Greetings, everyone! Today’s featured car is somewhat iconic down here in Brazil. Star of the TV Show “O Vigilante Rodoviário” or just “The Highway Officer” in english and subject of an immensely popular song from Camisa de Vênus in the 80’s. Also known as the Simca Vedette in France today we’ll see the story of the Simca do Brasil Chambord!

Many consider the Simca Chambord the first luxury car made in Brazil, and I agree. Its production began in 1959, just five years after it was introduced in France. The Chambord, or Vedette as it was named in the land of the baguette [sorry, but I wanted to keep this rhyme], was actually designed by Ford!

Simca do Brasil was founded in 1958, with their first factory being built in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. The first Chambords, still mostly made with French-imported parts, rolled out of the factory early in 1959. Coming before the Dauphines, it was the first French car built here and the first big, luxury V8 barge available to us. In a time when most cars were imported from US or simply Beetles, the Chambord surely was something that turned heads when it passed by.

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The engines were the same as the French Chambord: 2,500 cc V8 engines, with only 84 hp. With a top speed with just 135 km/h and taking 26 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, it surely wasn’t a fast car. Again, as happened with the Dauphine “Leite Glória”, the Chambord was also a target for the Brazilian acid humor: It was dubbed the Belo Antônio, in reference to a famous character from an Italian movie that was excellent at taking women to the bed, but failed when he it was that time (if you know what I mean)...

But, since it was a luxury car, the comfort is what’s most important. So the Simca Chambord was the first Brazilian car to have McPherson suspension in the front. And for being more reliable, it was also the first car here without a dynamo, having an alternator.

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Some years later, in 1961, after a big number of its components began being made here, Simca prepared some variations. The first was the Chambord Présidence. With the spare mounted outside in the trunk lid, like in the Lincoln Continentals, a lot of leather, radio, reading lights and even a minibar with crystal glasses for the rear passengers, it surely was luxurious!

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And for hauling the rich faster, the V8 got some spice with an extra carburettor and an increased power of 105 hp. A new synchronized gearbox was also introduced, and the cars available with this option were easily recognizable by a little badge with three swallows on the fender.

Also in ‘61 the sportier Rallye version arrived, but this will be a subject of a future Feijoada Friday ;)

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At the São Paulo Auto Salon of ‘63, Simca shown the wagon version, the Simca Jangada. It was heavily influenced by the French Simca Marly, but with some minor differences. The rear lights, for example, came from the Chambord, instead of being redesigned for the model. DeAgostini made a model of the Jangada too, so just you wait!

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Next year, in 1964, the Chambord passed through some bigger changes. The roof was raised, it got amber indicators, reclinable seats in the front and a parted front seat. Not a long bench anymore :(

But the best change was the new Tufão (literally Typhoon) and Super Tufão engines: with an incresed compression ratio and some minor changes the 2,400 cc Tufão engine now developed 100 hp @ 4800 RPM and the 2,500 cc Super Tufão made 112 hp @ 5000 RPM. Not so shaby anymore! Oh, and now the fuel tank was increased to 85 liters, instead of the small 55 liters it had before. A thirsty V8 pushing a heavy luxury car with just 55 liters of fuel wasn’t a very good thing, don’t you think?

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Simca also released a very basic model, aimed at taxi drivers, called the Simca Profissional. It was just a Chambord without any kind of luxury: Steelies, simple paint, simple interior finish, no badges or frills... It came at the same time as the Willys Gordini Teimoso, the DKW Pracinha and the VW Fusca Pé-de-boi (ox foot, a Beetle that was merely an engine, wheels, seat and steering wheel).

The Tufão engines got hemispherical combustion chambers (not a Chrysler, but Hemi Simcas!!!!!), raising their power to a whopping 140 hp! To calm down all those horses, it got an oil radiator as well. The 0-100 times fell for a much sportier 16 seconds.

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‘66 marked the end of the Simca Chambord with the introduction of the Simca Esplanada. Chrysler came to Brazil and bought Simca, so their modernization plan included a farewell to the Chambord an welcome to something new.

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But you’ll have to wait a bit to know the rest of this story! Luckily DeAgostini included a lot of Simcas in their collection, so when we get the FF about the Esplanada you’ll discover what happened next ;)

Bonus!

This was the Police Car that made “O Vigilante Rodoviário” so famous. I have two 1/43 Simca Chambords, and I want to turn one of them into this car some day.

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And this is the song “Simca Chambord” by Camisa de Vênus. I translated the lyrics for you ;)

Um dia me pai chegou em casa, - One day my dad got home,

nos idos de 63 - in the year of ‘63

E da porta ele gritou orgulhoso: - and from the door he proudly shouted:

‘Agora chegou a nossa vez - ‘now it is our time

Eu vou ser o maior, - I’ll be the best,

comprei um Simca Chambord’ - bought a Simca Chambord

O inverno veio impedir - The winter came to forbid

o meu namoro no jardim - me dating on the garden

Mas a gente fugia de noite - but we ran on the night

Numa fissura que não tinha fim - in an endless craze

Na garagem da vovó - at granny’s garage

Tinha o banco do Simca Chambord - had the Simca Chambord seats

Fazendo Simca Chambord [4x] - Making Simca Chambord [4x]

Meu pai comprou um carro, - My dad bought a car,

Ele se chama Simca Chambord - It’s called Simca Chambord

E no caminho da escola - In the way to school

eu ia tão contente - I went so happy

Pois não tinha nenhum carro - Because there wasn’t any car

Que fosse na minha frente - that was on our way

Nem Gordini, nem Ford - not Gordini nor Ford

O bom era o Simca Chambord - The best was the Simca Chambord

O presidente João Goulart, - The president João Goulart

um dia falou na TV - one day said on TV

Que a gente ia ter muita grana - That we would have a lot of money

Para fazer o que bem entender - To do what we wanted

Eu vi um futuro melhor, - I saw a better future

no painel do meu Simca Chambord - on the dash of my Simca Chambord

Fazendo Simca Chambord [4x] - Making Simca Chambord [4x]

Meu pai comprou um carro, - My dad bought a car

Ele se chama Simca Chambord - It’s called Simca Chambord

Mas eis que de repente, - But all of a sudden

foi dado um alerta - A warning was given

Ninguém saía de casa - No one left home

e as ruas ficaram desertas - And the streets were deserted

Eu me senti tão só, - I felt so alone

dentro do Simca Chambord - Inside the Simca Chambord

Tudo isso aconteceu - All of this happened

há mais de vinte anos - More than twenty years ago

Vieram jipes e tanques - Jeeps and tanks came

que mudaram os nossos planos - That changed our plans

Eles fizeram o pior - They did the worst

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord - Finished with the Simca Chambord

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord [4x] - Finished with the Simca Chambord [4x]

Eles fizeram o pior - They did the worst

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord - Finished with the Simca Chambord

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord - Finished with the Simca Chambord

Eles acabaram com o Simca Chambord - They finished with the Simca Chambord

Eles acabaram com o Simca Chambord - They finished with the Simca Chambord

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord - Finished with the Simca Chambord

Eles fizeram o pior - They did the worst

Acabaram com o Simca Chambord - Finished with the Simca Chambord

Note: When they sing about tanks and jeeps they’re referencing our times during the military dictatorship that followed the counter-coup against the communist insurgency. We almost passed through a socialist dictatorship like that on Cuba.

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Bonus ads:

A perfect harmony of BEAUTY AND POWER!

Serene lines, of an aristocratic good taste, harmonious proportions, luxury trim but without exaggerations, absolute perfection of technical solutions in all details - all this forms that wonderful set that is the Simca Chambord

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A new touch of elegance in the modern Brazilian landscape.

With a proved performance on the cities and highways of Brazil, the Simca Chambord is a rare match of power, beauty, comfort and safety. Its lines of an aristocratic good taste, the luxury interior - with broad and deep seats - the extraordinary smoothness at high and low speeds and the quality of all its mechanical solutions, are elements that sum itselves to make the Simca Chambord the closest car to perfection you could buy.

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4 door sedan. Absolute comfort for 6 persons. Powerful engine “Aquilon” with 8 cylinders in V. “Stabimatic” suspension, a Simca exclusivity. Super Compact structure, of an extraordinary robustness. Panoramic glasses and windows, given you full visibility. Beautiful color combinations. Behold the Chambord in your city’s authorized Simca dealer.

Sources:

Best Cars Website - Simca

Propagandas de Carros

KBoing - Camisa de Vênus - Simca Chambord