Down On The Brazilian Street: 1969 Simca Esplanada

down on the brazilian street 1969 simca esplanada

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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  • MAHAR MAHAR on Jun 10, 2011

    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...

    • Dagamba Dagamba on Sep 27, 2013

      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...

  • Andy D Andy D on Jun 11, 2011

    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.

  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
  • FreedMike How about the “Aztek” package? Wait, this car already has that…Said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to restyle the hind end on this car, stat.
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