1951 Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork by Pininfarina, Carosserie no. 889318
s/n 887998, Engine no. 226898
Dark Red with Ivory Leather
The Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet has its genesis in the Cisitalia 202, designed by Pininfarina in 1947 then beautifully adapted by Giovanni Michelotti on the Fiat 1100 S chassis. First presented at the 1948 Paris Motor Show, the convertible Simca 8 caused a sensation. From a modern perspective, it is difficult to understand how unusual this compact, low-slung cabriolet was for the time. While Simca was valued for its performance, durability and economy, it was the stunning Pininfarina coachwork that wowed Paris Motor Show attendants. Giovanni Michelotti, entrusted with the adaptation of the Cisitalia to the proportions of the Fiat 1100 S frame, worked wonders proportioning the final design. By 1949, the “Sport” model emerged with a slight increase in horsepower and engine displacement. The well-received coupe and convertible production was hand-crafted in aluminum by Facel Metallon in an effort to meet demand for this high priced offering. The Simca 8 Sport distinguished itself in competition with notable wins. Amédée Gordini’s team triumphed in long distance events competing in the 1,100cc class. Success followed at Rallye Monte Carlo in both closed and open cars, with a cabriolet winning the 1950 Moroccan Atlas Rally.
This particular car is a very special Simca, prepared in 1960 with a Ford V8-60 with Eddie Meyer Engineering performance upgrades. In addition to being a highly desirable and rare car, this Simca 8 Sport is eligible for many premier events, presenting handsomely against significantly higher priced cars while attracting both attention and conversation at any automotive gathering. Historically, nearly a dozen original Eddie Meyer documents and receipts accompany this car. These 1960 receipts include a complete engine rebuild at the Meyer shop among several other carefully detailed repairs. It is likely that International Motors was the original selling agent in the US and not coincidental that both Eddie Meyer and Roger Barlow (both of whom had shops in close proximity to International Motors) worked together preparing the car. Both Meyer and Barlow specialized in V8 conversions in this period. Although the first nine years of history are not currently evident, the paperwork on this car dates back to 1960 and ownership history reveals the car has been in California for more than 50 years. During the many years of ownership, records indicate that the car was taken off the road in 1968 and subsequently stalled as a restoration project until the recent owner was able to step in and complete the car to the current condition.
During the past two years, Dave Torrey of Absolute Engineering in Goleta, CA performed much of the work on the car, adding a modified Borg-Warner five-speed manual transmission and bell housing, in place of the Ford three-speed. This specially built transmission and housing coupled to the V8 makes a significant difference in the performance of this car. During the restoration, the engine was removed and freshened as needed (photos of the restoration work are included in the file). The braking system was updated to a dual-reservoir system with improvements to all four drums. An electric cooling fan was added, and the car was completely rewired including a new wire harness. All mechanical systems were rebuilt or refreshed as needed, while the interior was restored. At the same time, the formerly Frenched in headlights were corrected back to the original style and proper Marchal headlamps were installed.
Today the car is a handsome combination of European design and period performance excitement. The V8 starts easily and runs smoothly at idle. Power is substantial for this car and the five-speed transmission allows for a wonderful combination of acceleration and smooth highway cruising. The brakes work efficiently with the new dual-reservoir system with the handling being better than one might expect from a comfortable 50’s era car. The sporting nature of this car with the V8 conversion is a fantastic offering for an enthusiast that wishes to enjoy driving with a car that is both unique and visually exciting.
The paint (a good quality respray performed some years ago) has good gloss overall with some areas that have been touched up over the years. The interior is nicely finished with good quality instruments and nicely painted dash. The carpeting was replaced this year and remains in excellent condition. The seats are of a vintage type, which offer hot rod flavor and have excellent form-fitting side support. The seats have been recently covered in nice quality leather. The convertible top has been done in correct high quality canvas and is easily raised and lowered. Overall the interior has a nice vintage look and feel complete with vintage fire extinguisher. The trunk is nicely finished and includes a spare tire with matching rim and jack.
Under the hood, the V8-60 resides with very nice cosmetics and period correct Eddie Meyer accessories include a twin Stromberg carburetor intake sitting above twin Eddie Meyer heads. Attention to detail for the period has been thoughtfully done in the accessories that complete the finish under the hood. The undercarriage is very clean and tidy with solid floors and substructure and proper suspension components. The car comes with a notebook containing the Eddie Meyer documentation, period records including ownership documents, photos of the recent restoration work, and April 1951 Road and Track magazine featuring a two page article on the car as well as a period advertisement showing both the coupe and convertible.
With it’s beautiful open coachbuilt body, period Eddie Meyer performance enhancements, and known California history for more than half a century, this wonderful Simca 8 Sport will surely return many years of joy as an exciting touring car.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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