Quite popular in the late ’60s, French-made cars began to be coveted for competing in sport classes reserved for small-engined cars. Responding to the market in 1970, the manufacturer brought out the Simca 1000 Rallye, equipped with a 1118cc 50hp engine.
Simca again returned in September of 1972 with the 1000 Rallye 2. The Rallye 2’s four cylinders saw its displacement increased to 1294cc, and the power was increased to 82hp through the use of two double carburetors. Weighing a mere 860 kg, the Rallye 2 reached 162 km/h at top speed.
Owner of an enviable record achieved on the national circuits, the Simca 1000 Rallye 2 in the Museu do Caramulo started its sports career in 1975, with Santinho Mendes at the wheel in the Rampa da Pena, where he came third in class. Mendes and the Simca would come home first in class at Estoril in the same year. Suffering a puncture, the car failed to finish again at Estoril on 27 July, driven this time by Jerónimo de Lacerda. But a month later on 31 August 1975, at the Vila do Conde circuit with Lacerda at the helm, it very convincingly won its class—one of the car’s greatest achievements.
Buoyed by the performance of the little Simca, the Caramulo driver set off to France to have the car prepared by the Simca Racing Team, in Lille. Still fresh from the trip and now with 86hp from the engine, the Simca was entered in the Estoril race, but Lacerda would be replaced by João Nabais, owing to poor health. A third in class finish was the reward for the factory-prepared Simca.
Following the death of Jerónimo de Lacerda, his friend and well-known driver from the 1970s, Edgar Fortes, borrowed the Simca 1000 Rallye 2 from the new owner, António Adão, to secure two first places on the hills of Pena and Foia in 1978. The 1978 season would end with António Adão at the wheel of the Rallye 2 at the Estoril Circuit, the 500km of Estoril, the Rampa da Falperra and the Serra da Estrela Prize, where he had two fourth places in the first and third races.
The car passed through the hands of Veloso Amaral, who raced it in the 1982 and 1983 seasons, competing in events such as the Vila do Conde Circuit and Rally de Portugal, though without the rigor and preparation that the car had previously enjoyed.
After many years away from competition, the Simca 1000 Rallye 2 returned to Caramulo, where it was fully restored by João de Lacerda, son of Jerónimo de Lacerda, who revived the little Simca to its original specification, including the livery that was used by his father to win at the Vila do Conde Circuit, in 1975.