Old Peugeots - Martyn
Very first car I had was a Peugeot 404 - 1973 on an L with about a zillion miles. Probably saved my life when a mate (?) drove it into a ditch. Wonder how practical such a thing would be now, haven't seen one for years.

Question - Peugeot's used to have character and were pretty well screwed together, the new ones seem to be total cr*p. What happened?
Re: Old Peugeots - Peter M.
My dad had a 404 Estate at about the same time-early 70's. A tank of a car, nothing ever went wrong or fell off in the four years that he owned it. He replaced it with a Morris 1800, another excellent car.
I have a Pug 305 Estate, bought with 32K on the clock in '87. It's just coming up to 290K, and passed its last two MOTs with a clean bill of health. I'm hoping it will see me right for another year. Bodywork rust free except for a bit on the tailgate.
Jeremy Clarkson's spiel (on the 504) in his book 'Hot 100' states:
'They cannot be killed. You could wind one up to 100mph and drive it straight into a mountain, and the mountain would fall over.
In Africa they run them on a mixture of parrafin and Mazola. They're driven where there are no roads, by people who don't know how to drive. And they're still out there, and they will be for ever..'

I like Peugeots!
P.
Re: Old Peugeots - Martyn
I used to but everything since the 405 seems to be thrown together and the dealers round here are absolutely useless.
Re: Old Peugeots - Andrew Tarr
I can't disagree with your remarks about old Peugeots, but after a visit to Ryton recently I can assure you that the 206 is not thrown together. It may not have the same style as a 404, but I am sure it is more accurately assembled.
Re: Old Peugeots - steve paterson
Agreed, but will it last as long and be as reliable?
Re: Old Peugeots - steve paterson
Back in the 70's I used to work in a garage / used car business close to the local university. Within hours of being on the forecourt any Pegueot 504 was surrounded by African students. They always bought, used it here and shipped it home when their studies ended. They sometimes looked at Mazda's, but walked straight past any English / other European stuff.
Re: Old Peugeots - peter
There was a long Article in the London Evening Paper about 2 years ago about these cars being the most knicked car in London! (On a % basis).
Apparently they are either broken up or go straight into a container (depending on how much room is left in the next available container I guess) and head for Africa!
Re: Old Peugeots - The Growler
Go to Jordan/Lebanon and see the old 504's as intercity taxis laden to the gunwales hammering across the desert.
Re: Old Peugeots - David Millar
In Africa there are loads still but hardly any when I drove from northern Lebanon to Beirut last year a couple of times. Quite a few still around in Syria but mostly saloons.

As you drive into Amman from the north, you will see on your left a huge area covered with redundant taxis. Jordan, which is supported mainly by foreign aid, particularly from Japan, instituted a buy-in programme a couple of years ago which put all the old, battered and not-so battered taxis off the road in Amman and seems to have put mostly Mitsubishis in their place. It will be interesting to find out how long these last.

David
Re: Old Peugeots - David Millar
I agree with the Peugeot 404/504 comments. The 504s still perform exceptionally well under African conditions but bear in mind too that the models used there (and possibly still assembled in Kenya) are to a suitable export specification in terms of springs, air cleaners, engine tune and other components. I would love to work out what is the most suitable successor and suspect it might be found in the export variations of some familiar cars. For maximum longevity, however, they would probably not meet European regulations on emission controls/catalytic converters.

The Volvo 740 in Middle East specification without catalyst and tuned to run on leaded petrol, for instance, performs reasonably well on rough desert tracks and across soft sand. However, my impression is that the later Volvos may be closer in spec to European models. The US-built Ford Taurus in hot country spec I have found to be extremely robust and reliable, coping well in estate form (unloaded) with pretty dramatic ruts and tracks. These are fairly modern vehicles with PAS and aircon.

The 504 is now an outdated design, the ergonomics are incredibly dated and the cockpit safety questionable. I was a great fan of the SAAB 95, a rugged estate car of great reliability. I still have lots of spares for these V4 cars so drove one recently and found it heavy and sluggish after a few years of soft living with PAS.

My contenders for this 504 replacement slot would include mid-range Mercedes (subject to the provisos mentioned by HJ and others), the bigger Volvos, Audis, Toyotas and Subarus such as the Forester. If I was serious about finding a long-term vehicle (and had the cash), I would be looking at those companies like Mercedes that take factory orders and examining the specification list to see how my preferred choice can be upgraded for a longer life. I would include other medium to large cars from other companies in this if they can provide that upgrading. Imagine a Rover estate built to a robust export spec with 'proper' air conditioning. I would be very interested to know what changes are made to rhd vehicles supplied by Japan or the US to countries such as Australia or India where driving is on the left. I can't include small cars in this because they seem to be built to a bean-counting spec. To my mind, it is the apparently small things like decent dust excluding rubbers around main controls, tailgate wiring and so on that indicate whether a manufacturer is truly enthusiastic about their cars staying on the roads for a long time.

My dream long-termer? The BMW X5 in diesel form. The compromise? The Audi Allrad. The most likely? An early 90s diesel Merc estate because of the parts and service experience around.

David
Re: Old Peugeots - Ian Cook
Martyn

You've rekindled some memories here. I had a 404 (BUS 44C) back in 72. It owned up to about 100K miles but had certainly done more. It had two interesting problems:

It took me a while to diagnose a partially silted radiator (eventually had the rad rebuilt by a chap who was brilliant with a blow torch) and in one of its overheats the engine siezed - it just nipped up, freed, and ran OK but with a slight tinkling noise.

This was during the dock strike of that year and I couldn't get a replacement piston, so Ballamy's of Sussex sold me a new piston/liner set. I was impressed - the box contained absoutely everything needed, except oil and water, to replace all four (including big end shells, bolts, all gaskets etc.).

The second fault was a real teaser. The car seemed to "hunt" at a certain speed in top gear - as if it were mis-firing. Did all the usual electrics, carb re-build etc. and then noticed that it was slightly hunting in third gear, but only going up hill under load.

I eventually traced the problem to a worn rear axle. The 404 had a worm drive rear axle (in order to get a low floor line in the back of the car) and the rear axle was supposed to use a special red oil. Mine had been filled with ordinary looking hypoid oil and the ensuing wear eroded the bronze wheel unevenly. I still have that old wheel in the garage as a trophy.

Wonderful car, though. Smooth and very comfortable - column change was a bit hit and miss, I seem to remember.

Likewise, I haven't seen one in years.

Ian
Re: Old Peugeots - ChrisR
The 309 was (IMHO) the last of these. Dog ugly, but the one I had was indestructible. There are still loads of late 1980s models of these around (far more than there are Ford Escorts from that period despite the smaller numbers sold). The independent suspension probably save my life when a tyre let go on the motorway. A slight wobble (like driving into wheel ruts in the inside lane) then it settled up. This fully laden with four people on board. Marvellous.

Chris
Re: Old Peugeots - Martyn
Ian Cook diagnosed a problem that I never could - NHT404L had a "wobble" at about 30-35 mph in top that came from the back axle - I just lived with it.
Re: Old Peugeots - Ian Cook
Blimey, Martyn - I thought I was the only one to drive a Pug Kangaroo! Nice to see that I wan't being picked on, after all.

Ian
Re: Old Peugeots - Ian (cape town)
My father had a 404 as a company car in the late 70s - in shrkie brown (halfway between S*** and Khaki - I'm sure this was France's answer to the sludge blue used on a lot of fords at the time).
Never had a theft problem with it though.
I saw one the other day at a car lot for about 300 GBP - had a good look for nostalgia's sake ... and couldn't imagaine myself driving one!
Likewise, drove an 85 BMW 318 last week - same as I used to own. It was horrid!
Whatever happened to nostalgia, huh?
Re: Old Peugeots - Martyn
True, I still see D65OTA around Salisbury, this is an 87 BMW 316 and I bet it's horrible by modern standards
Re: Old Peugeots - Ian (cape town)
mARTYN, THE 316 (on this side anyway) was horrible anyway, even when it was new! had all the interior styling of a bottom-end toyota corrola of the same era, and less acceleration!
 

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