Simca Aronde (1951 – 1964) Review

Simca Aronde (1951 – 1964) At A Glance


+A great first effort from Simca, competing effectively with Peugeot for the hearts of the French middle classes

-Rust and rarity

Simca took a very unconventional into car manufacture – it reconstituted Fiat's spare parts into France's largest and most successful privately owned car maker of its day, and in doing so, bravely offered a range of cars heavily inspired by contemporary American designs. The Aronde was the first Simca car designed from scratch, and enjoyed substantial success in its home market in subsequent years.

First launched in May 1951, with conventional engineering under the skin the Aronde seemed to catch the public’s imagination. It had a unitary construction body and was suspended by coils and wishbones at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear. Initially, build quality was poor and that dented early sales, but by 1953 an estate (the Chatelaine) and a two-door pillarless coupé (the Grand Large) were added, widening the range’s appeal. A small van (the Commerciale) was added, followed up by a panel van (the Messagère) and pick-up (the Intendante).

In 1954, a one-off convertible was added, and from the until production end in 1962, running changes were incorporated on an almost annual basis – which ensured strong sales to the end.