|PRICE:||$18.27 on sale ($29.00 SRP)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Simca 5 is a small Franco-Italian passenger car designed, by Fiat engineers at Turin. It was produced and sold in France by Simca. It was virtually identical to the Fiat 500 Topolino on which it was based, but was first presented, at the company's new Nanterre plant, three months ahead of the Fiat equivalent on 10 March 1936. Production was delayed, however, by a wave of strikes, that accompanied the June 1936 electoral victory of Léon Blum's Popular Front government.
Advanced features boasted by the Simca 5 included independent front suspension, a four speed gear box, hydraulically controlled drum brakes on all four wheels and a twelve volt electrical system.
The car also offered exceptional fuel economy (in a test it managed to travel 110 kilometers on just 5 litres of fuel).
The car was intended for sale on the domestic market for less than 10,000 French Francs, an aspiration that would be overtaken by a decline in the currency's value that gathered pace in the second half of the 1930s. The manufacturer boasted at the time of its launch of being ahead of the plans across the Rhine: this was a reference to the already rumoured launch of the Volkswagen Beetle which would appear only in 1938.
Production of the Simca 5 was slowed down (but did not ever cease entirely) by the war and the period of German occupation in the early 1940s, but resumed in 1946. 46,472 of the cars had been produced by the time the car was delisted by Simca in 1949. By now it had been replaced on the company's production lines by the similar but partially reskinned and slightly more powerful Simca 6.
Coming soon after the release of Bronco's Fiat Topolino, the Tamiya version does not have the parts count of the Bronco kit, mainly due to the lack of an engine and overall simplified construction. This is pretty much a Tamiya trait as the idea seems to be to provide a kit that fits well with enough detail to please most.
As such the insides of the door are bare (you will need to remove some ejector pin marks thanks to the open top). The doors are separate but not shown as being able to be built open, though that should be easy enough. You have options for open or closed windows. Also optional are the use of standard or slit headlights. The dash has decals for instruments which is a nice touch in this scale. Mud flaps are available for behind the front wheels and there is a lower engine section combined with the front suspension piece so when you turn it over you have something to see. Wheels are two piece plastic with the outer rim and tire molded as one piece. The top can only be modeled in the lowered position. I would have liked to have seen a top up option provided. A driver figure is included as well.
Instructions are standard Tamiya, being the long vertically folded sheet we often see with these smaller parts count kits. All paint references are Tamiya. The small decal sheet has three sets of license plates. You have two options in overall gloss German grey; one with the luftwaffe and one with the 3rd Infantry Division. The other is a civilian car in gloss black. You can find other colors if you do an internet search, some of which are quite interesting.
This is another nice addition to Tamiya's growing line of Staff Cars. Though a bit pricey for what you get, finding one on sale will help to lessen the pain to your wallet.
Thanks to your editor for getting this one on sale.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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