Simca 1100 Break

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Keywords: Simca 1100 Break

Description: Once the decision to go with front wheel drive had been taken, "Projet 928" or VLBB ("Voiture Legиre Berline Break", or small car/small truck/estate car) rapidly developed at Poissy. Sadly,

Once the decision to go with front wheel drive had been taken, "Projet 928" or VLBB ("Voiture Legиre Berline Break", or small car/small truck/estate car) rapidly developed at Poissy. Sadly, according to accounts of the 1100's development, SIMCA became so pre-occupied with Projet 928's development that the accord between the french company and the Italian tuners Abarth fell through. As discussed, that hampered the 1000's sporting progress considerably.

During the VLBB's development, SIMCA fell fully into the clutches of Chrysler, and the American management made much noise about how SIMCA's autonomy would not be affected by the takeover. However, a raft of management changes followed, leaving SIMCA founder Henri Thйodore Pigozzi replaced by George Hereil. Following his appointment, Hereil quickly re-iterated Chrysler's initial statement that SIMCA would remain largely unchanged by the change in ownership, and in the case of Projet 928, this certainly held true. The reasoning behind Chrysler's willingness to leave SIMCA to its own devices over its new 6CV car was simple: the Americans recognised that the forthcoming car would hit the market in a favourable position, fighting only front wheel drive cars by BMC and Autobianchi. and that was about it. SIMCA's last car (or Chrysler France's first, depending on your perspective) would steal a march on all domestic opposition, and that was good for Chrysler.

Naming the new car proved straightforward enough: its 1118cc engine allowed for the company to use the SIMCA 1100 tag; thus fitting nicely between the SIMCA 1000 and 1500.

Thanks in no small part to the success of the SIMCA 1000, by the time of the launch of the 1100 in May 1967, SIMCA had become a serious player in the French motor industry. With the backing of Chrysler behind it, the 1100 became set to make a huge impact on the market, playing on its strengths of its advanced specification. And advanced it certainly was, sporting front wheel drive, a hatchback, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and a wide range of body styles.

To gauge how important the 1100 was to SIMCA, one only needs to look at the range offered at launch. Unlike the 1000 and many of its opponents, SIMCA ensured that all customers' requirements were met, so along with the four body permutations, the 1118cc could be purchased with a semi-automatic gearbox, two states of engine tune (53 or 56bhp), and - later - the 944cc engine, from its smaller brother. Chrysler were rightly proud of the SIMCA 1100, and ensured that it wore the marque's badges from day one.

So, history repeated itself: the French loved the 1100 from launch and bought it in huge numbers. In its first year of production (1968), 138,242 1100s rolled out of Poissy: an impressive achievement.



Photogallery Simca 1100 Break:







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