We end this month’s theme with some good news for those of you mourning the loss of Simca.
We live in a world where brand has an enhanced currency. Familiar names are forever cropping up in unfamiliar places. Clothing manufacturer’s names appear on cars. Car manufacturer’s names appear on clothes. But, in terms of sheer scale, the continuation of the Simca brand takes some beating, being applied to 270 acres of lush, jungle covered island.
When Chrysler bought a majority shareholding in Simca in 1963, Henri Pigozzi resigned and died a year and a half later. His years in industry left his family very wealthy and, when Henri Pigozzi’s son Jean (strapline “You may not know him, but everyone famous does”) bought Isla Canales de Tierra off the Panama Coast, he renamed it Isla Simca. The complete island is available to rent from $140,000 a week.
To this old man, there is an aura of naughtiness to private islands, and the YouTube videos for Isla Simca do nothing to dispel this. They suggest a hedonism beyond the wildest dreams of the owners of even a tricked up Vedette Présidence. But much as I might be bemused by the lifestyle, I am strangely cheered that Simca is not forgotten.