Abarth is for FIAT. Gordini is for Renault. The world is awesome in it’s simplicity. Right? Wrong. Because SIMCA worked with ‘m both. Actually, despite Gordini is known for his creations for Renault, he started at SIMCA. Henri Pigozzi, the guy producing FIATs in Nanterre and therefor creating SIMCA, recognized the talent of Amédée Gordini and quickly hired him to make his racing cars faster.
A bond between Gordini and Pigozzi existed naturally, partly because they were both Italian expatriates who had moved to France after WWI. Gordini rapidly found himself the head of the Simca motor racing department. But after WWII Gordini felt it was time to move ahead and start “living” on his own.
The car shown here was the SIMCA Gordini T8 that competed in the Le Mans 24 hrs with #50. Still developed while working for SIMCA. Behind the steering wheel two French men (of course) José Scaron and... Pierre Veyron!
In lap #88, after 10 hours of driving, though a transmission failure forced the #50, fitted with a tiny 1.1 SIMCA 4-banger, to retire. And it would be one of the last products to come from this intense collaboration between SIMCA and Gordini.
The break with Simca arose over the extent of the manufacturer’s support for Simca-Gordini participation at the top level of motor racing, including Formula 1. So in 1952 Gordini founded his own independent Gordini company to build a line of sports cars for racing. And to top that the government of France awarded Amédée Gordini the Legion of Honor In 1953.
Most of you know the Austin Healey Sprit, also known as the Frog-Eye. Or Bug-Eye in the States. But what do we call a thing with three headlights like this? No idea.
The model is an IXO/Altaya in 1/43 scale. Details are painted, like those leather straps. The seams of the doors are what annoy me a bit, or it might be that the paint is too thick. The logo up front however is spot on!
And the wheels are definitely of the cheaper sort when it comes to it’s spokes. And...
I couldn’t fit my driver. His helmet is too modern but still...
And that’s it for this week. Too bad both of the brands are gone now, there was so much good stuff back in the days... Then again: Renault is on the right track with the rebirth of Alpine, maybe they’ll start creating DECENT Gordinis again as well. Not just by giving them a blue color and a set of wheels.