Simca Aronde: some car, this Simca

27 November 2017

‘Some Car, this Simca’ was one of the most memorable car advertisements of the day. It was 1960 and the brand new Aronde P60 sold alongside the bigger Vedette Beaulieu. Both were utterly French in character and yet quite different from a Peugeot 403 or Renault Dauphine, to name two cars which sold fairly well in this country.

Vedette cut quite a dash heading into the 1960s. Pity about the side-valve Ford V8 and three-speed gearbox

With its V8 engine making the Vedette unique in a context of Holdens, Mark II Zephyrs and the new Ford Falcon, you might expect it to have been racy in character. In fact the Vedette was quite a calm and unruffled machine of some elegance, but using an outdated Ford side-valve V8 running through a three-speed manual transmission. I remember how sleek it looked in white with a red flash and the distinctive V8 rumble. Some car, indeed! But, at £1495 to the Holden Special’s £1110, it was relatively pricey.