My projects, hobbies, interests, whatever.

French Cars

It seems that French cars are usually the butt of jokes at least in the US. None have been sold here for many years. I’ve owned two French cars. A Simca 1204 and a Citroen SM. Saying that a car is French or from any particular country these days is problematic. The Simca was built during the time that Simca was owned by Fiat and then Chrysler (or maybe the other way around, I don’t remember).

I really liked the Simca. It was small (which I still like) and very nice riding and handling on rough roads a definite plus when, at the time, I lived in MA driving pot-holed and frost-heaved roads. It was the US version with 62 HP. When I bought this car the alternator didn’t work and I couldn’t find the French replacement (Paris-Rhone). I replaced it with a Ford alternator and regulator because it was small enough to fit. When I sold it the starter motor was failing which was completely unobtainable in the US (I think it was a Fiat product). I bought this car for $40 and sold it for $400. The only other times I ever sold cars for more then I paid for them was a Citroen SM and a Lotus Europa. Also the paint on this car oxidized very quickly so this photo was taken right after it was polished a couple of months later it would be a dull pinkish red.

my Simca 1204 - picture taken 1975

My Citroen SM was bought as a wreck with fire damage. Again this is not completely French. Most of the car was Citroen parts, but the engine was from Maserati. The engine, drive train and interior were shared with the Maserati Merak. In theory I was going to restore it but only got to the point where the engine was in running condition. I sold this car for a down payment on a new house. Houses were much less expensive then and fancy cars even as wrecks were relatively speaking expensive.

Citroen SM Fire Damage

Citreon SM Engine (Maserati V6)


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