Down On The Street: Peugeot 504 Diesel

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
down on the street peugeot 504 diesel

When I returned to my old DOTS stomping grounds to help defile a once-proud race track, I figured I might find an interesting street-parked car or two on the Island That Time Forgot. First there was this semi-custom ’62 Continental, but then I spotted the real prize.

Thanks for the picturesque background, San Francisco! The only French car I’ve ever owned was a 504 (gasoline-powered), and it was both cool and very maddening. So comfortable, yet so difficult to keep running. Believe it or not, you used to see a fair number of 504s on American roads… and, someday, I’ll get another one for myself.

This one is a much-battered diesel model, in full Ahmadinejad-grade white-sedan trim and apparently rigged to run on some flavor of biodiesel. Such stories this survivor could tell!

Join the conversation
2 of 23 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Mar 31, 2011

    My neighbor once had a white 504, just like the that one. He got a picture of it printed in the local paper. It seems a newspaper photographer saw my neighbor and two friends pushing the inoperable 504 to a mechanic down the street for yet another repair, and the photographer noticed the custom bumper sticker one of my neighbor's friends had put on it: Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Peugeots".

  • Jhwool Jhwool on Apr 02, 2011

    I had a gas 1976 504 in Germany when I was in the army in Germany in the late 70's It was a great car. It was supremely comfortable and very reliable. It was a great trip car which we drove all over Europe. It was actually fairly good in snow mainly due to the fact it had almost no power. I sold it when I left Germany because it did not have air conditioning and I was moving to the DC area.

  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"