Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Rancho

The Matra Rancho was another of those innovative products that might have initially looked like the answer to a question that no-one had asked – but actually worked very well’

It ended up selling in substantial number – 56,700 between 1977-1985. The Simca 1100 VF3 van was the unlikely starting point for Matra’s pioneering Rancho – a brilliant idea that has since gone on to become a popular sector of the market: the ‘urban on-roader’.

The faux off-roader was sneered at by the press at the time, but customers loved them, and the Rancho became established street furniture. Rough and tough, with big plastic bumpers, it was perfect for mean city streets, but the 1.4-litre Simca engine struggled to haul the large body on the motorway.

Engines became rattly almost the moment it left the factory, and rust set-in soon after – the rear section was glassfibre, so at least some of it would survive unscathed.


Reviews, blogs and news stories

The cars : Matra-Simca Rancho

The cars : Matra-Simca Rancho

The 1977 Matra-Simca Rancho is one of those wonderful cars that made more of an impact than anyone realised at the time of its launch. Today, no-one would bat an eyelid if a manufacturer launched a chunky-looking van-based lifestyle vehicle with looks that hinted at off-road ability– but back in the late 1970s, this was radical stuff. Here’s its story.

Events : Dutch Citroën A to ZX and Simca/Talbot meeting

Events : Dutch Citroën A to ZX and Simca/Talbot meeting

Why would AROnline visit a Citroën meeting in the south of the Netherlands? Well, for one, we love cars – all of them. And the French certainly built some of the most interesting ones of all times. But the interested reader of these pages will certainly know that, as a consequence of Chrysler buying both […]

The cars : Talbot Wind

The cars : Talbot Wind

The Rancho might be the best known 1100 variant for fashionistas, but the Talbot Wind was an equally faddish flavour – for rather less money. The beach was probably the best place for this unfortunately named plaything. What a pick-up line he coachbuilders Heuliez were no strangers to the idea of converting the SIMCA 1100 […]