And this week another red Peugeot! Although this one is a but older. And more elegant. But the French did need an Italian company to come up with this classic elegant design: Pininfarina.
And no: it might not have the epic looks as the divine French goddess, it’s contemporary counterpart from Citroën, La DS. But it’s a classic as well with undeniable flair, I can remember still seeing this one a lot in my younger years. And, unlike the DS, it was actually completely reliable.
Therefor it ended up used as taxis a lot. And for a taxi you wouldn’t get the 1.6 petrol engine (either with solex carburetors - 71hp - or Kügelfischer injection - 84hp!). No, for that one you’d get the 64 hp 1.9 diesel, an engine that would end up in many other carmaker’s models as well. And another cool feature was available as well: next to a manual and an automatic transmission, a manual with a Jaeger electromagnetic coupler was in the line-up.
The car was produced from 1960 up until 1975 in Europe (the 504 had already been in production since 1968!), after which production-facilities were needed for the newly introduced 604. And all sorts of body-types were made: a saloon, a wagon (Break ou familiale!), a pick-up (camionette/fourgonnette) and even a Coupé and Convertible, both built by the master in Torino (Pininfarina) himself.
But after production in France was ended it kept on going. Built in Argentina. And in Australia. And in Ireland. And in South Africa. Last country to have it produced was Nigeria: up until 1989 the pickup was built over there. So it was rigid enough to withstand African horror and maintenance.
And to prove it’s rigidity: this one competed in autosports as well. It was the winner of the exhausting Safari Rally through Eastern Africa. Not just once. A freakin’ four times in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1968. Those last 3 years, off course, with it’s Kügelfischer (I’ve got a great love for these as my 2002 has one as well)! So it’s a sportscar? Let’s just see!
With it’s top speed of just over not even 150km/h taking it to the track isn’t that much fun. It doesn’t weigh that much (approximately 1000kg for the Berline) but with that old-school suspension set-up having this for a trackday car is out of the question. And as it still is French you probably end up on the side of the track anyway.
But with all those body-styles and those diesels that’s never a problem of course, just get another 404. One with a diesel. And a dépanneuse setup. Hey, look: There’s one from Avia!
So, who made these awesome 1/43s? The red Berline Grand Touring (with it’s wheels matching the color of the body) is an Ixo-Atlas. The white one is from the same Eligor series I showed an Ami Break from a while ago concerning ulitarian French automotive greatness.
And that one is actually my favorite 404. A friend’s father used that one, with a tilt and without that hoist, for hauling his repaired or newly constructed sails. A diesel of course and that thing kept on going, I think he had over 400.000 kms on the odo-meter.
The Elifor is actually awesome as well. Not just a hoist, also an opening hood. And that pick-up bed has an opening hatch!
And that Eligor comes with a base/diorama setup a bit cartoonesque. The Atlas has one as well, that’s just a picture. Boring!
C’est ca! I hope to see some more French activity today as it has been a bit slow on French Friday competitors last few weeks. So search your collection for some odd-ball Frenchness and share it today please. Bon Week-end!