The Peugeot 504 was perhaps the car that truly justified the title “the French Mercedes”. Not only did it have a similar spot in the market in France to the that that the New Generation Mercedes-Benz 200 or 220D had in Germany, it endured, at home and across Europe, and still keeps parts of Africa on the move, even now. Truly an epic car and a classic CC.
To me, though, it never seemed to be designed to be at home in the US. The deliberate air of practicality, of counter-Brougham style in the Brougham era, the use of diesel engines and manual gearboxes would all appear to be to be more to French than American tastes, yet there are still some around.
This example came up recently on Seattle’s Craiglist, and I’ll let the ad do the talking.
“Calling all Peugeot lovers! Our 1976 504D 4-door sedan is fresh out of storage and ready for restoration.
The LA Times called it the Workhorse of Africa. Revered for its solid construction and mechanicals, many are in use to this day in the Middle East and Africa. This example is the desirable diesel with 4-speed manual transmission. Independent suspension and disc brakes all around. Engine starts right up, comes to stable temperature with good oil pressure and charging. Passed its last emissions test with flying colors.
This is a three-owner car that has spent its life in Seattle. Photos show some previous damage to grill and hood. Rest of body has all of its trim and emblems. Existing hood (removed) could be straightened or replaced with a used one. Grills are available on eBay. Interior is in fair condition, with a couple of tears in front seat upholstery. Headliner is pristine and sunroof works fine. Instrument panel is in amazingly good condition. Complete maintenance records since new with receipts. Original owner’s manual, maintenance schedule, and warranty paperwork.
This is a solid car with great provenance that deserves to be put back on the road. Clearly there’s work to be done. But this car is an excellent platform to start from. Much too good to be parted out. Video walk-around with running engine available.
Clear title. You haul. $2,500 obo. Contact me for more information about this unique car.”
Details on the ad included a mileage of 122,000 and a clean title. For a French car that has lived in the moist air of the north west, it has aged pretty well.
The 504 is still a regular spot in France, especially in the pickup format. Like many European cars of the period, it inevitably looks better with the Euro spec (trapezoidal) headlamps and bumper though.