1950 Simca 8
1950 Simca Estager Barquette
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Motto
Chassis no. 145063
In the years following WW2, the Simca Eight chassis was a popular choice among independent racing car constructors in France, and this example is the work of Jean Estager, an established driver and friend of F1 competitor and Le Mans winner, Louis Rosier. The 1,089cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine was prepared by Simca specialist Roger Deho, and Estager's car was fitted with Deho-Dubonnet aluminium shock absorbers, an aluminium steering box, and ventilated aluminium-alloy drum brakes. For the sporting coachwork, Estager turned to Carrozzeria Motto in Turin, a company with extensive experience in the construction of barchetta-type competition bodies for the likes of Alfa Romeo, FIAT, and Cisitalia. For Estager, Motto's craftsmen hand-built a simple, streamlined, two-seater body in aluminium, very much in the contemporary idiom. Once completed, Estager's Simca passed the Service des Mines (French vehicle registration authority) inspection and was registered in his name on 18th October 1950 as '581 G 63'.
In 1951, Estager sold the car to Max Deblon. The Simca was entered in that year's Le Mans 24 Hours race for Deblon/Daguet (competitor number '74') but did not make the start. Despite this setback the car participated in various races, most notably at Montlhéry in 1953. Estager's one-off then disappeared from view until the 2000s when it was rediscovered by Christophe Pund in 'barn find' condition, incomplete but fortunately retaining its special chassis and original body. The car was subsequently sold to the current vendor, a prominent collector of French cars, who commissioned a complete professional restoration, during which an engine was rebuilt and modified for racing. Bored out to 1,220cc, it is fitted with two Solex 32 PBIC carburettors on an Abarth manifold (the aluminium sump and oil filler are the original Deho components). As a record of the car's condition when rediscovered, the interior side of the driver's door was left unrestored. The restoration was completed circa three years ago at a cost of some 100,000.
Simple in design, light in weight and easily maintained, this unique Italian-bodied French barchetta represents an ideal entry into historic sports car racing and is a guaranteed head-turner at any event. The original type 1,089cc is included in the sale, and the car is offered with a French Carte Grise.