When it arrived in 1967, the Simca 1100 was a remarkably advanced family car, and in many ways, one that has its roots in the front-wheel drive family cars that are so popular today. It was the template for the modern car, with five-doors, a roomy hatchback and front-wheel drive.
These were all the ingredients for a successful mid-sized car, and as such, the 1100 should have enjoyed a lasting legacy. Certainly, in France, the Simca 1100 very much did the business, becoming a best-seller with two million sold – but despite that, it’s near forgotten these days. Especially in the UK, where few remember that it was sold in Chrysler dealers alongside Imps, Avengers and Hunters.
Under the skin, it was certainly interesting. Torsion bar suspension tuned for comfort and eager power units marked out the 1100 as pleasant to drive. The Ti was possibly the first hot hatchback available in Europe (it pre-dated the Golf GTI by five years). In the UK, its tendency towards tappet rattle and rusty bodywork marked it out unfairly as a banger before its time. Few survive as a result, and those that do are worth buttons.