CC Capsule Peugeot 404 – Glad to See Your Face!

404’s have received more than their share of love at CC. Then again, would a little more love hurt?

I would be lying if I said “It’s been ages since I saw one of these…” Instead, there are at least 2 more in town, both station wagons.

One I see rather often, parked in front of a Car Wash next to a very busy intersection. I’ve been meaning to shoot it for ages, but haven’t for fear of losing a whole afternoon… Salvadorians, once the guard is down, get very chatty. The 4-5 employees that work around the vehicle would probably talk me to death rather than tend to their tedious jobs.

This one I found recently in a quiet residential neighborhood where I spent my teen years. Peugeots were not a rare sight back in the 70’s, and this model appeared fairly often in daily traffic. Their lines looked a bit dated and goofy to my childhood eyes. I didn’t mind them, didn’t love them either. So, will I go against my youth impressions?

Penned when US manufacturers were still an influence in Europe, there’s quite a bit of American styling in the car’s lines. Some Chevy influence up front, simulated fins, and a modest wraparound windshield. As I shot the car, I kept thinking “How French!” … forgetting the design was of Italian origin, via Pininfarina.

Never being in close contact with a 404 before, as I shot away and came to notice the elaborate sculpting on the car’s face, I couldn’t help but feel my heart melt. Touches not noticeable from the distance: the slightly pointed headlight bezels, the deeply recessed grille, the lower lip that meets the bumper. Photos don’t do full justice to the car’s face.

Ok, little 5 year old me… I reject your views. I’m in love now.

Aside from the rather plain side view, the back also shows some peculiar details. The large triangular taillights, an acquired taste probably. Still, does anything else look like it? Then, variations that spice up normal proceedings: the twin bumper lines, and the upper lip over the tailgate.

Peugeots had a long trajectory in these lands, with their owners rather impressed with their sturdy nature. The model didn’t start to thin out on the ground until the mid-90’s. On FB, a sedan is for sale right now in San Salvador. Me? I’m almost sold… but will wait for a station wagon, the queen of my heart.


Let’s take one more look at this face. C’est un trés joli visage! Do you mind if I stare at you a little longer?

A lot more on the 404:

“The French Mercedes”

The World’s Greatest Wagons