Classic AutoRAI 99: post-war cars:
Porsche & Simca
This car was dr.
Ferdinand Porsche's private car and its current home is the Porsche museum in Stuttgart,
who kindly lent it to the Dutch Porsche Club for their display at the show. It's an
original 356 pre-A Coupé with Reutter bodywork. Reutter was a coachbuilder in Stuttgart
and the Porsche company first located their facilities in one of Reutter's factory
buildings when they moved from Gmünd in Austria to Stuttgart in Germany in 1949-1950.
This first 356
Coupé model had a small 1086 cc 4-cylinder boxer-engine, placed behind the rear axle,
with a modest 40 hp @ 4000 rpm. The car was nimble and only weighed 745 kg so its
performance was still considered sporty. Top speed was 140 kph. Later pre-A models were
available with 1488 cc engines that produced 55 hp @ 4400 rpm.
Although these models are relatively rare, they're not very popular on the classic car market. Certainly the small-engined versions are considered too "Volkswagen-like" and lack appeal due to the limited performance. Of course this doesn't apply to cars with a specific history like this one.
A contemporary and also
a market-segment rival of the Porsche 356 is this very pretty Simca 8 Sport. It's based on
the mass-produced and plain Simca 8-1200 from France, but had a special and elegant
bodywork designed by Italian Michelotti (best known for his later BMW 700 and Triumph
Herald designs) and produced by Facel Metallon (of later Facel Vega fame). It was meant as
an image-builder for the Simca company which wanted to shed its unappealing name as a
manufacturer of FIAT derivatives.
The 8 (or "Huit") Sport Coupé and Cabriolet models were introduced in 1949 and produced up to 1951, when they were replaced by the even more beautiful type 9 Sport models. It was powered by a small 1221 cc 4-cylinder engine which produced 50 hp @ 4800 rpm, only enough for a disappointing 135 kph top speed.
Exact production numbers for this car are unavailable, but it's certainly rare. The owner of this original car wanted to sell it and had all original papers starting from the first owner, but found that it wasn't easy to fetch a good price.
The Simca Vedette was
Simca's top model during the late fifties; a big upper middle-class car based on Ford
France's Vedette. Simca acquired Ford France in 1954 because the company wanted to expand
into the luxury car market, which proved to be successful for only a few years. The added
Chambord name indicated the trim level, there were also the Beaulieu, Marly and Presidence
versions of which the Presidence was of course the most luxurious; the Chambord was ranked
one level beneath.
The Vedette Chambord was produced from 1958 to 1961 and had a 2351 cc V8 engine which was good for 84 hp @ 4800 rpm and a top speed of 145 kph. About 61,835 Vedettes Chambord have been sold, making it a quite common car in France mainly. Nowadays a Vedette Chambord in a good condition like the one on the picture has only second-hand car value.
Go to the next page by clicking the arrows pointing right...