The origin of the Simca 1000 Rallye is not in France but in Italy. Henri Pigozzi, CEO of Simca, was born in Turin and knew Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli. Fiat would remain Simca's dominant shareholder until 1963. Pigozzi remained a regular visitor to Fiat's factories during his time at the head of Simca.
Simca 1000: a kind Fiat 600
After the presentation of the well-received Fiat 1955 in 600, the Fiat development department, led by the designer-engineer Dante Giacosa, was sure to loosen up the muscles for the successor to the 600. After all, things went well in Italy? Two projects were run in parallel: “Project 119” was for a two-door successor, building on the strengths of the 600l, while “Project 122” was for a bolder different four-door successor.
A good friend is better
Access to Fiat's development department was forbidden to almost everyone, but Pigozzi's friendship with the Agnellis even opened these doors, and in the late 50s he was particularly interested in the department. It was clear that Pigozzi's intentions to further expand the Simca range were clearly inspired by Fiat's planning. Pigozzi received approval from Fiat to choose one of six box-on-box-style four-door clay models as the basis for 'Project 122' to be developed into Simca's new small car, the Simca 1000. And did we mention dar Simca is also an acronym? 'Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile' is really a bit too long to put on a grille.
The head of the Simca styling department, Mario Revelli de Beaumont, was also Italian. He had gone back to the Old World from General Motors in 1955. Revelli de Beaumont divided his time between Fiat's Industrial Design Center in Turin and Simca's Styling Center in Poissy. While the surviving prototypes differ in detail, the basic architecture and box-on-box shape of the car was apparently 'right the first time' and the 1000 Simca 1961 is fully recognizable as the model Pigozzi chose from Fiat's 'Project 122' .
Meanwhile, the Fiat 600 continued to sell well in Italy and there was little rush to invest to replace it. Management had apparently decided that a four-door replacement for the 600 would be too big a leap for the existing car patronage. It was not until 1964 that the results of 'Project 119' became public with the launch of the Fiat 850.
Back to the Simca 1000
The new Simca was presented at the motor show in Paris in 1961. And Pigozzi did more than his best to hide the fact that the new Simca actually had a lot of Fiat genes. But that didn't detract from the success. The 1000 was therefore a crazy car, with the fact that not only the engine, but also the fuel tank in the back, provided an adventurous 35 / 65% weight distribution over the front and rear wheels. Simca 1000s came on the market in different flavors, including the fiscally interesting Simca 4CV (the Sim'4 - as in Simca Quatre) with only four fiscal horsepower from 777 cc. But on the other hand, the 1000 grew to 1300 cc and the Simca 1000 Rallye, the Rallye 1, Rallye 2 and 3 were introduced. Because it was obvious that there had to be fast 1000s.
Abarth paved the way
In the early years of the model, the Italian tuner Abarth offered fast versions of the 1000. In 1970, Simca launched its own sporting version, the Rallye. Simca made an outdated concept attractive again for a larger audience, especially for young people with limited financial opportunities. Simca based the small ADHD person on the cheapest version of the Mille, the Sim'4. They then mounted black painted rims underneath, stuck a few black stripes over the butt, mounted a matte black boot lid and a set of high-beam headlights, and the interior featured a sportier dashboard, sports steering wheel and bucket seats. The Simca 1000 Rallye was followed by the Rallye 1, the Rallye 2 and the Rallye 3. The Rallye 1 had made the 1100 cc measuring primal Rallye superfluous and had people call for even more power. That is how the Rallye 1972 came on the market at the end of 2. His 1300 cc had 2 double Solex carburetors and with that the power increased to 82 PK. If you dared you could go up to almost 170 km / h. The Rallye 2 had thereby become a bit more friendly to the wheel because the radiator had moved forward.
The Rallye 2 grew to 86 hp and optically became a little tougher
Just before the Mille in 1978 went out of production, we received the Rallye 3. For the Rallye 2, aftermarket booster kits had been available for some time, both for technology and appearance. Those kits were the inspiration for the Rallye 3: provided with a wide expansion set all around, a thick, transverse exhaust under the rear bumper and light-alloy wheels with wide tires, 1000 units were only available in white and 103 horsepower strong models.
To further propagate the speed concept, the Simca 1000 Racing Team was conceived
The approach of the advertising campaign was therefore "How do you get on the circuit if you have talent but no money." Well: with a Simca 1000 with a sticker of a green dragon on it.
In the meantime we don't see many Simca 1000s anymore. Let alone Simca 1000 Rallyes. Because where rust was the common enemy of the regular 1000's, many Rallyes died on circuits and during slalom competitions. A pity ...
And we found a brochure about it.