Vintage Peugeot Ads: Remember When You Could Buy A French Car In The United States?

(first posted 3/14/2014)    How’s this for something different? I have always liked Peugeots, partly due to the maroon 505 sedan by Corgi I got as a preschooler, and partly due to their elusiveness. Today, however, I give you a couple of ads for the 504, which was the 404’s replacement and the 505’s predecessor.

The top ad is my favorite, showing both the sedan and wagon. Peugeot really went the extra mile in designing their wagons, going beyond adding a quick and cheap roof extension and new quarter windows to the sedan, as can clearly be seen in the top picture. That was nothing new with the 405 iteration, as Peugeot wagons’ special engineering dated all the way back to the postwar 203. Paul’s full write-up on the classic Peugeot wagons can be read here. Do check it out if you missed it the first time!

Some wags may say the top photo in the ad above is what a 504 looked like after a couple of years; in fact, these were very robust cars, and very well engineered. It seems as though the Federalization process, especially the emissions equipment, took a lot of the goodness out of these cars. That’s a shame, as they were very reliable and well-loved in their home country. The 504 CC can be found here.

So where did these ads come from? Back in 6th grade, I found a bunch of old Time magazines on a shelf in the coat closet of our classroom, and Mr. Spilker, our science teacher, gave a friend and me permission to harvest some car ads from them. I still have them all,  including probably a couple hundred from the 1971-1976 time period–Volvo, VW, Cadillac, Audi–you name it–so I just might have to unearth some more in the future. But just for today, let’s remember when we had a lot more variety among imports here in the States!