Speaking as someone who's had a lot of experience with preparing a French car for Lemons (we're the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys team) to me the key thing in racing a French car is parts availability. The 505 is kind of unique in this area because Peugeot owners are absolutely maniacal about keeping their cars on the road (you should of heard the crap we got from some owners for "destroying" one) and that plus the fact that the 505 was in production in Africa until 2002 makes parts relatively easy to come by, especially here in Washington which must have been the hotbed of Peugeot sales back in the '90s from the number of cars still around.
However recently I found a killer deal on a Renault and considered buying it but parts seemed non-existant, not only here in the US but also on Ebay.fr. This made me decide that if we're going to field a second French car it will have to be another Peugeot, perhaps a 405 this time (the 405 is still in production, in fact PSA sells over 125,000 of them a year).
Good luck with the Simca, I'd love to see more French cars compete! However I'd start stockpiling parts now and figure on having to fabricate a lot yourself as it's not going to as simple as running down to NAPA for parts.
Thanks for the feedback. I've had some experience with French cars (my dad had a Renault when I was a kid, and I learned a lot about working on cars because of it), and in spite of that I still want to race one!
So I bought the Simca today, picking it up this weekend. I'll post pics when I get it home. The car was just too, erm, interesting to pass up. First, it only has 35,000 miles on it and was a one-owner car until 2008. All of the original paperwork (dealer invoice, proof of insurance, books, etc.--and even the original 1960 title!!) came with the car. The engine was run low on oil in 1972 and "stopped running". The original owner towed it up from Georgia with the intent of repairing it, but never got around to it and left it in his (apparently very dry) garage for nearly 40 years. So it isn't rotted all to hell like most cars we find up here in Michigan. All the glass is in very good shape, which will hopefully bring some decent money when I pull it out and sell it.
Not sure what I'll find when I get the engine apart, and I know that finding spares is going to be something akin to a pipe dream. So I'm planning on either dropping in a motorcycle engine, or possibly a 1275 I've had sitting around for the past 6 years, still waiting to be installed in my MG. I figure that either of those options will make spare parts less of a concern. Might help with the rather limited top speed of the stock setup, as well.
Anyway, glad to be a "pioneer" (maybe "guinea pig" or "glutton for punishment" would be more appropriate) in fielding the first Lemons Simca. Too bad Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys is already taken. I might just have to settle for Team Franco-American...
Enjoy every sandwich.