the units free of charge without creating “difficulties”. The strategy was intended to restore confidence among the company’s customer base. It would certainly have created a large hole in the income statement under the “warranty costs” heading, but it may have been too late for customer confidence.

Volvo engine

The troublesome engine was replaced with a Volvo B18 powerplant in the Facel III, but the damage was done. Production was stopped in 1963 and despite the vision of it being a “volume” car only 1100 were produced – still enough to make this Facel’s highest production number. Facel lost money on every car they built, the luxury car side of the company being supported entirely by the other work done by Facel Metallon, Jean Daninos’s obsession being very similar to that of David Brown of Aston Martin.

The small Facellia met with little success and the losses from this, due to strong competition at the luxury end of the market, killed off the business which closed its doors at the end of October 1964. What was, according to some, the best small Facel, the Facel 6, which used an Austin-Healey 2.8-litre engine, came too late to save the company with fewer than 30 having been produced when the financial guarantors withdrew their support.


Prominent owners of Facel Vegas (mainly of Facel IIs) included Pablo Picasso, Ava Gardner, Christian Dior, Herb Alpert, Joan Collins, Ringo Starr, Max Factor Jr, Joan Fontaine, Stirling Moss, Tony Curtis, several Saudi princes, Dean Martin, Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Louis Malle, The President of Mexico, François Truffaut, Robert Wagner, Anthony Quinn, Hassan II, King of Morocco, Debbie Reynolds, the Shah of Persia, Frank Sinatra, Maurice Trintignant, Brian Rix and French Embassies around the world. Race-car driver Stirling Moss would drive his HK500 from event to event rather than fly.

The French writer Albert Camus died in a Facel Vega FV3B driven by his publisher, Michel Gallimard. At the time of his death, Camus had planned to travel by train, with his wife and children, but at the last minute accepted his publisher’s proposal to travel with him.

In the 1989 film “Dealers”, Paul McGann, as Daniel Pascoe, drove a Facel ll.

A Facel Vega HK500 appears in computer-animated form in the film Ratatouille (Pixar, 2007), driven by one of the main characters.

A Facel Vega Facellia appeared in the music video for Caravan Palace‘s Dramophone.

A 1958 Facel Vega HK500 appeared in the 1961 Movie Goodbye Again starring Ingrid Bergman, Yves Montand and Anthony Perkins.


Facel Vega FVVega FV1956 Early Facel Vega FVS (1956 FV2B), combining the first front design with panoramic windshieldFacel Vega FVSFacel Vega HK500 HK KidFacel Vega HK500Facel Vega Facel II Coupé 89Facel Vega IIFacel-Vega Excellence front 14

1959 Facel Vega Excellence

Facel Vega Excellence EX2 Berline 2xFacel Vega ExcellenceFacel Vega Facellia                     Facel Vega Facellia


1954-1964-facel-vega-6a - kopie1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 - kopie1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 a - kopie1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 facel 6 - kopie1964 Facel Vega Facel 6, Paris Motor Show - kopieFACEL 6 Brochure - kopieFacel VI Pub2 - kopieFacel 6

1950 Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet 0011951 Facel-Metallon bodied Bentley Mark VI1954 facel vega paris1954-1964-facel-vega-6a1955 facel vega fv 1 cabrio1955 Facel Vega FV21955 Facel Vega1956 Early Facel Vega FVS (1956 FV2B), combining the first front design with panoramic windshield1956 facel excellence paris1956 facel fv-56 coupe1956 facel vega 1956 coupe1956 facel vega fvb2 convertible1957 facel excellence1957 facel vega fv31957 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon1957 Facel Vega FVS Coupe Factory Photo1957-58 facel vega1958 facel coupe1958 facel excellence1958 Facel Vega Excellence!1958 Facel Vega Excellence1958 Facel Vega Hardtop Sedan1958-61 Facel Vega HK 500, french sportscar, made by Facel1959 facel AAI176 facel vega1959 facel excellence ad1959 facel hk 5001959 Facel Vega Excellence1959-63 Facel Vega, french sportscar, made by Facel from 1954 to 1964 in different evolution steps, this model is one of the later cars (Facellia F-2)1960 facel excellence1960 facel facellia 1600 ad1960 Facel Vega Excellence gr1960 facel vega facellia paris1960 facel vega hk 500 adv1960 Facel Vega HK500 ana 45a1960 Facel Vega HK500 Saloon b1961 facel vega facel 21961 Facel Vega Facellia F21961 Facel Vega HK500 Castle Hedingham1962 facel 1962 facel II1962 facel 1962 facellia f21962 facel 1962 facellia1962 Facel Vega 21962 facel vega facellia cabrio1962 facel vega facellia tyl1963 facel vega 1963 facel III1963 facel vega facellia 2+21963 Facel Vega, Facel II

1963 Facel Vega1964 facel vega 1964 f6 coupe1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 - kopie1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 a1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 facel 61964 Facel Vega Facel 6, Paris Motor Show1964 facel vega facel II1964 Facel Vega Facel III de 1964, avant.1965 Facel Vega FX112322651_1244391632254206_2265457341616462859_o12339496_1244391968920839_1742041421457936550_o12356685_1244392115587491_226191231649501934_o12356704_1244392168920819_6115796892618100695_oFACEL 6 BrochureFacel III avFacel IIIFacel Vega 6.3 l Chrysler Typhoon engineFacel Vega ArtcuralFacel vega ArtcurialFacel Vega ArteriorFacel Vega backFacel Vega car logoFacel Vega club meeting. Impressive!Facel Vega concept.Facel Vega Excellence EX2 Berline 2xFacel Vega Excellence EX2, in front of earlier Excellence with more pronounced tailfinsFacel Vega Excellence IF-67-04 €165000Facel Vega Facel II Coupé 89Facel Vega Facel II in front of the Facel-Metallon factoryFacel Vega Facel II rearFacel Vega FacelliaFacel Vega french sportscar FFacel Vega FVFacel vega FV2B €225000Facel Vega GK-82-97 NLFacel Vega HeaderFacel Vega HF-95-YJFACEL VEGA HK500 - coachwork by Carrozzeria Zagato of MilanFacel Vega HK500 adfacel vega hk500 extFacel Vega HK500 HK KidFacel Vega HK700Facel Vega InteriorFacel Vega LogoFacel Vega SymboolFacel VegaFacel VI Pub2FacelFacel-Vega Excellence front 14Facel-Vega FV Rear-viewFord CometeIntroductie HK500Logo



  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e L’Histoire Facel-Vega accessed 25 August 2015
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Sedgwick, Michael. “The Facel Vega 1954 – 1964”.
  3. Jump up^ “New Car Prices and Used Car Book Values”. NADAguides. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  4. Jump up^ Björklund, Bengt, ed. (March 1962). “Från skilda fronter” [From different fronts]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 3 (Lerum, Sweden). p. 28.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “Automobilia”. Toutes les voitures françaises 1962 (salon Paris oct 1961) (Paris: Histoire & collections). Nr. 19: Page 34. 1200.
  6. Jump up^ Hervé Alphand, the French Ambassador to the United States, used theirs, an Excellence, from 1956 to 1965. It was sold @ Bonhams in Philadelphia 8 Oct 2012 for $159,000.
  7. Jump up^ “Top Gear Facel Vega HK500”. YouTube. 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  8. Jump up^ Tegler, Eric (March 1, 2007). “1959 Facel Vega HK500: For the Few Who Own the Finest”. Autoweek.
  9. Jump up^ de Gaudemar, Antoine (1994-04-16), This one’s had a good start born in the middle of a move, Guardian, retrieved 2008-12-21
  10. Jump up^ “KIAD MA in Fine Art: a student run seminar”. Raimes.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  11. Jump up^ “Caravan Palace – Dramophone”. YouTube. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  12. Jump up^ “”Goodbye Again, 1961″: cars, bikes, trucks and other vehicles”. IMCDb.org. Retrieved 2016-05-15.

External links

Facel Vega car logo



(Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile) Automobiles France

This article is about the automobile company. For other uses, see SIMCA.
Industry Automotive
Fate merged into Chrysler Europe, subsequently into PSA
Successor Talbot, a brand of PSA Peugeot Citroën
Founded 1934
Founder Henri Théodore Pigozzi
Defunct 1970 taken over by Chrysler,
1979 by PSA
Headquarters Nanterre, France (1935–1961)
Poissy, France (1954–1970)
Products Simca Aronde, Simca ArianeSimca Vedette, Simca 1000Simca 1100, Simca 1300/1500, Simca 1307
Parent Chrysler Europe

1973 Simca 1000 GLSimca 1000 GL (1974)

Simca (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile, Mechanical and Automotive Body Manufacturing Company) was a French automaker, founded in November 1934 by Fiat and directed from July 1935 to May 1963 by Italian Henri Théodore Pigozzi (born Enrico Teodoro Pigozzi, 1898–1964). Simca was affiliated with Fiat and then, after Simca bought Ford‘s French activities, became increasingly controlled by the Chrysler Group. In 1970, Simca became a subsidiary and brand of Chrysler Europe, ending its period as an independent company. Simca disappeared in 1978, when Chrysler divested its European operations to another French automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën. PSA replaced the Simca brand with Talbot after a short period when some models were badged as Simca-Talbots.

During most of its post-war activity, Simca was one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in France. The Simca 1100 was for some time the best-selling car in France, while the Simca 1307 and Simca Horizon won the coveted European Car of the Year title in 1976 and 1978, respectively—these models were badge engineered as products of other marques in some countries. For instance the Simca 1307 was sold in Britain as the Chrysler Alpine, and the Horizon was also sold under the Chrysler brand.

Simca vehicles were also manufactured by Simca do Brasil in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, and Barreiros (another Chrysler subsidiary) in Spain. They were also assembled in Australia, Chile, Colombia and the Netherlands during the Chrysler era.


Henri Théodore Pigozzi was active in the automotive business in the early 1920s when he met Fiat founder, Giovanni Agnelli. They began business together in 1922 with Pigozzi acting as a scrap merchant, buying old automobile bodies and sending them to Fiat for recycling. Two years later Pigozzi became Fiat’s General Agent in France, and in 1926 SAFAF (Société Anonyme Française des Automobiles Fiat) was founded. In 1928, SAFAF started the assembly of Fiat cars in Suresnes near Paris, and licensed the production of some parts to local suppliers. By 1934, as many as 30,000 Fiat cars were sold by SAFAF.


The SIMCA (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et de Carrosserie Automobile) company was founded in 1935 by FIAT, when Fiat bought the former Donnet factory in the French town of Nanterre.

The first cars produced were Fiat 508 Balillas and Fiat 518 Arditas, but with Simca-Fiat 6CV and 11CV badges. They were followed during 1936 by the Simca Cinq or 5CV, a version of the Fiat Topolino announced in the Spring, but only available for sale from October 1936. The Huit, an 8CV version of the Fiat 508C-1100, appeared in 1937. Production of the 6CV and 11CV stopped in 1937, leaving the 5CV and the 8CV in production until the outbreak of World War II. The firm nevertheless remained closely connected with Fiat, and it was not until 1938 that the shortened name “Simca” replaced “Simca-Fiat”.

Of the businesses that emerged as France’s big four auto-makers after the war, Simca was unique in not suffering serious bomb damage to its plant. There were persistent suggestions that Henri Pigozzi‘s close personal relationship with the Agnelli family (which owned Fiat) and Fiat’s powerful political influence with the Mussolini government in Italy secured relatively favourable treatment for Simca during the years when France fell under the control of Italy’s powerful ally, Germany. Despite France being occupied, Simca cars continued to be produced in small numbers throughout the war.

Following the 1944 liberation, the company’s close association with Italy became an obvious liability in the feverish atmosphere of recrimination and new beginnings that swept France following four years of German occupation. Nevertheless, shortly after the liberation the Nanterre plant’s financial sustainability received a boost when Simca won a contract from the American army to repair large numbers of Jeep engines.

1946: a decisive year

On 3 January 1946 the new government’s five-year plan for the automobile industry (remembered, without affection, as the Pons Plan) came into force. Government plans for Simca involved pushing it into a merger with various smaller companies such as Delahaye-Delage, Bernard, Laffly and Unic so as to create an automobile manufacturing combine to be called “Générale française automobile” (GFA). With half an eye on the Volkswagen project across the Rhine, the authorities determined that GFA should produce the two door version of the “AFG”, a small family car that had been developed during the war by the influential automobile engineer, Jean-Albert Grégoire. Grégoire owed his influence to a powerfully persuasive personality and a considerable engineering talent. Regarding the future of the French automobile industry, Grégoire held strong opinions, two of which favoured front-wheel drive and aluminium as a material for car bodies. A few weeks after the liberation Grégoire joined the Simca board as General Technical Director, in order to prepare for the production of the AFG at the company’s Nanterre factory.

For Simca, faced with a determinedly dirigiste left-wing French government, the prospect of nationalisation seemed very real. (Renault had already been confiscated and nationalised by the government at the start of 1945.) Simca’s long standing (but Italian born) Director General, Henri Pigozzi, was obliged to deploy his very considerable reserves of guile and charm in order to retain his own position within the company, and it appears that in the end Pigozzi owed his very survival at Simca to the intervention with the national politicians of his new board room colleague, Jean-Albert Grégoire. In return, Grégoire obtained the personal commitment of the surviving Director General to the production at Nanterre of his two-door AFG.

It is very easy to see how the two-door AFG looked, because its four-door equivalent went into production, little changed from Grégoire’s prototype, as the Panhard Dyna X. It was a car designed by an engineer, and Pigozzi thought it ugly. In trying to make it more appealing to the style conscious car buyers who, it was hoped, would appear in Simca showrooms once the economy picked up and government restrictions on car ownership began to be relaxed, Simca designers took the underpinnings of the Grégoire prototype and clothed it with various more conventionally modern bodies, the last of which looked uncannily similar to a shortened Peugeot 203. This “Simca-Grégoire” performed satisfactorily in road tests in France and around Turin (home town of Fiat who still owned Simca), and by September 1946 the car was deemed ready for production. But Pigozzi was still cautious. He had little enthusiasm for the gratuitously unfathomable complexities involved in producing a mass-market front-wheel drive car. The experience of the Citroën Traction Avant, which had bankrupted its manufacturer in the mid-1930s, was not encouraging. Pigozzi therefore applied to the (at this stage still strongly interventionist) government for a far higher level of government subsidy than the government could contemplate. Both the “Simca-Grégoire” project and the government’s own enthusiasm for micro-managing the French automobile industry were by now running out of momentum. Sensing that there was no prospect of putting the “Simca-Grégoire” into production any time soon, General Technical Director Grégoire resigned from the company early in 1947.

Meanwhile, at the first Paris Motor Show since the end of the war, in October 1946, two models were on display on the Simca stand, being the Simca 5 and the Simca 8, at this stage barely distinguishable from their pre-war equivalents. A new car arrived in 1948 with the Simca 6, a development of the Simca 5 which it would eventually replace, and featuring an overhead valve 570 cc engine: the Simca 6 was launched ahead of the introduction of the equivalent Fiat.

The French economy in this period was in a precarious condition and government pressure was applied on the auto-makers to maximize export sales. During the first eight months of 1947, Simca exported 70% of cars produced, placing it behind Citroen (92% exported), Renault (90% exported), Peugeot (87% exported) and Ford France (83% exported). In the struggle to maximize exports, Simca was handicapped by the fact that it could not compete with its principal Italian shareholder, Fiat.

Aronde and Ford SAF takeover

Simca Aronde 2012 02Simca Aronde (1956)

The Simca Aronde, launched in 1951, was the first Simca model not based on a Fiat design. It had a 1200 cc engine and its production reached 100,000 units yearly. Following this success, Simca took over the French truck manufacturers Unic in 1951, Saurer in 1956, and the Poissy plant of Ford SAF in 1954. The Poissy plant had ample room for expansion, enabling Simca to consolidate French production in a single plant and, in 1961, to sell the old Nanterre plant.

The 1950s was a decade of growth for Simca, and by 1959 the combined output of the plants at Nanterre and at Poissy had exceeded 225,000 cars, placing the manufacturer in second place among French automakers in volume terms, ahead of Peugeot and Citroën, though still far behind market leader Renault.

The Ford purchase also added the V-8 powered Ford Vedette range to the Simca stable. This model continued to be produced and progressively upgraded until 1962 in France and 1967 in Brazil, but with various names under the Simca badge. An Aronde-powered version was also made in 1957 and called the Ariane which, because it was economical and had a large body, was popular as a taxi.

In 1958 Simca bought Talbot-Lago.


Main article: Simca do Brasil

1960 Simca ChambordA Brazilian made Simca Chambord, used on the TV series O Vigilante Rodoviário (pt) (1961-1962)

The Simca plant received a visit by Juscelino Kubitschek before his inauguration in 1956, organized by a Brazilian General who had a family member employed there. He jokingly invited Simca to build a plant in Minas Gerais, his home state. Simca followed through and sent a letter of intent to this effect. In the interim, Brazil had formed an Executive Group for the Automotive Industry (pt) (GEIA), which had established a set of requirements for any producer wishing to establish a plant in Brazil. Simca claimed that their proposal and arrangement with Kubitschek pre-dated these rules and lobbied for exceptions. Simca also lobbied directly in Minas, but in the end were forced to present their own proposal, which was accepted with a number of conditions. The delays in passing the GEIA rules meant that Simca, which established its first plant in São Paulo, was unable to access hard currency and suffered severe parts shortages as a result. Simca quickly developed a reputation for low quality which it was unable to shake.

Simca do Brasil was originally 50% Brazilian-owned, but after Chrysler took over Simca France in 1966 they also obtained control of the Brazilian arm. Simca remained based in São Paulo for the entire time they were active in Brazil and never moved to Minas, as originally promised. Their range was built around the 2.4 liter V8-engined Simca Vedette, which entered production in Brazil in March 1959. It was built under a variety of names and in a number of different bodystyles, until the Simca badge was retired there in 1969. Later models were redesigned completely, and were sold as the Simca Esplanada.


The Simca Fulgur was a concept car designed in 1958 by Robert Opron for Simca and first displayed at the 1959 Geneva Auto Show. It was also displayed at the New York Auto Show, and the 1961 Chicago Auto Show. The concept car was intended to show what cars in the year 2000 would look like. It was to be atomic powered, voice controlled, guided by radar, and use only two wheels balanced by gyroscopes when driven at over 150 kph. Fulgur is Latin for flash or lightning. Another translation is lensman.


In 1958, the American car manufacturer Chrysler Corporation, which wanted to enter the European car market, bought 15% of the Simca stocks from Ford in a deal which Henry Ford II was later reported as having publicly regretted. At this stage, however, the dominant shareholder remained Fiat, and their influence is apparent in the engineering and design of Simcas of that period such as the 1000 and 1300 models introduced respectively in 1961 and 1963. However, in 1963 Chrysler increased their stake to a controlling 64% by purchasing stock from Fiat, and they subsequently extended that holding further to 77%. Even in 1971 Fiat retained a 19% holding, but by now they had long ceased to play an active role in the business.

Also, in 1964 Chrysler bought the British manufacturer Rootes thus putting together the basis of Chrysler Europe. All the Simca models manufactured after 1967 had the Chrysler pentastar logo as well as Simca badging. In 1961 Simca started to manufacture all of its models in the ex-Ford SAF factory in Poissy and sold the factory at Nanterre to Citroën. The rear-engined Simca 1000 was introduced in 1961 with its sporting offspring, the Simca-Abarth in 1963. The 1000 also served as the platform for the 1000 Coupe, a sports coupe sporting a Bertone-designed body by Giorgetto Giugiaro and 4-wheel disc brakes. It debuted in 1963 and was described by Car Magazine as “the world’s neatest small coupe”. 1967 saw the more powerful 1200S Bertone Coupe that, with a horsepower upgrade in 1970, could reach the dizzying speed of almost 112 mph (180 km/h), making it the fastest standard production Simca ever built. In 1967 a much more up to date car, the 1100, appeared with front wheel drive and independent suspension all round, and continued in production until 1979. On 1 July 1970 the company title was formally changed to Chrysler France.

Collapse of Chrysler Europe

The most successful pre-Chrysler Simca models were the Aronde, the Simca 1000 and the front-engined 1100 compact. During the 1970s Chrysler era, Simca produced the new Chrysler 160/180/2 litre saloon, 1307 range (Chrysler Alpine in the UK) and later theHorizon, (Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon in the USA). The 1307 and Horizon were both named European Car of the Year at launch. However, Chrysler’s forced marriage of Simca and Rootes was not a happy one: Chrysler Europe collapsed in 1977 and the remains were sold to Peugeot the following year. The Rootes models were quickly killed off, and the Simca-based Alpine/1307 and Horizon soldiered on through the first half of the 1980s using the resurrected Talbot badge. The last car to carry the Simca badge was the 1980 Solara, a 1307 with a boot, but by 1981 this had become a Talbot, thus ending the Simca marque entirely.


Peugeot eventually abandoned the Talbot brand, and the last Simca design was launched as Peugeot 309 (instead of Talbot Arizona as had been originally planned). The Peugeot 309 used Simca engines until October 1991 (some 18 months before the end of production) when they were replaced by PSA’s own TU and XU series of engines. The 309 was produced at the former Rootes factory in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, UK, as well as in the Poissy plant.

Simcas were also manufactured in Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Finland. The last Simca-based car produced was the Horizon-based Dodge Omni, which was built in the USA until 1990. The European equivalent had already been axed three years earlier when use of the Talbot name on passenger cars was finally discontinued.


1936-48 Simca 51936-1948 Simca 51947-50 Simca 6 2-door coupé1947-1950 Simca 61960 simca 7 prototype1960 simca 7 prototype1937-51 Simca 8 4-door saloon1937-1951 Simca 8



Simca 9

Simca 111939 Simca Gordini Type 8  1938 Simca Gordini1950 Simca Gordini T15s 1941cc compressor1950 Simca Gordini Type 15 (Grand Prix racing car) 1941cc1951 simca 9Simca Aronde 1951 simca 9 aronde1957-63 Simca Ariane wit wikipediaSimca Ariane 1957-63 Simca Ariane

1955 simca vedette 21955 Simca Vedette1956 simca ford vedette1956 simca V1956 Simca Vedette Regence1957 Simca Chambord1957 simca vedette Versailles a1957 simca vedette1958 simca vedette a1958 simca vedette chambord c1958 simca vedette chambord d1958 Simca Vedette Chambord or sim Berne1958 simca vedette Marly b1958 Simca vedettes1959 SIMCA Vedette AX-01-511960 Simca Chambord1960 Simca Vedette beaulieu1960 Simca Verde Vedette Chambord1961 Simca vedette chambord1961 Simca Vedette Marly (deuxième génération)1961 Simca Vedette Presidence1962 simca chambord-vermelho-e-branco31962 simca custom-coupe 121964 Simca tufaosimca presidence brasilSimca Vedette MarlySimca Vedette (also manufactured in license by Simca do Brasil with the names Simca Chambord, Simca Alvorada, Simca Profissional and Simca Présidence)1960 Simca Jangada Ambulância e Funerário

1963 Propaganda-Simca-Jangada1963 simca jangada marly1963 simca jangada-071964 SIMCA - Jangada - V 8 Tufão1965 simca jangada-1965-11967 SIMCA JANGADA EmiSulSIMCA JANGADA Familiar(1)Simca Jangadasimca jangada-01Simca jangada-2simca jangada-06Simca jangada-8Simca Jangada-Hearse-2Simca Jangada (Brazilian model)

1966-69 Simca Esplanada Brazil

1966-69 Simca Esplanada Brazil1968-69 Simca Esplanada Águas de Lindóia

1968-69 Simca Esplanada Águas de Lindóia.jpg Simca Esplanada (Brazilian model)1968 Chrysler (Simca) Regente 1968                                    Simca Regente (Brazilian model)1966 Propaganda Simca Tufão1964 Simca tufao1964 SIMCA - Jangada - V 8 Tufãosimca-tufo-10simca-tufo-02                           Simca Tufão (Brazilian model)1969 Simca Esplanada GTX 056

1969 Simca Chrysler GTXsimca-gtx-10simca-gtx-03Simca gtxsimca-gtx-06

Simca GTX (Brazilian model)

1974 simca 1000 4doorsimca-1000-barreiros-021967 simca-1000-barreiros-01Simca 1000 PolicecarsSimca 1000 Policecar1965 Simca 1000 ad1969 Simca 1000, 1968–19761974 simca 1000rally a1976 simca 1000 a1974 simca 10001962 simca 1000 hotel-jr1960 simca 1000-900-jr1963 simca 1000 vak1962 simca 1000 a1967 Simca 1000 GLS1963 Simca 10001965 simca 1000-faro-cuadrado1964 simca 1000 ad1975 Simca 1000 rally1976 Simca 1000 RALLY1963 Simca 1000 (2)1973 Simca 1000 GLSimca 10001967 Simca 1000 CoupéSimca 1000 CoupéSimca 1100 TISimca 1100Simca_1300_Serie_1_front_20110114

1964_Simca_1500_-_rear_viewSimca 1300/1500Simca 1301 Special front-view

1973 Simca 1501 BreakSimca 1301/1501Simca 1200SSimca 1200S1973 Chrysler 160

Chrysler 160 or 180 estate on Costa del Sol

Chrysler 180 Barreiros 870

1977-78 Chrysler Centura GL (KC)Chrysler-Simca 1609/1610/2-Litre1973-80 Matra Simca Bagheera 1ste serie

1978 Matra-Simca Bagheera (model after 1976)Matra-Simca Bagheera1977 Simca Matra RanchoMatra-Simca Rancho1978 Simca 1307 GLS

1978 Simca 1307 GLS.jpgFinnish-built Talbot 1510, facelifted version with new headlights

Finnish-built Talbot 1510, facelifted version with new headlights1982 Talbot_Solara_SX_Automatic_(3725146682)

1982 Talbot Solara SX Automatic.jpg Simca 1307/1308/1309/15101979 Simca Chrysler Horizon GLS

Talbot Horizon profile Chamartin

1986 Shelby GLHS

1986 Shelby GLHS Simca Horizon1982 Talbot_Solara_SX_Automatic_(3725146682)

Talbot Solara SX, rear view Talbot-Simca Solara

1936-48 Simca 51937-51 Simca 8 4-door saloon1938 Simca 8 Break1938 Simca 161939 simca gordini emblem1939 Simca Gordini Type 81947-48 Simca 81947-50 Simca 6 2-door coupé1948 Autobleu Simca 8 Sport Ex-AGACI1949 SIMCA 5 FOURGO MICHELIN1949 SIMCA 5 Fourgonnette1949 Simca 6 in elfstedentocht1949 Simca 61949 Simca 71 21949 Simca 71 31949 Simca 711949 simca cinq1949 Simca classic1949 Simca Falaschi Figone Sport 8 Convertible1949 Simca1950 Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet1950 simca 81950 Simca Gordini T15s 1941cc compressor1950 simca p151951 Simca 8 Sport Michelotti1951 Simca 8 Sport1951 simca 9 (2)1951 simca 9 aronde-a1951 simca 9 aronde-b1951 simca 9 aronde-c1951 simca 9 aronde-d1951 simca 91951 simca fiat1951 Simca1951-64 Simca Aronde 4-door saloon (P60)1952 simca 9 sport1952 Simca Ariana1952 Simca1953 simca 9 sport tek1954 SIMCA 41954 simca 9 figoni1954 Simca 9001954 Simca 1200 Ghia1955 SIMCA 6 (2)1955 Simca Aronde 1300 Grand Large1955 simca aronde a1955 simca aronde b1955 simca Aronde1955 Simca Aronde-Elysee-13001955 simca vedette 21955 Simca Vedette1956 simca aronde 1300 Coupé de Ville b1956 simca aronde 1300 tek1956 simca aronde 13001956 simca aronde 1300c1956 simca aronde 1300d1956 SIMCA F569WML, 4x41956 SIMCA F594WMС, 4x41956 simca ford vedette1956 Simca Maltese1956 simca V1956 Simca Vedette Regence1956 Simca Vedette1957 simca 1300 gl1957 simca ariane a1957 Simca aronde GL1957 simca aronde Océane & Plein Ciel b1957 Simca Chambord1957 SIMCA F594WMC with М-59 repair shop body, 4x41957 SIMCA F594WML, 4x41957 simca vedette Versailles a1957 simca vedette1957-63 Simca Ariane b1957-63 Simca Ariane wit wikipedia1958 SIMCA Ariane AX-01-511958 simca ariane b1958 Simca Aronde 1300 Deluxe, Elysee and Grand Large1958 Simca aronde chatelaine1958 Simca f1958 Simca Fulgur – concept car1958 Simca g1958 Simca plein ciel1958 simca vedette a1958 simca vedette chambord c1958 simca vedette chambord d1958 Simca Vedette Chambord or sim Berne1958 simca vedette Marly b1958 Simca vedettes1958 Simca1959 simca aronde p60ad1959 SIMCA Vedette AX-01-511960 simca 7 prototype1960 simca 1000-900-jr1960 Simca Ariane (2)1960 Simca Ariane 41960 simca ariane a1960 simca ariane b1960 simca ariane1960 simca aronde monthéry1960 Simca Aronde Montlhery1960 simca aronde p60 Océane + Plein Ciel bw1960 Simca Aronde P601960 simca aronde p60d commercial vehicles1960 simca castel p60c ad1960 Simca Chambord1960 SIMCA Etoile DX-50-231960 Simca Jangada Ambulância e Funerário1960 simca monthéry p60b ad1960 Simca Vedette beaulieu1960 Simca Verde Vedette Chambord1960 Simca-Aronde-P60-13001961 Simca 1000 Bertone1961 Simca Chambord 16028 - 29x41-1961 Simca Océane1961 Simca Vedette Chambord saloon1961 Simca Vedette Marly (deuxième génération)1961 Simca Vedette Presidence1962 simca 1000 a1962 simca 1000 hotel-jr1962 simca chambord-41962 simca chambord-vermelho-e-branco31962 simca custom-coupe 121962 simca-custom-cabrio-composite2a1963 Propaganda-Simca-Jangada1963 Simca 1000 (2)1963 Simca 1000 coupe1963 simca 1000 vak1963 Simca 10001963 SIMCA 1300 MR-76-891963 simca 13001963 simca 15001963 Simca Jangada 3 Andorinhas Capa da Revista Quatro Rodas de setembro de 19631963 simca jangada marly1963 simca jangada-071963 Simca Station Wagon (AU)1 ron1964 SIMCA - Jangada - V 8 Tufão1964 simca 1000 ad1964 Simca 1300-63


1964 simca 1500 rear1964 simca 15001964 Simca 1500-631964 simca propaganda1964 Simca tufao1964_Simca_1500_-_rear_view1965 Simca 1000 ad1965 simca 1000-faro-cuadrado1965 Simca Bertone Coupe1965 simca jangada-1965-11966 Propaganda Simca Tufão1966 Simca 1000 181966 Simca 1500 Break1966 SIMCA RALLYE1966-69 Simca Esplanada Brazil1967 Simca 1000 Coupé1967 Simca 1000 GLS1967 Simca 1100tyl


1967 SIMCA JANGADA EmiSul1967 simca-1000-barreiros-011968 Chrysler (Simca) Regente 19681968 Simca 1200 S1968 Simca 15011968-69 Simca Esplanada Águas de Lindóia1969 Simca 1000, 1968–19761969 simca Abarth 2000 coupe1969 Simca Chrysler GTX1969 Simca Esplanada GTX 0561970 Simca 1100 Wagon1970 SIMCA 1200 S BLEUE GRISE AVG GRENOBLE1970 Simca 1200 S Coupe1970 Simca 1200 S document1970 Simca 1200 S71970 Simca 1204 1971970 SIMCA Bestel1970 simca-1100gls-wagon-051971 simca 1200 avanches 23 m1971 Simca 1200 S Coupé Bertone1971 SIMCA 1200 S Coupé SDSR1971 Simca Matra 530 LX1972 simca 1000 coupe1972 Simca 1100 5-door1972 Simca 1100 Special1972 Simca 1200 S1972 Simca 1301 Sa1972 Simca 13081972 Simca 1501 break speciale a1972 Simca olivier 1200 s bleu cabriolet sika light1972 simca speciaal1972 Simca..1973 Chrysler 1601973 Simca 1000 GL1973 Simca 1200 S FFSA11973 Simca 1301 S1973 Simca 1501 Break1973 simca matra 530-b1973 simca matra 530-c1973 simca matra-m5301973-80 Matra Simca Bagheera 1ste serie1974 Chrysler 1801974 simca 1000 4door1974 simca 1000 coupe a1974 simca 10001974 simca 1000rally a1974 Simca 1100 near Oban1974 simca 1100 vflpg op dak mf51974 simca 1100-02-11974 simca 1100a1974 simca 1100b1974 simca 1100ti (2)1974 simca 1100ti1974 Simca 1200S Bartali Simone1974 simca 1200-ti-barreiros-01 Spanje1974 simca 1301 a1974 Simca 1307 taxi1974 Simca CG Rally1974 simca chrysler 2l1974 simca chrysler 1601974 Simca Chrysler 20001974 simca matra 530lx1974 simca matra bagheera -a1974 simca matra bagheera -b1974 simca matra bagheera-c1975 simca 1000 coupe bertone 279331975 Simca 1000 rally1975 simca 1000-coupe bertone-279341975 simca 13011975-78 Chrysler (Australia) Centura - choice of a 2-litre (4-cylinder) and 3.5-litre or 4-litre (6-cylinder) engines1976 Chrysler 180 Barreiros 8701976 simca 1801976 simca 1000 a1976 Simca 1000 RALLY1976 simca 11001976 Simca 13071976 Simca 1307-1308 Auto v t jaar1976 Simca 1308 orange-black1977 Chrysler Sunbeam in London1977 Chrysler Sunbeam1977 mod Simca 1308GT1977 Simca Matra Rancho1977 Simca SX and right is a GLS1977-78 Chrysler Centura GL (KC)1978 Chrysler 180 estate Spain1978 Chrysler Alpine GLS1978 Chrysler Avenger Estate UL1978 Chrysler Horizon 4dr1978 Matra-Simca Bagheera (model after 1976)1978 Simca 1307 GLS1978-85 Talbot Horizon1979 Simca Chrysler Horizon GLS1980 Chrysler Alpine GL1980 Simca Horizon1981 Talbot Alpine SX1981 Talbot Alpine1981 Talbot Avenger Wagon1981 Talbot Avenger1981 Talbot Horizon1981 Talbot Matra Rancho a1981 Talbot Matra Rancho1981 Talbot Solara1981 Talbot Sunbeam1982 Talbot 1200 LS1982 Talbot Alpine GLS 5 speed 2e series1982 Talbot Matra Murena1982 Talbot Tagora1982 Talbot_Solara_SX_Automatic_(3725146682)1984-1985 Dodge Omni GLH1985 Talbot Alpine Rapier1985-86 Simca 200 bhp horizon1986 Shelby GLHS1990 Dodge Omni1994 Talbot Solara Rapier June 19942001 Simca Matra de rancho10354223_1554142661545586_5695379569476039261_n11230923_1673063119572983_8386097729225933907_o12235033_1521916934788128_5168546803099141235_n12249882_1520909631555525_8402288648969613553_n12265848_1673062956239666_6788892039046870322_o12308736_1523621641284324_8529189299460394303_n12310419_1523619961284492_2417520386078669235_n12314414_1523621564617665_3746129885064160182_o12417600_1734019923495598_2360957347895677696_n12439381_1747655822132008_2950087708515744283_n12508876_1732073660356891_550591031610503804_n12661777_1251866221495774_2956036479885634812_n12764503_1087768144587387_4996926641823739032_o12794555_1087768161254052_5444795829196886112_n12809508_1552792591680593_2745405257511994390_n13094116_10156976301985624_6767815549978909282_n13230347_1575299619429890_3100012319200962720_nChrysler 160 or 180 estate on Costa del SolChrysler 180 Barreiros 870Chrysler 1308 CJChrysler 1308Chrysler AvengerChrysler Barreiros 180Finnish-built Talbot 1510, facelifted version with new headlightsGordini Type 16Logo_of_Gordini.svgMatra Simca Rancho Top Gear FranceMatra SimcaPlymouth Horizon-1Renault 8 GordiniRenault Twingo RS Gordinisimca 05simca 5 decapotable-01simca 5 gordini-08Simca 8 1200cc 4-door saloonSimca 8 coupé deux places (2 seat coupé)Simca 1000 PolicecarSimca 1000 PolicecarsSimca 1100 3 doorSimca 1100 Ambulance aSimca 1100 AmbulanceSimca 1100 blSimca 1100 pick upSimca 1100 pickupSimca 1100 TISimca 1100VF(1442cc) pickup with Simca 1000rallySimca 1200SSimca 1204 PoliceSimca 1204Simca 1300 Serie 1Simca 1301 Special front-viewSimca 1400Simca 1500 met caravanSimca 1501 PoliceSimca AmbulanceSimca AmbulanciaSimca Aronde 2012 02simca bestel PTTSIMCA Cargo TorpedoSIMCA Concept-RoadsterSimca convertibleSimca dSimca gtxSimca Horizon 1.5ltSIMCA JANGADA Familiar(1)Simca Jangadasimca jangada-01Simca jangada-2simca jangada-06Simca jangada-8Simca Jangada-Hearse-2Simca Landtreffen