By on June 9, 2011


I find it impossible not to get obsessed with the idea of a 1960s Chrysler product with factory-installed Ardun-hemi-headed Ford V8-60, and now TTAC reader Paolo has sent us some photos of his extremely clean Esplanada.

Four-on-the-tree, red upholstery, a snazzy V8 emblem on the horn button, and what appears to be a shortwave-band Chrysler radio in the dash. Imagine having this car and a Monteverdi Hai 450! Dudes with ordinary Chrysler Hemi cars of the era— you know, like a Hemi Road Runner or something— would dissolve like slugs in rock salt, from the overwhelming envy.

Chrysler of Brazil replaced the Esplanada with the Dodge Dart for the 1970 model year. The Dart was a fine car, but it’s unfortunate that Chrysler didn’t offer the Esplanada alongside the Dodge.

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10 Comments on “Down On The Brazilian Street: 1969 Simca Esplanada...”


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I have seen cleaner and less cluttered engine bays – but only after the custom builder hid everything behind the firewall.

    And that lovely, unsupported dashboard: that’s the way for an interior to feel especially welcoming.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    That is one gorgeous car. I love the tailight treatment especially. Column shifter manual, too!

    I love stacked headlights; it would be interesting to see what this thing would have looked like with some diagonal stackers, like the ’62 Newport.

    I think its safe to say that if you do not want this car in your collection, there is something wrong with you.

  • avatar
    Towncar

    A beautiful and fascinating car! Kudos to Paolo.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    That really is a Mopar-looking car – did the wheel covers actually come from a ’67 Valiant? It has a Dart/Valiant kind of shape but with a 1955-Ford-shaped windshield and dash. And of course the 4-on-the-tree reminds me of my old 220S sedan. I like it!

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      I believe the core vehicle would be the Simca Vedette, which was originally intended to be a Ford

      Edit – Mahar’s comment below goes into a lot more detail

  • avatar
    scroggzilla

    If a Prince Skyline S50, a ’66 AMC Ambassador and Rover 2000TC had a 3-way, this is what their progeny would look like.

  • avatar

    Looks more 50s than 60s but it IS gorgeous. Four on the tree (sigh). Our ’65 Peugeot 404 had four on the tree.

  • avatar

    IT´S NOT A FOUR, BUT A THREE ON THE TREE WITH A COLUMBIA REAR AXLE GIVING SIX SPEEDS. THIS CAR WAS BASED IN THE PROJECT FORD MADE DURING THE WAR OF A SMALL CAR, FINALLY MADE IN FRANCE WITH THE NAME VEDETTE AND THE V8-60, BY THIS TIMEM WITH 2.4 LITERS AND 84 HP. FROM THIS EVOLVED A CAR CALLED FORD TRIANON, OF WHICH 1,541 WERE MADE BEFORE THE POISSY FACTORY WAS SOLD TO SIMCA, WHO DESPERATELY NEEDED IT FOR ITS VERY SUCESFU ARONDE MODEL,
    THE MACHINERY – BY POST WAR FRANCE´S GASOLINE PRICES A GAS GUZZLER – WAS UNLOADED IIN BRASIL TO MAKE THE CHAMBORD WHICH EVOLVED INTO THIS CAR, A VERY FAST, CONFORTABLE, GOOD HANDLING BUT UNRELIABLY ENGINED CAR WITH ELECTRIC NIGHTMARES….AS OPPOSED TO THE HORRIBLE BUT RELIABLE AERO WILLYS. BOTH UNWANTED IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES FOR OPPOSED REASONS: ONE TOO BIG, THE SIMCA, AND OTHER TOO SMALL, THE USA WILLYS…

    • 0 avatar
      dagamba

      Late reply. Very good research, Mahar.

      I have a few addons: This Simca Vedette you mention was in fact very successful in France and was produced from 1954 to 1961. WITH the ol’ Ford flathead. Partly with metric threads and measures. By then, Chrysler had taken over a share of Simca and started an enterprise in Brazil in 1958, later moving all machinery from Poissy, France to Belo Horizonte. They produced this nice tailfin model from 1958 to 1966.

      By then, Chrysler had a majority of Simca and released the Esplanada in 1966, a rather modern looking car. Engine was a beefed-up version of the flathead V8 hastily converted to OHV (take a look at the engine pics here!). And if you look closely enough, you will find that windscreen, roof and doors are still the exact same as on the old Simca Vedette. Dash has the same shape but dial-type instruments and wood panels. Even the tailfins have retained their basic mold, just lights and trim have changed…

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Interesting Info, Mahar. I had a 60 something Willys Overland do Brasil. I think it was known as a Rurale. The Simca is awesome compared to Simcas in the US.


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