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The fine French Fiat of a Friday Lady
Said to have been photographed circa 1934, the car seen here is supposedly a Simca 11CV taking part in a concours d’élégance, most likely in Paris in the Bois de Boulogne. There are a few more (heavily watermarked) photographs to be found online of the same car with the same lady, one of them showing a similar berline, too. The two cars were registered 2871-RJ1 and 2871-RJ2. We also found a third example at the same show, a convertible with the registration 2828-RJ1.
🐽 It seems remarkable that Simca came out in force at an event like this, but perhaps it wasn’t that unnatural. The marque had only just been created and therefore had good reasons for trying to make a name for itself. A former scrap merchant named Henri Théodore Pigozzi had just formed Simca (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile) in November 1934 as a French subsidiary of Fiat SpA, so the first Simca cars were Fiats built for the French market under licence in Nanterre. The Simca 11CV was based on and in many ways was similar to the Fiat 518 Ardita.
Since the Simca company was only formed in November 1934, the pictures are more likely to be taken at a 1935 concours, don't you think? We also wonder if the Simcas did very well. With about 2,200 made until 1937, the 11CV is a relatively rare model nowadays.
Words: Jeroen Booij; picture: Boris Lipnitzski