SIMCA 8 Estager Barquette by Motto

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8 Estager Barquette by Motto





The Simca 8 is a small family car built by Simca and sold in France between November 1937 and 1951 (including wartime), available as a saloon, coupé or cabriolet. It was a rebadged Fiat 508C "nuova Balilla" made at Fiat's Simca plant in Nanterre, France.

The Simca 8 was first presented, at the Paris Motor Show in October 1937, and sales in France started almost immediately in November. Early the next summer Henri Pigozzi, Simca's energetic boss, organised a three part endurance run under the supervision of the ACF. A single Simca 8 undertook a "non-stop" 50,000 kilometer (31,075 miles) run.

The '8' in the car's name did not indicate an eight-cylinder engine; it had but four cylinders, and was officially rated as a 6CV vehicle for tax purposes. At launch the car featured a 1,089 cc engine with a claimed output of 32 hp at 4,000 rpm. Fuel feed came via a Solex 30mm carburetor and overhead valves driven, using rods and rocker arms, by a side-mounted camshaft. An unusual feature at the time was the use of aluminium for the cylinder head.

Shortly before it was replaced in 1951, the Simca 8 had acquired, in September 1949, the Fiat designed 1,221 cc engine which would also be employed its successor, the popular 7CV Simca 9 Aronde.

At launch only two bodies were offered, these being a 4-door "berline" (saloon/sedan) and a 2-door cabriolet. This contrasted with the Simca's Italian cousin for which a wider range of bodies was available from the start and it also marked a departure from the strategy followed by Simca themselves with the predecessor model, the Simca-Fiat 6CV which had been offered with almost as wide a range of body variants as its Turin built relative. The 4-door saloon body was unusual in that there was no central pillar between the front doors, hinged at the front, and the rear doors, hinged at the back, permitting particularly easy access when a front and rear door were opened simultaneously. In 1937 the Simca 8 4-door Berline was priced at 23,900 Francs for a "Normale" version and at 25,900 Francs for a "Grande Luxe". The Peugeot 202 made its debut only six months later, in Spring 1938, and was priced at 21,300 Francs for a "Normale" version and at 22,500 Francs for a "Luxe". The cars were similar in size and power, but sales data suggest that the market found space for both of them, despite the Simca's higher price.

The post war range became wider, with coupé, cabriolet and after 1948 estate versions listed, but these were all substantially more expensive than the berline: virtually all the cars sold were still Simca 8 Berlines, which early in 1947 were priced at 330,000 francs against 420,000 francs for the cabriolet. (The slightly longer but slightly slower competitor from Peugeot, the 202 was priced at 303,600 francs which included a sunroof at no extra cost.)

Over the course of a few years the Simca 8 underwent some grille changes, and other minor upgrades.

In the years following WW2, the Simca 8 chassis was a popular choice among independent racing car constructors in France. The work of Jean Estager, an established driver and friend of F1 competitor and Le Mans winner, Louis Rosier. The 1,089cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine was prepared by Simca specialist Roger Deho, and Estager's car was fitted with Deho-Dubonnet aluminium shock absorbers, an aluminium steering box, and ventilated aluminium-alloy drum brakes. For the sporting coachwork, Estager turned to Carrozzeria Motto in Turin, a company with extensive experience in the construction of barchetta-type competition bodies for the likes of Alfa Romeo, FIAT, and Cisitalia. For Estager, Motto's craftsmen hand-built a simple, streamlined, two-seater body in aluminium, very much in the contemporary idiom. Once completed, Estager's Simca passed the Service des Mines (French vehicle registration authority) inspection and was registered in his name on 18th October 1950 as '581 G 63'.

Sold for: 166750 EUR
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