Talbot Rallye2 Profile

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Talbot Rallye2 General Information

First, it should actually be called a Simca Rallye. The production of this car was stopped in 1978, before the brand was re-named Talbot. However to the day this car is a suprisingly prominent car in French rallies and surprisingly often referred to as a Talbot.

The Simca Rallye also had a sister as it's UK equivalent would be the Hillman Imp. The relation between these two models is not very obvious, only if you see the front end of early Simca prototypes you could mistake it for an Imp. As well the Simca was only available as a 4-door and the Imp only as a 2-door. Here we only cover the Simca version. The Hillman Imp was a majorly successful car in British rallies, even an occasional overall winner (i.e. ERC Tulip 1965 with Rosemary Smith, yes a lady driver, Manx 69 with Colin Malkin), but overall in the sales statistics the Imp was nowhere near as successful as the Simca Rallye and when the WRC was born, the Imp was past its best days in rallying and was in its last production days, very unlike the Simca.

Overall it seems strange to create small, rear-engined, RWD saloons, but at its time this was not such a rare layout at all. The opposition Simca tried to compete with this car included Volkswagen Beetle, Skoda 130, NSU Prinz, Renault Dauphine and Renault R8. Of these cars - with the exception of the Skoda 130 - only the Simca saw permanent development carried out throughout its production life. In the end, on the rear-engined RWD mini market the Simca had strong opposition, but over the years the Simca became the most advanced and refined one of the lot. But in order:

When Simca created the car, they first intended to call it Arielle, as that name would go distinctively in line with other Simca names as Aronde, Ariane. But when it was launched in 1961, it was simply called the Simca 1000. Here note that this was roughly the same time Renault launched the R8. The R8 was the successor of the Renault Dauphine, that in a Gordini version was already a success on rally stages, so the ideas with the R8 seemed obvious. And the R8 was Simca's declared #1 competitor with the 1000 all along. The Renault R8 Gordini was virtually unbeatable in events as the Tour de Corse throughout the 1960s. Simca had similar ideas and their relation to Fiat lead to firm plans to compete the R8 Gordini with a Simca 1000 Abarth on the rally stages. First prototypes were already existing and actually called Simca Abarth 1150. However - after some earlier Simca models were basically Fiat licence products - Fiat appeared to be upset, that for the road version of the 1000, Simca rejected Fiat's suggested design to create their very own car in cooperation with Hillman instead: "If they don't want it to be a Fiat design using at least some Fiat components, why should Fiat want to help promoting it?" And when Chrysler got involved with Simca, Fiat's upset only seemed to become worse. The Simca Abarth 1150 was called off while Chrysler wasn't interested in rallies anyway. Therefore, while the R8 came to rally glory soon, the planned Simca program found itself flat out in reverse.

And this wasn't going to change when Chrysler gained full ownership of Simca in 1970. Nevertheless, Simca eventually launched their own sporty 1000 variation called the Simca Rallye1 in 1972. Chrysler may have liked it or not (probably not!), the name "Rallye1" already implemented that this was not meant to be the end of the story. Soon an improved, more powerful Rallye2 arrived. Interesting is that the Simca Rallye versions had much bigger engines than it's aimed arch rival, the R8 Gordini. While the R8 Gordini had at first a 1093cc, later a 1108cc engine, the Simca Rallye1 already started with a 1294cc, that in the Rallye2 was improved to deliver 82BHP already as a standard road car! And to top it, Simca supplied a competitions kit that would through easy modifications push the Rallye2 to 110BHP!

However it is hard to understand Chrysler actions with this car. In 1977 a little known Rallye3 arrived and with it the little Simca 1000 saw a massive face lift. The base car was now called, depending on engines, 1005 or 1006. (Believe it or not, this is indeed where the double-0 names for Peugeot niche models came from, the first such car was designed at former Simca home Poissy and when Peugeot searched for names and the double-0 was in discussion, Poissy said “we did a 1005 and a 1006, so this should be the 1007”!) The face lift also had a straighter bonnet and the round head lights were replaced by huge rectangular ones. Oh, and anybody care to explain why Chrysler decided a car with engine and radiator located at the rear needs a massive front grill? To make all this even the more of a curiosity, Chrysler implemented the huge face lift only a year before production ended, and the Rallye3 was launched in December 1977, when the same Chrysler directors planned to and did stop its production in May 1978! Well, the Rallye3 was meant to be a limited edition of 1000 units, although curiosly surely more than 1000 obviously re-created Talbot Rallye3 are existing still today. Funny enough, nowadays the car is quite often seen with the new front, while the Rallye3 never became famous. Maybe it is indeed because of the front grill, as some Talbot Rallye3 called versions in free, national groupF rallying are equipped with a large, self made front radiator and/or oil cooler.

Another note is that the car was killed off as Peugeot's take over of Simca and Hillman was in full swing. However the decission was already taken by Chrysler, only that Chrysler planned to replace the 1000/Rallye by the Horizon, while this part was eventually taken on by the Sunbeam. In any case, this little Simca had a mass production life from 1961 to 1978, 17 years and long beyond any of its main opposition - in fact near twice as long as the R8 was in production.

Talbot Rallye2 Related Content

Talbot Rallye2 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Talbot Rallye2 Simca (73-79) 108/6200 133/4600 3811.1485.1365 668 (6.2) RWD (2220)

Random Talbot Rallye2 Photos

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Talbot Rallye2 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
54th. 1980 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo P. Touren . UNKNOWN #186 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
20th. 1978 WRC Tour de Corse G. Casanova . UNKNOWN #61 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
25th. 1978 WRC Tour de Corse J. Durieu . UNKNOWN #99 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
68th. 1977 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Trintignant Y. Jouanny #64 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
41st. 1974 WRC Rally of Finland B. Fiorentino M. Gélin #16 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
25th. 1974 WRC Rally of Finland P. Toivonen M. Tiukkanen #20 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
21st. 1973 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo B. Fiorentino M. Gélin #34 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Talbot Rallye2 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1978 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Snobeck . UNKNOWN #32 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1977 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo P. Moreau . UNKNOWN #68 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1976 WRC Swedish Rally B. Fiorentino J. Lenne #5 [UNKNOWN] SS99 sump
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally of Finland H. Toivonen A. Lindqvist #36 [UNKNOWN] SS36 sump
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally of Great Britain R. Eyre-Maunsell N. Wilson #57 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally of Finland G. Chasseuil C. Baron #10 [UNKNOWN] SS29 ?
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally of Finland P. Toivonen M. Tiukkanen #9 [UNKNOWN] SS4 ?
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally of Finland J. Jacquemin D. Jacquemin #11 [UNKNOWN] SS7 ?