PCH, Superpower Econobox Edition: Simca 1000 or Fiat 128?S

The '38 Graham-Paige did a number on the '38 Mercedes-Benz in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, similar to Marshal Zhukov's number on Berlin (and our poll would have been even more one-sided if we'd stacked a Pobeda against the Benz). Today I feel like returning to the perennial struggle between PCH Superpowers Italy and France, because a Project Car Hell without one of the Superpowers is like knuckles without fresh scabs.




The last time we saw a Simca 1000 in this series, it got walloped by a matchup even more unfair than yesterday's (and that was without the taint of National Socialism hovering around one of the contestants like a vile stink-cloud). The Citröen SM is the H-bomb of PCH entrants, and two of them... well, the Simca never had a chance. But the Simca 1000 is a powerful contender in its own right, with the combination of a history packed with wild rally hoonage (see the video above) and French design. And we have just the '64 Simca 1000GL for you! The seller wants us to know that this potential rally screamer is "in need of restore," but no need to worry, because "its whole car." The asking price is $2,000, but we're pretty sure there's plenty of negotiating room available. Rust? Sure looks like it! Running? Ha! But don't think about those things- just imagine how much fun you'll have fighting oversteer on your favorite winding roads. Thanks (and the all-important second half-credit towards a PCH Tipster T-shirt) to Zweirad for the tip!



It's one thing to buy a boxy French car that you can turn into a vintage rally machine, but how about a boxy Italian car that's already covered with factory "Rally" badges? Sure, the Fiat 128 is front-wheel-drive, but you get nearly 300 more CCs than you do with the Simca; that's right, the Fiat 128 Rally came with the "big block" Fiat engine! You might think they'd be impossible to find, but check out this fine '78 Fiat 128 Rally, which has a price tag of only 2,600 bones, or clams, or whatever you call them. The seller claims it's "very solid" and even comes with some (unspecified) extra parts. But we all know that no Fiat 128 was ever "solid," even on the day it left the factory (except for perhaps maybe the one they built special for Enzo Ferrari), which means that you'll be able to enjoy the "three steps forward, five steps back" routine as you struggle to keep your 128 in running condition.

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