I was given a 1957 Simca Aronde with 1300cc "Flash Super" engine for my 1st car when I turned 16. It would only outrun my trusty 64 Yamaha 80cc YG1K Motorbike above 55mph (top speed), continuing on (eventually) to a noisy, shuddering (no money for wheel balancing) 84 mph top end.
It was a (definitely French) faded lilac color, but good Ol' Dad fixed that. He took advantage of Earl Scheib's $29.95 Special & it ended up with a fine thick coat of BattleShip Gray/Green. I never knew Earl stocked that color. Oh well!
Its major good features were a seemingly indestructible engine, 30mpg fuel economy under punishing full throttle daily use, and large passenger & trunk capacity. Gearshifting was rather slow as it had no 1st gear synchro & the only 4spd on the column I've ever encountered.
The electrical system worked OK, but components had a short service life. During the 1 year, 5K miles that I drove it, I learned how to replace the generator, battery, voltage regulator, wiper motor & rebuild the starter. I also learned learned how to replace headlights, tail lights & clean contacts & connections. I also learned drum brake maintenance (including master & slave cylinder rebuild), clutch replacement, carburetor O/H, ignition tune up & lastly valve adjustment.
As you can see I had no need (or time) for Auto Shop Class.
My Father eventually ran across a world class deal on a Real American V8 Convertible (57 Ford) & I happily parted with the well maintained 'French Chrysler' for $95 American, complete with well used factory maintenance manual. I sometimes wonder if its new college student owner actually drove it all the way back to New York State (1500 miles) as planned.
My very first car was a 1960 Simca that I paid $15 for. It had a 4 speed on the column, of which 1st and reverse did not work. I had to start out in 2nd gear and push it backwards. I quickly learned how and where to park, so I seldom had to need reverse.
At first the starter didn't work, but after accidentally hitting the starter switch with the engine running, it worked great. I think I drove that thing for 6 months to a year, then sold it for $65. My friends and I had a blast in that car.
Just found a '62 Simca 5 in Alberta.
49000 miles, Rush Super, one owner car.
Fuel problem and ignition issue, but the rest of the car is clean.