Bits & Pieces Fourteen


Just the way it would have looked on the rack.

This rare little pamphlet comes to me as a gift from the always-entertaining, Richard H. Barker (AK Le Mans "Mule" Man).  Mr. Barker has taken it upon himself to teach me a thing, or two about the world of Internet high finance and in so doing, has labeled me "a cheap screw" for my sheepish actions during an unsuccessful attempt to procure this seldom-seen collectable.  Trinkets of this sort are just some of the more interesting items turning up on EBAY of late.  When I dropped out of the recent bidding for this fossil (at a mere $20.00) Dick decided he would just have to rub my nose in faintheartedness.  As he tells it, one additional bid, a measly 50 cents, no more competition - crown master Barker "King Of The Mountain" - jeez, the stuff one puts up with. OK, THANK YOU RICHARD, VERY MUCH -:^)

As one reads the lead-in verbiage, "...board your Pan Am Jet ClipperŽ, relax in a deep-cushioned seat, lose your cares to the lullaby of the powerful jet engines and, almost before you know it, well-fed and well-rested, you are coming down in Paris, London, or any of 27 storybook cities. Then what? Be herded along with a group? Eat when they do? Sightsee when they do? Not you! Such discipline is for tourists! You are a discriminating Continental traveler. You have already proved it by flying the World's Most Experienced Airline. Further proof, if it be needed, is waiting for you at the airport in the form of your very own car that takes you off the high-speed highways and on to the picturesque byways..." it's easy to fantasize having taken such a engaging journey.

Dressing up an Arrow/Hunter Station Wagon with a castle.

Bread & Butter Simca 1000 - Last Of The Line Alpine - Sedate Sunbeam Arrow Sedan and a Europe from another time.

Between a rock and a hard place with the Ford engined Tiger, Chrysler penned the following corporate-speak to describe its 5-year/50,000-mile warranty on cars delivered in Europe: "All U.S. models (SIMCA and SUNBEAM) cars meet U.S. specifications: safety plate glass, sealed beam headlights, reinforced bumpers and U.S. instrumentation and, except the Tiger, are warranteed by Chrysler Motors Corporation for 5 years or 50,000 miles on vital engine and drive train parts! This unique warranty takes effect on delivery in Europe, continues to protect you all through Europe and after your return to the United States..." The humor in these pentastar prognostications is the reliability contrast between the Tiger drive train and everything else pictured.  I'll take my no-hassle, two hundred thousand mile 260, over any of the internals covered under the SIMCA-ROOTES DIVISION of Chrysler's "Sunbeam Certified Car Care" program, smiling all the while.

Regardless, as a marketing tool, extended warranty programs were the conceptual stratagem of the Chrysler Corporation and they undoubtedly attracted many converts to a struggling product line.  It would be fun to know the actual numbers generated by this scheme, but I won't hold my breath.  If anyone out there knows an EX-PAN AM accountant, please feel free to make a joyful sound!  In the meantime, every now and again a '66 Tiger turns up with an original, interior color other than black, or a singular, nonstandard color code, prompting speculation that it might very well have been a product of "FLY-DRIVE European Delivery".  A few proud owners are still in possession of the documents associated with acquiring a vehicle through this program and I wouldn't be surprised to hear of new claimants, as we become ever more connected.

A stogy looking Simca 1500 4-Door Sedan seems to suggest enchanting destinations at the end of pleasant outings.

The Bertone-bodied Simca Coupe leads the way to the listing of lease rates, but is oddly not included in that offering.

Aside from the "FLY" portion (example flights from New York to Shannon, Ireland, or London, England, or Paris, France for round-trip fares of $264.00, $300.00 and $331.00 respectively) program specifics covered both "BUY" and "LEASE" options.  The model lineup available for hire appears to exclude the Tiger, at least it is not shown with the rest of the Sunbeam entries.  Its blood relation, however (the Alpine) turns out to be the most expensive, short-time rental with a low of $525.00 for twenty-one days and $710.00 required to keep it for three months.  By contrast, if you were a "cheap screw" (as I have now been christened) the bottom-of-the-line Simca 1000 could have been had for $292.00 at the three week rate, or $461.00 if you managed to finagle ninety days of "Europe on five dollars per".  At the end of the contract, you could even decide, "you-wouldda-couldda-shouldda" and the SIMCA - ROOTES DIVISION of Chrysler was prepared to encourage your overseas purchase of a "Factory New" example, with a couple of little perks.

Sunbeam shoppers were enticed with a $100.00 credit toward the cost of shipping their newly acquired machines back to the U.S.A., while the Simca patrons were offered an $85.00 purchase price discount.  Admittedly, these numbers don't sound very impressive in today's dollars, but you can't buy a Tiger for $3,300.00 either.  Another twist to "FLY-DRIVE" was a special Purchase-Repurchase plan.  That arrangement called for investing in a full, European priced SUNBEAM, with an advanced agreement that the car would be repurchased by Rootes at the end of the stay.  The amount returned was a predetermined figure based on depreciation and calculated up front.  Insurance rates on purchased cars offered monthly coverage out to six-months, with the Tiger again topping the money list at $260.00. One would also have to throw in $50.00 to cover "Registration and Documents".

Below the tables of Insurance Rates and Overseas Purchase Prices, the almost child-like sketches for the Alpine & Tiger are completely identical.

The final panel of this artifact, lists the round-trip airfares out of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, into twenty-one European cities.  If you wanted to connect with that Tiger in Rome, no matter what U.S. city you departed from, you paid through the nose.  On the other hand, picking up in Ireland allowed the most protection of Uncle Sam's greenbacks.  As you would expect, there are a number of disclaimers throughout the publication. One interesting little note explains the possibility of purchasing a Tiger with no intention of driving it abroad.  Under that scenario, import duty on the engine would not be applicable. An adjusted special price is listed as - $3041.00 and one wonders what set of circumstances would have made this option worthy of notation?

Happy Tigering


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