Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1979 Peugeot 504 Diesel - Very Nice, Very Expensive

The 504, in my opinion, was the most significant Peugeot of all time. Introduced in 1968, Peugeot built over 3 million of these cars through 1983. There were gas and diesel versions. The body styles included sedans, station wagons, pick up trucks, crew cab pick up trucks, coupes, cabriolets, and probably a few more variations that I don't know about. It was built in in Africa, South America, the Middle East, Australia (where, oddly, it was built by Renault under license form Peugeot) and Asia (Where it was built in China as a pick up truck right up until 2009.)

It found its way on to the streets of New York as a taxi and drove through the deserts and jungles of Africa.

The Peugeot diesel engine was used by Ford of Europe in their Granada and Sierra cars, in the Mahindra Jeep like vehicles, in Leyland / DAF vans and other cars. They also found their way, along with the suspension, into the Paykan, the Iranian version of the Hillman Hunter. It was also used in the P4 military vehicle.

In short, it was a car that was respected and loved everywhere... Except in the US, where it was a sales / marketing and PR disaster.

Peugeot was positioning itself as a near-luxury car in the US. It was going head to head with BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Saab. Peugeot assumed that the 1970s oil crisis, along the new higher prices of gasoline, would send US consumers into showrooms looking for diesel cars, as it had done in Europe. It didn't. While BMW, Audi and Volvo introduced a few token diesels in the US, Peugeot basically bet the the farm on them. They lost the bet. Diesels never caught on in the US and Peugeot dealers were stuck with cars no one wanted. Near-luxury car buyers could afford the higher prices of gasoline and had no desire for slow, smoke belching diesels. The few buyers in this market segment who wanted a diesel usually went with a Mercedes Benz car as it was a better known name.

This 504 is in remarkable condition. It has 119,000 miles on it and the seller says everything works. Like most cars of the 1970s, Peugeots rusted badly. This one appears to be rust free.

The asking price for this car is a sky high $9,909.00. That's more than I'd pay for an old Peugeot, gas or diesel. But, if having a funky old diesel means something to you and having one of the nicest ones in North America means even more, this car might be worth the price.

Located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.


Chris Keen said...

I have a need for one of these with the earlier chrome bumpers and a gas engine... they look way tidier without the battering rams.

rrshadow2 said...

Better to Find a Euro Spec car with the small bumpers, Euro Headlights, as long as it's 25 years old which All of them would be, pay $1,500 for shipping and it would cost Wayyyy less money even for The Best car in Europe. That's What I would do if I had to have a pristine 504

Jon said...


This car is a bargain compared to the $40,000 Peugeot 505 featured on "The Auto Collections" (autocollections.com) dealer website.

Brad Fallon said...

Peugeot was the very first manufacturer of cars to use rubber on the tires of their cars.

Bert said...

Owned several of the 504's. The early ones with the XD90 wet sleeve engine had a major problem with the coolant getting by the little rubber O rings that were used at the bottom of the liners. Coolant in your oil is not a good thing. The later XR2 engine followed by the turbo diesel that came with the later 505 was a much more desirable engine. I still have a two 504 wagons but the everyday driver is a veg powered 505 wagon. These cars are wonderfully comfortable and very utilitarian.

PKAUS said...

Hi All,
I'm looking at buying a 504 - likely to be a 1979 diesel. Looking at petrol options also. Can anyone give me a bit of advice as to what to look out for when making a purchase?? Also your thoughts on how reliable or not they tend to be, maintenance etc, and anything that a 'green' Peugeot enthusiast might need to know for his first Pug would be much appreciated. Thanks for your help in advance.



Unknown said...

i have 504 oil engine gr 1979 but really i have real problem with it because it acceleration is very bad
and max speed not reach 120km with very loud sound i don't understand whey ? please help