Classic Car

Simca’s 1100 VF3 van proved the unlikely starting point for Matra-Simca’s pioneering Rancho. The faux off-roader was sneered at by the press, but customers loved them, and the Rancho proved to be unlikely hit of the late-‘70s. Rough and tough, with big plastic bumpers, it was perfect for mean city streets, but the 1.4-litre Simca engine struggled to haul the large body on the motorway. Engines became rattly almost the moment it left the factory, and rust set-in soon after – the rear section was glassfibre, so at least some of it would survive unscathed.

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