The World Needs More Simca 1100s
Story and Photograhy by Benjamin Pette
I started my love story with cars by reading a French comic named Michel Vaillant. This pilot won in almost every races and it brought me to watch Formula 1. When I was in college, I participated to the raid 4L Trophy, a raid in Morocco on the Dakar rally tracks. After that, my first and current job start I work every day for a company which manufacture bearings for classic cars. It allow me to discover the classic car shows around Europe and start a blog to share my passions.
At a show in Reims, France, I took a picture of a Simca 1100 under a beautiful sun. When I needed to buy a second car, I remembered the Simca 1100 and I decided to search for one of them. I found one, in Guéret, 310 miles (500 km) from my house, and I chose this one because the owner used it every day. The only thing he didn’t mention, is that the car stalled every time he stopped!
Nevermind, I bought it, and I drove back to my place. The car is not perfect, that’s maybe why I’m so attached to it. The black color is rare, and was only used for export. The body is damaged, but the style is present. The engine is not powerful, just what you need to go anywhere, except a racetrack.
This is noisy, this is slow, but you move with a style you can’t have in modern cars.
After being stored outside for a while, these days, she sleeps in a garage and I use it every time I go to a classic car event, from the little mensual meeting I organise to the bigger events like the Traversée de Paris when 700 classic cars have a tour in Paris or the classic car race in the Dijon-Prenois or Magny-Cours racetracks.
The car is not made for highways, so if you use small roads and you take your time, it’ll ride and drive like you were in another world.