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  Simca 1000 Coupe      

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Country of origin:France
Produced from:1962 - 1967
Numbers built:10915
Introduced at:1962 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Giorgietto Giugiaro for Bertone
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 16, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionShortly after Simca launched the all new 1000 Sedan at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, coach-builder Facel presented the French manufacturer with their design for a Coupe version. This was hardly surprising as Facel had been responsible for clothing Simca two-door models before. Simca executives, however, were not impressed with Facel's proposal and decided to look elsewhere.

Bertone was eventually chosen where a young Giorgietto Giugiaro was tasked with penning what would become the Simca 1000 Coupe. Quite in contrast with the square shape of the 1000 Sedan, Giugiaro's design was very elegant. With the engine mounted in the back there was no need for a radiator, which allowed for a clean nose design. The cockpit boasted a a large glasshouse with lovely thin pillars.

The two-door body was mounted on a mildly modified 1000 Sedan chassis. The diminutive 944cc engine was tweaked, raising the power by 2 bhp to 40 bhp. A few years into the production run this figure was increased to 52 bhp. The straightforward chassis featured independent suspension all-round with a transverse leaf spring at the front and coil springs at the back. The interior was completely redesigned to suit the Coupe.

Simca introduced the Bertone-bodied 1000 Coupe at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show to universal acclaim. Before the car actually entered production, the design was further revised. Bertone was responsible for the construction of the body, which was united with the chassis in Simca's own factory. Production started in earnest in 1963 and by 1967 over 10,000 of the small coupes had rolled off the line.

In 1967, the model was revised and fitted with a larger, twin carburettor engine good for at least 80 bhp. Now known as the 1200 S Coupe, the more potent evolution was easily recognisable thanks to the large intake in the nose needed to cool the revised engine. Both the 1000 and 1200 S Coupes were also used as the basis for the fibreglass bodied CG sports cars that were raced with considerable success.

Production finally ceased in 1971 when over 25,000 examples of the two evolutions were built. Especially in 1200 S guise, Giugiaro's lovely lines were backed up by a high performance platform, which earned the Simca Coupe the reputation as a 'poor man's Porsche'.

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  Article Image gallery (8) 154970 Specifications