We have been following Captain Haddock and Tintin in “The Calculus Affair”. Professor Calculus has been missing for sometime and all leads were pointing towards the Bordurians. So, the duo decided to investigate the Bordurian Embassy. Rowed in a boat close to the embassy and what do they find? A helicopter landed in the embassy. Some people were trying to smuggle the professor out of Switzerland. Suddenly another set of thugs attacked and kidnapped the professor. After lot of fistfights the duo decide to chase the thugs escaping in a boat using the helicopter parked in the embassy compound. While chasing the thugs, the helicopter ran out of fuel and our friends had to take a lift. The first car they tried to stop was a Simca Vedette.
The Simca Vedette was manufactured by the French manufacturer Simca from 1954 t0 1961. The cars were manufactured in a factory taken over from Ford France. The car was designed by Ford of France and became the Simca because that company bought Ford’s manufacturing facility in France along with the rights to the car. Simca was attracted to this car because it was a large American style car which was bigger than anything that Simca built. As a result it was initially marketed as the Ford Vedette in markets outside France for a short period of time .The car was manufactured at Poissy in France, at Brazil and Australia.
The car shown in “The Calculus Affair” is the first generation car that was manufactured from 1954 to 1957. Different trims of the Vedette were sold with different names. The four trims on offer, starting with the base model, were the Trianon, Versailles and Regence. An estate was also offered under the Marly name. It was a large car offered in the following body styles:-
- 4-door saloon.
- 5-door estate.
- 2-door convertible.
- 4-door convertible.
The Vedette was powered by a 2,351 cc (143.47 Cu-inch) V-8 naturally aspirated petrol engine. Breathing through two side valves per cylinder, this engine produced 80 BHP at 4,600 rpm. These engines also produced 149 N-m (110 ft-lb) of torque at 2,400 rpm.All the power and torque was transferred to the rear wheels through a 3-speed manual gearbox. Following the trends in style at the time, the gear shifter was column mounted.
These were large cars, 4,520 mm (105.9″) long, 1,750 mm (68.9″) wide and 1,480 mm (58.3″) tall. The V-8, though a puny engine could push the 1,150 kg (2535.32 lb) car to a maximum speed of 153 km/h (95 mph). These cars accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in a leisurely 17.9 seconds. Handling of the car was managed by front suspension comprising control arms with coil springs and rear suspension comprising rigid axle suspended by semi-elliptic leaf springs.
The job of bringing the car from 153 km/h to 0 was carried out by drum brakes on all four wheels.