HomePick of the DayHere’s a surefire candidate for Concours d’Lemons 2020

Here’s a surefire candidate for Concours d’Lemons 2020


So, I set out on a specific mission: Go through the vehicles priced at less than $5,000 on ClassicCars.com and find one that might be an ideal purchase for showcasing next summer at the Concours d’Lemons during Monterey Car Week 2020.

I found a few candidates but the Pick of the Day — and the pick for a way to draw attention at a Lemons concours — is a 1959 Simca Aronde being advertised by its private seller in Amelia, Virginia.

Unfortunately, the seller has very little to say about the car.

“1959 Simca was in storage for years, car does run. Solid car, easy to restore.”

Simca Aronde
Simca Aronde just needs some TLC

That’s it, other than the fact that the car wears purple paint, has a red-and-white interior and a manual transmission, plus 48,962 miles on its odometer and that the seller wants $4,000, or the best offer close to that figure.

Other than those facts, there are a few photos that show a car that appears to be all there, albeit it with at least one of its whitewall tires flat, with an engine compartment that needs a good cleaning and with an interior that also needs some cleaning, but otherwise seemingly complete and intact.

That being said, we also know that French automaker Simca began production of its Aronde model for the 1951 model year and that it was the company’s first original design (earlier cars basically being rebadged Fiats) and its first unibody chassis. 

Simca is short for Societe Industrielle de Mecanique et Carrosserie Automobile and was founded by Fiat in 1935, later bought by what had been Ford of France and even later became part of Chrysler and even later of Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, all of which makes any of Simca’s vehicles ideal for the Concours d’Lemons.

Simca Aronde
It’s soooo French

Managing Simca at its founding was Henri Theodore Pigozzi, an Italian who bought old car bodies and recycled their sheetmetal to be used in future Fiats, another fact that should endear any Simca to the Lemons judges.

Simca’s brand emblem is a stylized swallow – Aronde is the French word for that bird.

A photo in the advertisement shows that the engine is the “Flash” version of Simca’s 1,290cc 4-cylinder, an upgrade with overhead valves and 45 horsepower.

To view this Concours d’Lemons future award winning 1959 Simca Aronde on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Wait a minute. I had a 59 Simca Aronde in college. The seats would recline flat (a great feature in college ) . Blew a head gasket on the way from Cleveland to Hartford in Batavia NY. Eventually blew the engine. Rebuilt a junk yard one and it ran great until my parents made me give it to a school friend they wanted to go home from a visit.

    • I had a blue chrysler simca, it was my winter car for my 63 XKE, what a contrast. The drivers seat weld failed at 60mph on the Lodge freeway and I thought I was going to die. Most memorable thing about the car was its speedometer, green until 35, yellow until 55, red from 55 up. Line display.

  2. In about 1957/8 I had a Simca Aronde, probably one of the first sold in the USA since as a high school student i could not have paid more than a few hundred dollars for it. I loved the way it handled and drove, BUT every time I would drive on the highway it would overheat and boil over. Professionally cleaned radiator, new water pump, new head gasket, and more – no change in this behavior. Had to return it to the use car dealer. Always regretted that since US cars of that era were no fun at all. Chrysler dealership mechanics no help in fixing. I find it hard to believe that they were all like this, but….?


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