The old test Simca 1501 Special: The French Giulia

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The old test Simca 1501 Special
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S o inconspicuously elegant as its shape is also its role on the German market: The Simca 1501 - which emerged from the 1500 model in autumn 1966 through an extension of the body - is sold in moderate numbers. Nevertheless, he has created a solid circle of friends to whom he offers a welcome alternative in the heavily occupied middle class field. There is even a dash of Mercedes in its lines.

Equipment: complete and comfortable

Which suits him decisions are mostly made by individualists, who like its simple, hardly outdated shape more than the fashionable sheet metal clothes of mass-produced brands. In addition, individuality does not have to be bought with higher prices or with a noticeably greater risk. A few weeks ago Simca made some changes to the 1501, the most important of which is undoubtedly the increase in engine power desired by many friends of the brand. And since the word 'Special', the name for particularly richly equipped model variants with sport appeal, has meanwhile proven to be sales-promoting, the Simca 1501 Special was added as the top model of the 1301/1501 series.

Except for Corresponding lettering on the front and rear of the Simca 1501 Special can be recognized from the outside by halogen auxiliary headlights, perforated rims, wide chrome strips under the doors and painted narrow ones. The body is well known: with external dimensions that can still be called compact, it offers good space in the interior and a sufficiently large, albeit relatively flat trunk. The four wide doors are characterized by their very large opening angles and allow easy entry and exit at the front and rear. The low belt line ensures a good view on all sides, and when maneuvering you always have all four corners of the clear body in view.

The equipment of the Simca 1501 Special is remarkably extensive. The halogen auxiliary headlights, which are responsible for the excellent high beam of the car, are just as much a part of it as belt tires, brake booster, center shift, rubber-coated bumper horns, reversing lights and a windscreen made of laminated glass. Furthermore, floor carpets with a homely appearance, reclining seats, center armrests in the rear, sports steering wheel, compressor fanfare, dimming interior mirror, timer, two lockable and illuminated onesGlove boxes and a spacious storage compartment on the transmission tunnel so that you hardly miss anything that can make everyday use of an automobile easier.

Instruments that are difficult to read

The seats of the Simca 1501 Special are well shaped and quite comfortable; Unfortunately they are covered with plastic, which despite the perforation is not as comfortable as a good fabric cover. The rear passengers have enough seat depth and knee space, but the headroom is a bit tight for tall contemporaries. The hole-spoke steering wheel is quite high in the room, which creates a driving position that takes a bit of getting used to, but is not uncomfortable. However, smaller drivers always have the upper part of the steering wheel rim in their field of vision.

In addition, this sports steering wheel in the Simca 1501 Special looks a bit out of place, because it does not harmonize with the dashboard. Or rather, it lacks the desired functionality. The instruments are confusing and difficult to read, which is not affected by the generous use of different colors on the individual scales. Another reason for criticism is the low position of the ignition lock and handbrake, which the driver always needs to bow to operate - quite apart from the fact that the ignition lock poses a danger to the driver's left knee.

Appears equally unmotivated the unnecessarily sharp-edged dashboard cover on the right-hand side, and the switch for the two-stage windshield wipers in the upper left corner of the board is difficult to reach. The center shift lever, on the other hand, is well at hand, which sits far enough back to be operated without bowing even when the seat is completely back.

Good heating output in the Simca 1500 Special

The heater had ample opportunity to prove its effectiveness on the first cold winter days. Above all, it is gratifying that after a few hundred meters of travel it begins to give off warm air. It is less pleasant with the front area ventilation, which no longer corresponds to the level usual in the middle class today.

It is a pity that Simca had the rotating fresh air nozzles on the dashboard of the 1501, which its predecessor was one of the first cars to have. has given up again. The quality of workmanship of the Simca makes a good impression, with some details being more carefully executed than is generally the case in today's average mid-size car. The tightly closing doors and the low noise level of the body contribute to this impression of solidity.

Engine with more power, but less elasticity

For a 1.5 liter, the performance of the Simca 1501 Special was not bad in terms of numbers either, but it seemed an improvement hereappropriate, because in the last few years the performance demands in the middle class have grown a lot. The Simca technicians achieved the increase in performance from 69 to 81 hp mainly through aerodynamic measures: the combustion chambers and cam shape were revised, the compression slightly increased, the exhaust system improved with a quadruple manifold. But the strange centrifugal oil filter stayed. With the 12 extra horsepower gained in this way, the test car reached a top speed of 154 km /h and accelerated from 0 to 100 km /h in 14.4 seconds - undoubtedly decent values ​​for a 1,035 kg car.

Unfortunately, the more powerful engine of the Simca 1501 Special is no longer as flexible in the lower and middle speed range as its predecessor. This is evident from the fact that it only delivers its maximum torque of 12.0 mkg at 4,000 rpm. In addition, the gear ratio was changed so that higher speeds can now be achieved in the individual gears at the same speed. So if you always want to have acceleration reserves in the accelerator, you shouldn't be lazy to change gear.

Longer gear ratios reduce the noise level

The engine's cold-running properties are unsatisfactory. Although it starts reliably, it does not take gas very well, so that you have to drive with the choke on for a relatively long time. The test car also reacted with a warm engine when accelerating from low speeds and only hesitantly to full throttle after shifting. The smoothness of the engine appears to be improved compared to the previous model. When it is fully turned off, it cannot be overheard, but the noise is by no means annoying. In addition, wind and other background noises are kept within low limits.

The Simca motor is considered to be robust and durable - properties that are unlikely to have suffered from the increase in output. However, low consumption doesn't seem to be its strong point. It is only economical at medium speeds. Those who frequently drive it full, on the other hand, have to expect a consumption of 13 liters and more per 100 kilometers.

Simca 1501 Special chassis is solid and unproblematic

That the Simca 1501 Special dem is more accommodating than the quiet average driverLovers of a sporty driving style show its driving characteristics particularly clearly. As a strong understeer, he is extremely unwilling to turn when driving fast, and his very indirectly translated steering requires a lot of cranking - two points that impair his maneuverability and which are only slightly alleviated by the radial tires fitted as standard (Kléber V 10 on the test car) .

Otherwise, the driving behavior of the Simca 1501 Special on good and bad roads is equally unproblematic and remains easily controllable under all conditions. He is insensitive to tearing of the steering and is not particularly impressed by cross winds. The precisely guided rear rigid axle ensures good traction even on poor roads and only tramples once in particularly bumpy corners. The suspension is comfortable enough and responds very well to minor bumps in particular. Larger bumps, on the other hand, are clearly noticeable at medium and high speeds.

Nevertheless, in the Simca 1501 Special you have the feeling of traveling pleasantly and comfortably, a feeling that is largely due to the interaction of various components - low-noise Body, quite quiet engine, homely interior, well-muffled tire run-off noises - the result. The brakes deserve praise: With the help of the brake booster, which is now standard, they are easy to operate and easy to adjust; in addition, they are able to withstand high stresses.

Good everyday car instead of sports sedan

You should look through the designation Don't let the “Special” fool you: The Simca 1501 Special is more of a good everyday car than a thoroughbred sports sedan. It has neither outstanding qualities nor serious defects. At a price that is reasonable for the equipment on offer, it offers many average properties that, taken as a whole, result in pleasant and sophisticated driving.

Those who want to forego some equipment details can save around 600 marks by opting for the Simca 1501 GL decides, which is also offered on the German market with the 81 hp engine.

The Simca 1301/1501 today

The good Simca middle class sedans are gradually emerging from the shadows of the scene. Everyday and family suitability with low maintenance costs are their strengths. They offer more driving fun than a contemporary Opel Rekord and far more individuality. If you don't mind the low prestige of this interesting series, you can still find it cheaply, especially in neighboring France and Switzerland.

We are particularly looking for early 1500s with their innocent charm before the facelift of 1966. But also later 1500 Special models with the 81 HP engine.Late 1301/1501 models only have 55 or 69 hp and also suffer from poor sheet metal quality. The spare parts situation is more relaxed than expected.

Prices 2012 (Classic-Car-Tax) : Simca 1501 Special, built in 1970, condition 2/4 6,000 /2,700 euros

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