Fascinating French Classic Cars: The Magnificent Simca Oceane

02-1959-simca

02-1959-simca

For the 1956 Paris Motor Show, the Simca Sport was deeply restyled and became the “Océane” for the convertible and “Plein Ciel” for the coupé. Although the name Plein Ciel was not logical for a coupé, the name meaning open sky, those two cars really are magnificent. The “little Thunderbird” is derived from the Simca Aronde and the so elegant body with its tail fins was designed by Facel, that is to say perfection was reached one more time.

Design

Simca Océane, a magnificent convertible, 1958 version.

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The Océane Convertible

Simca Océane, 1960. New radiator grille and linear meter on the dashboard.

The convertible Océane received the Aronde upgraded Flash Engine offering 57 hp (4 cylinders – 1290 cubic centimeters) and can reach 140 km/h, which is great for 1957.  Its steering is very precise and light, its brakes are excellent.

Restyling

The leather seats, sumptuous wheel and dashboard with round meter of the Simca Océane 1958.

The policy of Simca being to restyle each year, the Océane receives aesthetic modifications  and also on the engine. The radiator grill was modified in 1958 as well as the bumpers which were slightly lifted on the sides, the rear lamps were also changed. In 1959, appears the version called “S” for simplified, the leather seats are replaced by imitation, the bumpers are now straight, and the more luxurious models called “Grand Carrossier”.

The dashboard of the Aronde P60 was adopted in 1959.  In 1960, the engine was again upgraded and reached 60 hp, whereas in 1961, the “Rush Super” engine delivered 62 hp and finally on the 1962 model the “Super M Rush” the engine gives 70 hp and the Océane reaches almost 150 km/h.

Very few however are so equipped, the production of the car having ended late 1961. The Océane and Plein Ciel was still sold until the summer of 1962. In all 11.540  models were registered, this is quite a good result, the models being expensive compared to the Renault Floride that was similar.

The Simca Océane in Pop Culture

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Simca Océane, 1958, as seen from the rear.

Brigitte Bardot appeared in a red Simca Océane in the movie “la Parisienne”, chasing a black Citroën DS. The Océane was the last fabulous convertible by Simca, my favorite name in French automotive industry.

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