simca aronde 9 & 90A
Introduced in 1951, the Aronde was the first new Simca design, previous models being based on contemporary Fiats. Very American in appearance, the four door saloon rapidly became popular in France and by 1953 over 60,000 Arondes had found eager owners. The name Aronde was chosen because the symbol of the Simca marque was a swallow and the ancient French word for swallow was L' Aronde.
Through its long production life (the last Arondes were built in 1964) there were three types. Cars built from 1951 to 1955 are known as Simca 9 Arondes and have a 1221 cc engine. This engine was introduced in 1950 into the previous model, the Simca 8, production of which finished in 1952. In addition to the four door saloon, a two door estate, van, and two door sports coupe were available. The sports coupe featured bodywork by Facel, but in 1954 the range was boosted by a two door coupe based on the standard Aronde bodyshell, known as the Grand Large. The photo is of a 9 Aronde saloon.
In October 1955 the 90A Aronde was introduced, which had a new engine of 1290cc, known as the Flash engine. A restyled radiator grille and boot were the main external changes. A greater range of trim levels were marked by the introduction of the Elysee and Monthlery model names. Nowadays they would be known as LX and GLX. January 1957 saw the 500,000th Aronde off the production line.
October 1957 saw the appearance of two new sports models, Oceane and Plein Ciel, again with bodywork by Facel. The Oceane was a two door convertible, Plein Ciel a hard top coupe version. Many of these cars were exported to the United States. Standard Arondes were exported to most European countries, including the UK, though only a few genuine right hand drive Arondes remain in the UK.
While there are only a few Arondes in the UK, a good number have survived in France and many mechanical components are available. Body and trim parts are a different matter, but used panels do appear at European Simca meetings and occasionally an unused wing can be found.
For the Earls Court Motor Show of October 1951, Fiat (UK) which covered the needs of the few Simcas that were in the UK at that time, imported 3 Arondes for display. One car, registered XMF 168 survives to this day, and was also road tested by ‘Autocar’ magazine.
Note: The car on the left at the top was the actual one used in an episode of tintin called "the calculus affair' as illustrated.