When Simca acquired the Poissy factory from Ford France, as part of the package bought the manufacturing rights for the Vedette range. Simca's model range at that time was pretty thin on the ground, meaning that the Vedette was a welcome addition, flaws and all.

Simca introduced their own version of the Vedette in 1954, with the Ford US influence still substantial, the car maintaining a distinctly North American look.

The Vedette still drew its power from the same flathead V8 2353cc (144 cu in) side-valve engine used in the original Ford version.

Although the new Simca Vedette's construction was based on the monocoque style, the company did retain the highly efficient leaf spring rear suspension, rear-wheel drive inherited from Ford Europe,

As was standard practice at Simca in theFifties, to " fluff" out their sparse choice of vehicles, the Vedette was marketed with the same body but in three levels of trim.

The Vedette Trianon was the entry level, followed by the medium trim level Vedette Versailles, while the top trim model was labelled as the Vedette Regence.

Simca also offered a large and roomy estate version of the Vedette, which they called the Marly.

With its Stateside look, the Simca Vedette appeared to have more in common with contemporary American cars than French cars in the same price structure.

Despite the bling, the Vedette rapidly began to lose its glamour, when drivers began to experience the vehicle's lukewarm performance, with too small an engine for such a large car, with the limitations of a three-speed gearbox not helping the situation.

Despite not being particularly fast with a top speed of just 91 mph (146 k/ph) for those looking for comfort rather than speed, the Simca Vedette was both extraordinarily reliable and relaxing to drive.

In October 1957 Simca released a comprehensively revised version of the Vedette with the US influence growing even stronger.

The Vedette now came with two massive rear fins as well as a revised front end which while spectacular according to taste was more restrained than the rear.

To extract the maximum market value from the updates made to the Vedette, Simca discontinued the Tiannon, Versailles, and Regence models, introducing in their place the Beaulieu, Chambord and later the “Presidence”.

The Simca Vedette Presidence had a highly luxurious exterior, as well as standing out thanks to its externally mounted spare wheel designed to increase luggage space.

So impressed was the French President, Charles de Gaulle with the car that he used one of the models as his official car during 1960 and 1961.

DeGaulle was a very tall man- 1.96 meters - and he was apparently appreciatave of the considerable legroom in the back of the Vedette Presidence.

With the introduction of the new Vedette in 1957, Simca once again showed their resourcefulness by using up the remaining body shells, to launch the Ariane, fitting it with the 1290cc engine used in Aronde.

Although Simca wound down Vedette production in Europe at the end of  1961, they still managed to extract some added value by shipping all of the toolings to their plant in Brazil,where the model remained in production well into the Sixties.


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