The Esplanada was a large car designed by the Brazilian subsidiary of French automaker Simca. Launched at the 1966 motor show in São Paulo (Salão do Automóvel), it replaced the models Présidence and Rallye, and was manufactured until 1969 at the São Bernardo do Campo factory. It was a radically restyled version based on the originally Ford designed Ford Vedette(later rebadged Simca Vedette) and its successor, the Simca Présidence and Rallye.
French origin, Brazilian styling
While technically pretty much identical to its predecessors, the Esplanada featured radically restyled front and rear ends. The interior featured reclinable leather seats and fine Jacarandá wood trimmings on dashboard and doors. The top Models 3M and 6M could easily be recognized by their vinyl top. The 140 hp (104 kW) engine now was fed by an electric fuel pump and featured a 34-Ampère alternator. A newly introduced hydraulic clutch improved gear changing and driving comfort significantly, the gearbox was upgraded with an overdrive.
The Chrysler touch
Stringent quality tests dictated by the Detroit headquarters lead to improvements on 53 items on the Esplanda’s mechanical side being introduced at once, including a power reduction to 130 hp (97 kW) for the sake of higher durability. The visual was also slightly updated with new headlamps, a new grille and different chrome items and new rear end lights. In 1968, for the 1969 model year, the luxurious Regente and the sporting GTX were added to the lineup.From August 1967 on, the Simca Esplanadas featured a small badge at the rear end with the writing "fabricado pela Chrysler" ("built by Chrysler") following the takeover by the American auto manufacturer.
The significant mechanical improvements allowed Chrysler the confidence to shock main up-market competitor Ford with a novel 2-year or 36.000 warranty. The production of the Esplanada ceased in 1969 as Chrysler decided to introduce an opponent for Ford Galaxie over market shares in Brazil with the roomier Dodge Dart from then on.