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Simca-Barreiros Minibus

The Simca Barreiros Minibus by Carrozzeria Fissore

Vehicle Overview

The Simca Barreiros Minibus by Carrozzeria Fissore is a fascinating chapter in automotive history. On April 3, 1966, Barreiros managers embarked on a mission to develop a small sports car based on the Simca 1000—a model produced under license by Barreiros. They headed to Pininfarina, the renowned Italian design house, only to be met with unexpected news: Gian-Battista Pininfarina, the legendary founder, had just passed away in Lausanne. This untimely event dashed the Spanish delegation’s hopes. Determined to salvage their project, the Barreiros team quickly pivoted. With the help of the Spanish embassy in Italy, they reached out to other prominent design firms: Bertone, Ghia, and Fissore. Unlike the others, Carrozzeria Fissore proposed an intriguing alternative—not a coupe, but a van. This shift in focus led to the involvement of designers Aldo Sessano and Trevor Fiore (then known as Trevor Frost), who presented innovative ideas for the new vehicle. By July 1966, two prototypes of the minibus were ready for testing and presentation. These prototypes were built on the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform of the Simca 1000. While the designs showed promise, they were hampered by a significant limitation: accessibility. Entry and exit were possible only through the side doors, which proved impractical for a minibus intended to provide versatile and convenient transportation. Despite the initial excitement and effort, the project faced insurmountable challenges. The accessibility issue, coupled with other potential design and production hurdles, led to the decision to abandon the project. The Simca-Barreiros Minibus did not reach mass production; however, the prototypes were not wasted. They found a new purpose as service vehicles within the Spanish factory, demonstrating the resourcefulness of the Barreiros team. In the end, the Simca-Barreiros Minibus by Carrozzeria Fissore stands as a testament to the ambition and adaptability of Barreiros and their partners. It highlights a moment in time when a setback was met with creativity and resilience, even if the final outcome was not as initially envisioned.

Credits: Car Design Archive

simca mini bus

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1966
  • Make
    Simca
  • Model
    Minibus
  • Coachbuilder
    Fissore
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  • Units built
    2
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  • Designer
    Trevor Fiore
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