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Simca Vedette (1954 - 1961)

Last updated 25 August 2013

 
3
US V8 power and refinement
One for Francophiles
166,895
were produced
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Introduction

The Vedette may have started out life as a Ford, but French buyers would subsequently take the car to their hearts once it appeared under new management. Although the Ford Vedette had been around since 1949, it enjoyed little success - so when Simca bought the French subsidiary in 1954, Simca's own version soon followed. However the Gallic Vedette shared with its ancestor – just the name and the flathead V8. The new car boasted monocoque construction but remained conservative thanks to leaf spring rear suspension and rear wheel drive.

Technically it didn’t set the world alight, but the company’s rivals certainly sat up and noticed. When the cars first appeared in 1954, they were badged as Fords, and came in three trim levels. Trianon was the base model, followed by the Versailles and the top model, the Regence. There was also an estate called the Marly. Performance was not \a strong point thanks to a weedy 80bhp from its 2353cc side-valve engine, but it was reliable and pleasant to drive. The three-speed gearbox was a bit of a disappointment at the time. Although French Vedette production ended in 1961, the tooling was shipped to Brazil where the car was made until the end of the 1960s.

 

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