Simca Versailles V8 (1956).
Very rare french luxury saloon in great original condition.
This is a rare car these days, even in France. In the early fifties, Henri Theodore Pigozzi - owner of the Simca company - bought the Ford France factory in Poissy. He was looking for more capacitiy, and the large Poissy plant was ideally located. At the same time, he could continue production of the Ford Vedette. This was a large car developed by Ford for the European market, and equipped with a small V8 flathead engine. The first cars appeared at the Paris Motorshow in 1954 and delivery of the first Simca Vedette V8 started in December 1954. The design of the car was proper "american style", much like the contemporary British Fords and Vauxhalls. The Vedette was powered by an unusually small 2351 ccm V8 engine, derived from the Ford flathead engine family, which placed the car in the 13CV French tax class. The engine produced approximately 80 bhp, which was not bad for a saloon car in the fifties. The basic version was called Vedette Trianon, mid-level was the Vedette Versailles (just like our example), and top of the range was the Vedette Régence.
This example has been all its life in Southern France, and is still in very original condition. Apart from a repaint in its original colour scheme, this Vedette remained untouched. The interior is still the one as it left the Poissy factory in 1956, and the engine bay is also still to factory specification. The V8 engine starts on the button, and makes a surprisingly pleasant sound. The column shift operated gearbox is easy to use, and the driving experience is focused on comfort. The styling of the Simca has a lot of American influences, with beautiful chrome work and fins. This car is in remarkably sound condition despite the fact it has never been restored, and is absolutely ready for use.
It must be one of the few bargains on the classic car market these days, as it is rare and very affordable. It can carry 6 adults in style and luxury, and it has a lovely V8 engine. The styling is American, while the dimensions are from a European level, which makes this Simca a very useable car on the Continent. This is a great starter classic car, which will give the new owner many thumbs up. One of the more exotic French saloons ever made, and a lot of car for the money.