Tuesday 4 December 2012
The Simca 1000 was a small, rear-engined, four-door saloon manufactured by the French automaker Simca from 1961 to 1978.
The car was inexpensive and, at the time of launch, quite modern, with a brand-new inline-4 watercooled engine of (at this stage) 944cc. Production began on 27 July 1961, with the official launch taking place at the Paris Motor Show on 10 October 1961.
At the time of the launch, cars could be ordered in one of three colours (red/rouge tison, egg-shell blue/bleu pervenche or off-white/gris-princesse). However, the show stand featured two additional body colours and the range of colours available to customers was soon expanded. The company's marketing strategy was characteristically imaginitive, and having acquired a Paris taxi business in 1958, in November 1961 Simca replaced 50 of that company's Simca Ariane based taxis with 50 much smaller (but evidently spacious enough for the relatively short journeys normally undertaken by taxi) Simca 1000s: thus the stylish little car, often with iconic Paris landmarks in the background, quickly became a familiar sight on the capital's roads. Pictures of Simca 1000s working as Paris taxis turned up in the press. It was nevertheless made clear that this was not a permanent change and after a few months the red and black Simca 1000 taxis were removed from circulation and replaced with more conventionally sized taxis.
Over the course of time, the 1000 (whose name was pronounced "mille" in French) was available in a number of versions featuring different equipment levels and variations of the original Type 315 engine. The low-specification version was sold as Simca 900, and it was later replaced by Simca 4 CV (also marketed as Sim'4), powered by a 0.8 litre unit. On the other end of the range, the 1.1 L version from the larger Simca 1100 was added in 1969 (the Simca 1000 was marketed in the USA as Simca 1118). Finally, the 1.3 L version, used in the biggest Simca, the 1300, made its way to the little 1000 in the early 1970s.
Apart from the standard manual transmission, some versions could be fitted with a three-speed semiautomatic developed by Ferodo.
The high-specification versions were offered in the British market with a walnut dashboard decor. In 1977, the model was revised for the last time, gaining the new names of 1005/1006 (depending on the specifications), to put it in line with the newer Simca 1307 and its derivatives. Production stopped in 1978 without a direct replacement.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1137 cc
- horsepower: 64 HP
- gearbox: 6+1
- top speed: 180 km/h