By on September 30, 2014

10 - 1986 Peugeot 505 S Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere was a time when Peugeots— mostly 504s but the occasional 404 as well— were quite common in American self-service junkyards. Back in the early 1990s, when I owned a free 504, you could count on finding junkyard parts at every good-sized U-Wrench-It in Northern California, and as recently as the late 2000s I found the occasional 504 and even this 404. Nowadays, though, all you’re going to see is 505s and 405s, from the final years of Peugeot’s North American presence, and they’re sufficiently rare that we’ve seen just this 405 in this series prior to today. However, a few 505s managed to soldier on for a couple decades after Peugeot fled back across the Atlantic (or at least managed to survive in storage for that time), and I found this ’86 in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard earlier this year.
02 - 1986 Peugeot 505 S Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one had a 2013 San Francisco residential parking permit, from the exceptionally-nightmarish-to-find-parking-even-by-SF-standards Inner Sunset neighborhood. The car probably got towed for having its front bumper 7/16″ into a red zone, and the owner couldn’t afford the $1,800 in impound fees (I’m exaggerating, but not as much as you might think) to get his or her Peugeot back.
04 - 1986 Peugeot 505 S Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin162,862 miles for this car, which is pretty good by mid-80s standards.
03 - 1986 Peugeot 505 S Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPeugeots of the 1970s and 1980s were very pleasant cars to drive, much more comfortable than any competition anywhere in their price range, but getting parts for the all-too-frequent breakdowns was tough. Yes, Europeans, we know the 505 was considered a fairly reliable car over there.
07 - 1986 Peugeot 505 S Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow many rearview-mirror decorations go to the Crusher each year?


La révélation.

Nothing else feels like it.

You could still buy a new 504 in Argentina when this ad came out, but the 505 got more sax. And mimes.

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66 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Peugeot 505 S...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    505 S was $15,965 back in 1986 which is $34,646 today.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So many thoughts! I saw a 505 wagon on Ebay once, it was quite spacious and I thought it looked pretty great as a wagon. But not as good as old Citroen wagons.

    I have always loved the smooth uptick over the headlights to form the fender line. It looks great even today, and no other car had that design cue.

    Overall, this looks like a BMW though. I think they knew what they were doing!

    Surprised this car doesn’t have AC as well. 1986 and a semi-premium car, should’ve got the AC!

    Does anyone remember at the time -who- exactly was the “Peugeot customer?” I suppose they’d also be considering Alfas and Renaults, seeing as we were so spoiled for Euro choice in the mid-late 80s.

    See the photo where the rally championship sticker is on the door, with the Peugeot lion is inside the wreath? This convinced me (as a child) that Peugeot and Triumph were both called Triumph. Triumph always used the wreath, just sometimes they used a lion and sometimes they used letters.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      By the mid 80’s both Renault and Fiat were gone, and Renault had been selling mostly small cars since the late 70’s, the 18i, which was their larger car, sold in miniscule numbers.

      My guess is that Peugeot buyers also cross shopped BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo, especially Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I wouldn’t have considered Fiat as a competitor, since (IIRC) they didn’t really do “sedans” or larger cars here. I thought Renault soldiered on here until late 80s, but I was forgetting about AMC/Chrysler. So if you wanted a Renault instead of Peugeot – get a Dodge/Eagle.

        The 18i looks very similar to a Vauxhall Cavalier.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          The Fiat I was thinking of was the 131, which was marketed here as the Brava until 1981. By the time the car posted here was built, the only “Fiats” to be had were the Bertone X-1/9 and the Pininfarina Spyder,and they were not long for production.

          The AMC built Renaults were both subcompacts, and Renault had stopped importing French built Renaults by the mid 80’s,

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I thought Peugeot was an upper middle type brand. I’d assume that they tried to compete against the BMW and Audi offerings of the time.

        To think, 30 years ago, I might have bought a Peugeot.

        Maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t around 30 years ago. I would have just bought an orphan.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Mercedes was a LOT more expensive. BMW 3-series were about the same price as a 505, but a lot smaller, 5-series were the same size but a lot more expensive. Volvo 240s were cheaper than 505s, but smaller and a lot cruder. 740/760s were bigger and more comparably priced, still a lot cruder. Saabs and Audis were cheaper and FWD. But yes, Volvo, Saab, and Audi were the big competition. The Peugeot Turbos competed more with BMW when they came out. Until ’85(?) Peugeot also sold the 604, which was bigger and sort of a French S-class, but priced like a w123 Mercedes. Those were all TD or v6 in the US.

        Peugeots were really more like Mercedes in that they emphasized comfort over sportiness and they sold a ton of diesels until ’86, then a handful in ’87. Those ’87 505TDs were very desirable as they had a 4spd automatic instead of a 3spd. All of the Europeans but VW stopped selling diesels in ’87, IIRC. I don’t know if that was just falling demand, or was there a regulatory reason. I am pretty sure VW did not stop completely, though they did stop selling their “high output” turbo-diesel in favor of the “EcoDiesel” that had less hp but was much cleaner. Does anyone know the scoop on this?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It has A/C. The “ECO” button turns the A/C off.

      I have had 3 505 wagons, 2 505 sedans, 2 504 wagons and a 504 sedan. Some of the best cars I have ever owned, and I miss them dearly. Lovely cars. More like a Mercedes than a BMW in character. So very smooth and relaxing, and the wagons are just cavernous, as they have a longer wheelbase than the sedan. In fact, the whole car from the B pillars back is unique, even the rear suspension is completely different being a seriously heavy-duty live axle on the wagon vs. the IRS on the sedan. They can haul some weight.

      They were VERY reliable, and I had no difficulty in getting parts (on the rare occasion I needed any) through the early-2000s when I finally sold my last one, a mint condition (and mint green) ’79 504D. A decision I regret to this day, but I had been laid off and everything not nailed down had to GO.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ahh, I bet Americans weren’t used to that when everybody else had a separate AC button.

        You have had such a broad car history – how many cars do you usally have at once? Do you keep them in a barn?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Late Volvo 740s and early 940s were the same way. Eco button shuts off the A/C. Not uncommon among European cars of that era.

          Since ’01, I have had a 32’x40′ garage. It easily holds 4-5 cars, but before I had my own lifts and a giant workbench across the back (30′ x 3′) I crammed up to 7 (1 not mine) in it for winter storage. Since the mid 90’s I have had at least 3 cars at a time, and for a couple years I had the high of 6, all running and registered. 6 is waaay too many, I have learned to limit myself to a max of 4. Four I can handle, especially when two of them are under warranty! The constant has been my Spitfire, I bought it in the summer of ’96. That made 3 cars for the first time, as I already had the ’84 Jetta GLI I had all through school, and a ’91 Volvo 245 that I had just bought, which replaced an epic turd of an ’82 Volvo 245T. There was a short time in ’03 that I got down to 2 cars after a job layoff, the Spitfire and a ’90 Volvo 744 16V. Had I not gotten my job back, I would have sold the Volvo (it was advertised for sale), but I got it back before the Volvo sold! That was quite a “garage sale” when I went from 6 cars to 2 in about a months time! This year will be the first year in as long as I can remember that I have not bought or sold a car, assuming that I keep my wallet in check for another 3 months. Might very well be the first year since ’96. I really, really like my current foursome.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        Oh man, trying to explain the eco button to worried potential VW consumers was fun. There was a brief period from 2006-2009 where Golfs and Jettas didn’t have an AC button, only eco.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Was this only on cars with the Climatic (Climatronic?) system?

          I had four MKV Golfs/Jettas and I don’t remember the econ button.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnnyFirebird

            They removed it from later MKVs I think. Here’s a link to the discussion: http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/76341-the-great-ac-v-econ-button-debate/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had a 2006 Jetta, but it was pretty close to base, so I don’t think it had that option. Five cylinder, five speed, V-tex, and 16″ alloy wheels. Of all the MKVs I had, I miss that one the most. The R32, GTI, and Wolfsburg 2.0T were all technically better, but ye olde 2.5L was by far the most reliable. It was probably the most reliable car I’ve owned. I do see MKV VWs around now, but they always seem to have a headlight not working.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            It was on my 2007 Audi A3 and it took me awhile to figure it out.

          • 0 avatar
            Brian P

            My early ’06 (actually ‘05.5) Jetta TDI had the “econ” button. My dad’s late ’06 Jetta TDI had the “A/C” button. Neither had Climatronic, just the standard HVAC model.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            I dated a girl who was climatic.

  • avatar
    AustinOski

    Carpooled with a family who had a 504, back in 79-80. What a great ride! Also, many rides in 504 taxis all over Egypt when I was young. As smooth as a flying carpet over deeply pocked and rutted roads! Think LR4 ride.

  • avatar
    Fred

    40 years ago my neighbor was a big Peugeot fan. He said they made a new version every 10 years because they were made to last for 10 years. I remember him getting a new 505 and how comfortable it was, compared to my Mom’s old Chevy and Oldsmobile were. The truth was being a teenager, I was more interested in his daughter and their MGB.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Does any one know if the 504 was sold in the US? Peugeot’s, back in the day, where pretty tough, the champions of the roof of Africa rally race etc. They were in fact comparatively reliable. You did need a competent mechanic who understood those wet sleeves and the other uniquely French engineering tricks. Here in the US parts supply and a shortage of mechanics who would have been trained for the oddities would understandably build the reputation Peugeot has in the US. More of a fish out of water issue than the actual cars fault.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Yes, the 504 was sold here. It replaced the 404 and was sold here from about 1971 or so until about 1980. That’s when the 505 took over. For awhile in the Seventies, Peugeot and Mercedes were the only carmakers selling diesels to U.S. buyers.

      My dad traveled extensively in Africa during the late Seventies and early Eighties, and came back with tremendous respect for the 404 and 504. Not enough to endure owning one in the U.S. though.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        504 sedans until ’79, wagons until ’83. The biggest problem with 504s is that they are absolute world-champion rust magnets. All of mine came from dry states and were great, but the local ones just rotted away.

        The second biggest problem with them is that to any non-Peugeot trained mechanic in the 70s and 80s, they might as well have been the Starship Enterprise.

        Those diesels were more refined and more powerful than Mercedes, but unfortunately nowhere NEAR as unkillable. The gas engines were pretty hard to kill, but most of them in the US were diesels.

  • avatar
    skor

    “….but getting parts for the all-too-frequent breakdowns was tough. Yes, Europeans, we know the 505 was considered a fairly reliable car over there.”

    A very common problem with most all Euro imports back in the day. The Europeans had very different expectations when it came to car maintenance/repair then did Americans. Immediately after WWII English built imports were very popular in the USA, until their American owners started treating them like American cars. To understand the difference in the mindset between American and Europeans as concerns car repair/maintenance go have a look at the video (on Youtube) where Jay Leno shows off his 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint. As to the reliability of said Falcon, Leno says, “It’s a Ford, you fix it with a hammer.”

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Peugeots in particular are VERY differently engineered from their American counterparts. Here are a few tidbits that apply to the car at hand:

      1. The engine and diff are connected by a rigid torque tube, which is independently suspended from the rest of the car as a unit, effectively via its own suspension system. Makes it REALLY FUN to change a clutch or work on any of it. Though in actuality is it is quite easy to drop the whole unit out of the car…

      2. If you look at the belt system on the front of the engine, if you did not know better you would think there is no way to tension the belts, and each engine accessory has its own belt, so there are a LOT of belts up there. In addition, the oil drain plug takes a special tool with a square end for removal. That special tool is a 90 degree bent Z shape about a foot long, with the square on each end. That tool is also what is used to tension the belts! It is shaped such that it fits down between each belt and engages in a similar square hole and moves either the bracket or a tensioner pulley. Brilliant, but can you IMAGINE the frustration of the average garage monkey who has never seen one before? Easy when you know the secret.

      3. As mentioned, the XN6 is a real hemi-head engine, with spark plugs top center. It has loooong intake runners to boost the torque, and they have rubber sleeves at each end to connect them. Those sleeves dry out and crack, causing air leaks that drive the fuel injection system insane. They need to be replaced every 50K or so, but people didn’t with predictable results.

      4. The engine is a wet-liner iron block with aluminum head arrangement. Use the wrong anti-freeze and/or don’t change it often enough and you are in BIG, BIG trouble. Overheat it and you are in even bigger trouble.

      5. The fan clutch is electromagnetic. It needs to be adjusted occasionally, and the carbon brush that feeds the magnet is a wear item. Of course this got ignored and the fan stopped working with predictable results. $5 carbon brush causes $$$$ head failure.

      Treat them right, and these cars are tough as nails (other than the rust, sadly). Treat them indifferently and I hope you have comfortable shoes.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        This is probably where they got their spotty reputations over here. To most people, a Chevy 350 is their type of reliable. Ignore everything completely- until something REALLY fails.

        Just like the interference Audi engines, they just need to be cared for.

        The torsion tube sounds like a good idea for reliability. White/Oliver used this type of trunnion setup on farm tractors, and it was unkillable. I couldn’t imagine working on one, though. You would end up basically dropping the entire frame off the car, right? Although, there would be a second “frame”, wouldn’t there?

        Those crazy French people…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    162K miles on the odo for a mid-80’s car isn’t “pretty good,” it is generally pretty amazing – especially for a Peugeot which wasn’t exactly the hallmark of 1980’s reliability.

    Looking at these pictures, impound to the crusher doesn’t seem all that unlikely. Looks like it was drivable.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      These were solid cars that simply needed good and regular maintenance.

      Peugeot blew an opportunity in the U.S. If they had come up with a parts & distribution network and a service/maintenance contract — much like BMW and Audi offer now — maybe they’d have had a chance.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Peugeot was simply too small, and had too few dealers. In places where they had dealers, these were well-regarded cars. Little old Maine actually had 3 dealers back in the day, two in Southern Maine, one up the coast. Peugeots were just about as common as Saabs or Audis (and this was serious Saab country) and not much less common than Volvos. Outside of the Northeast and west coast, they only had dealers here and there across the country, mostly small independents. In Maine two of them were small stand-alones, though one eventually picked up Subaru and is a Subaru dealer to this day. The other was a MASSIVE Buick, Oldsmobile, Fiat, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce dealer in Falmouth (Colony Motors, now a strip mall), which is where my folks bought their Olds 98. I actually got them to test drive a 505, but my Grandfather wanted FWD after having a pair of Subarus. A loaded gas 505S was only $17.5K in ’84, vs. $20K for the Oldsmobarge. I also got them to try a Saab 900S 4dr, which was 16K. He didn’t like the Saab either, too small.

        Other trivia. From the early 70s to the end, Peugeot shared their major parts warehouse in PA with Saab. Saab had about 3/4 of the facility, Peugeot had 1/4. In the pre-Internet age, the dealers (and a few indy foreign parts houses) were pretty much the ONLY source of parts for all of these imported cars other than VWs.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Lei Han was something of an enigma.

    Lei exited I-280. As the 50 year old started down the offramp, a rogue Saturn darted back and forth indecisively in front of her. It finally made it’s choice, showering the front of the Pug with loose debris when it cut across the median at the last possible moment. This would have greatly upset your typical motorist, but Lei was above it. She calmly sucked down the last that the Marlboro Black Menthol had to offer, and jammed it into the ashtray resembling a crowed Paris Le Bistro. A few butts were ejected by the maitre d’, and fell to the passenger floor. She reached up and calmed the swaying jade mirror trinket.

    The Peugeot pulled into the Safeway on Taraval. Lei spread two fingers on her right hand and poked the power window switches as if they were the eyes of a stooge. As customary with the 505, she placed the shifter into 3rd gear. The parking brake was a no-go, and would result in another locked brake. The satisfyingly solid “thunk” of French door lock mechs assured her of the low probability of the radio getting stolen again today. She emerged from the store over an hour later after taking into account every possible deal and coupon available, scrutinizing her expenditures to a dime. She placed the paper bags full of vegetables and bricks of menthol on the roof. The stale cigarette air of the cabin, made aromatic in the sun, wafted out when the metal door clasp was tugged. Lei brushed some celery aside on her way to nicotine.

    With a turn of the key, the starter gave the XN6 the briefest twist before bringing it to life. It immediately died. “Wáng bā”, she thought, it was doing it again. Lei’s miserly outlook on her vehicle’s upkeep was presenting her with a problem. The pug had soldiered on for 50,000 without a tuneup, and the oil now had La Brea-like characteristics. Eventually, she got the car re-lit, and pointed it towards Sutro Tower.

    Finding parking was proving to be tough, but she got lucky. As soon as a van left it’s spot on Warren Drive, she was there to claim the valuable patch of asphalt. It was tight, but she made it work. Tired and hungry, she quickly grabbed the sack of groceries and secured the Peugeot. The car was left haphazardly slanted on the steep slope, it’s wheels steered away from the curb, and locked in 3rd gear.

    The tow truck came to collect the pug, on the grounds of it’s passenger side headlight parked 7/16″ too far into the Ford Ranger in front of it after it had slowly crept down the mountain. Lei was a bit taken back by the Mazda occupying the space where here french car once was. “hùnzhàng.” With no forwarding address, it proved impossible to notify her of it’s where-a bouts.

    “You have to be careful when you come here. My car was stolen off the busy street by some dumb egg.”

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Well done!

      Trivia – the XN6 2.0l four is an honest-to-gosh hemi. Fully hemispherical cylinder heads, unlike the Chrysler hemis which really were not.

      I think this was the last year for the 2.0L OHV XN6, it was replaced by the 2.2L ZDJL which was all aluminum wet-liner OHC but was much less refined. A lot more power though. XN6 was a native Peugeot motor, ZDJL came from Talbot by way of Chrysler Europe.

      505s could also be had with a Talbot-derived turbo-4, 2.3L and 2.5L diesels, and the only good version of the PRV V-6.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yay!

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      He’s back!

      *Applause*

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    “Lei spread two fingers on her right hand and poked the power window switches as if they were the eyes of a stooge.”

    That line made the piece for me….awesome!

  • avatar

    My sister’s friend’s mother who lived a few houses away in the early 1980s had a 505s, painted in the metallic bronze-titanium that must have been the factory default shade. She had it for the better part of a decade and we called it Inspector Peugeot.

    Somewhat off-topic, I’m hoping we’ll sea and read more about the blue Mazda RX7 parked beside the Peugeot. Looks a lot like a tender blue metallic ’85 GS I used to drive back in the day.

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    There’s one here at work that I park next to every day. It’s someone’s daily driver. I always find it refreshing to see someone keep up a car like this. Especially in OC, the land of BMW’s and Mercedes.

  • avatar
    hawox

    the 505 peugeot was probably one of the most successfull re-use in car history. infact it shares something with the venerable 504 wich was designed back in mid ’60.
    the 505 sold quite well in europe, the estate was simply enormous. was a bit more expensive than fiat argenta, ford granada, opel rekord… still managed to sell well. infact was better equiped than other cars, had a much better handling (limited slip differential was standard).
    also those big peugeot were considered very reliable, the 404 was legendary, but the fame persisted many years till the 405.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Dang! – why hasn’t anyone pinched those front seats yet? The older French thrones were among the most comfortable seats to ever grace an automobile. I’d love have one as my office desk chair.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I had those exact seats in my 504, front and rear. They replaced the sun-destroyed original vinyl seats. They are sublimely comfortable.

      Here are some pics of my 504D and 505SW8 on Flikr:

      https://flic.kr/p/ptcNSb

      https://flic.kr/p/pbJLGs

      https://flic.kr/p/psX9yz

      https://flic.kr/p/pbKiH3

      The 504D is a ’79, the 505 wagon is a ’92 SW8.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Your garage looks great!

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Thanks! I saw that garage and decided I was buying the place even if the house was falling down. I couldn’t build that garage today for what I paid for the whole place in ’01.

          My master plan is to build a second, much smaller garage 2-car garage next to the house as a purpose-built workshop someday. 2-post lift and all the tools and the big garage becomes just storage.

          • 0 avatar

            krhodes1

            What a nicely preserved 504 and 505, amazing!!!
            I own 3 modern Pugs (308RC, 3008 and 307) we have dealers in México, however the brand was absent from the country on the years your cars were sold returning in the late 90s.

            I know there is a way to get replacement parts for any Pug, other than the junkyards, there is a division of PSA for classic car supplies.
            If you need some let me know and we can check with the Mexican dealerships.
            Also, I would like to ask for your permission to re post your images at our forum http://www.clubpeugeot.com.mx

            Best regards and Saludos from México

  • avatar
    waltercat

    Beerboy, did they sell Peugeots in the US? Well, sort of.

    About 40 years ago, I bought what might be among the first 504s sold in the US. Its production date was, as I recall, October ’69, but it was titled as a 1970. It had been taken in trade at a Peugeot dealer on Long Island.

    It was something of an oddball 504: only the ’70s (in the US, at least) had a four-on-the-tree transmission, and it was painted a factory color that I’ve never seen on another 504 – roughly British racing green. It had a tan vinyl interior and a sunroof, and not another option.

    I so enjoyed that car… for the first couple of months. In the remaining two years with the car, I think something failed every single month. Starter, alternator, clutch hydraulics, brake calipers that would rust solid every winter, and so on, and so on.

    In 1975, my brother bought it from me (I asked him not to), and it proceeded to eat him out of house and home. A year later, my sister bought it from my brother (we both warned her not to), and it cost her a complete engine rebuild. By about 1977, the floor rusted away and the car was sent to the crusher. My sister graduated to Toyotas and has remained there to this very day.

    Every now and then, I hear an (unsubstantiated) story about how reliable and long-lived these cars are. Sorry, but I take these stories with a grain of salt. Perhaps the owners of these miracle 504s treat the periodic breakdowns and fixes as part of a hobby. I needed that car to work every day – my bad.

    So, back then, I replaced the Peug with an Olds 88 convertible with a 455, and discovered that accelerating uphill is, indeed, possible. In the past close to 20 years, my garage has been exclusively Asian (Acura, Subaru, Lexus, Hyundai, and Mazda) and I don’t think I’ve had an unscheduled repair ever since.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My 504D was utterly bulletproof for the 5+ years that I owned it. And I drove it every day in the non-salt seasons. I did NOT drive it in winter salt. I drove it annually from Maine to Carlisle PA for the big import show there, which is a 1000 mile round trip. I easily put 10K+ on it a year. I believe repairs over the five years were a seal in the fuel pump, and a rebuilt clutch master cylinder and brake distribution valve due to minor leaks. None of which caused the car to not be drivable. It was ~15 years old and ~150K when I bought it. Came from Palm Springs. I did have it painted, the desert sun was not nice to the paint.

      For much of the time I had that car, I also had a succession of 505s as daily drivers year ’round. No major issues with those either, other than the first one, an ’85 505TD that was rusty and beat (and cheap) when I got it. It was still reliable, but I did put a lot of work into it when I first got it. The ’92 505 SW8 wagon was one of the most reliable cars I have ever owned. I had it for three years, put 50K+ on it, bought it with 109K and the ONLY repairs it ever needed was a water pump. Which was a weird one – the water pump is driven by the timing belt on the ZDJL, so I had a new one installed when I had the timing belt done. That new pump sheered its shaft two weeks later. No accounting for bad new parts I guess. That was the only issue that car ever had while I owned it. In a fit of sheer idiocy, I sold it when I bought my first Saab, an ’85 900T which was most emphatically NOT the most reliable car I ever owned. The Saab WAS a whole lot more fun.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Nice little car .

    I owned a ’75 (IIRC) , it was reliable and comfy , handled like it had asphalt magnets in the tires .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Gordon Baxter wrote an excellent essay about the realities of US Peugeot ownership. It’s called, “I’ll Never Get Rid of Ole Herpes.”

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I always liked the front end design on these. A nice twist on the usual 80s style of “two big square headlights and a black grille”.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      And if you got a set of the European headlights like I had on my ’92, you were treated to some of the best halogen headlights ever put on a car. Reflector area measured in square feet.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The 5000 had very nice halogens as well. With glass lenses so they didn’t yellow.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I find the 5000 a more attractive car overall than this, but this certainly isn’t a bad looking car.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Assume you mean the “Aero” 5000, and not the original square one? That car was a revelation when it came out. Like a spaceship! One of my Air Force pilot uncles had one new when I first got my license in ’86. By far the coolest car I drove by myself for a long, long time. Amazing how well they went with that little 125hp 5 and a 3spd automatic! Would probably seem like an utter dog today, but compared to my ’82 Subaru it was amazing. Even compared to the only slightly more powerful and infinitely less nice Olds 98 it seemed amazing.

            The 505 was a pretty old car by then the sedan debuted in ’79 in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yep, the 82+ 100/5000. I don’t think a square 5000 was sold in the US?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Sure they were, from ~’78-’83, in gas, turbo gas, diesel, and turbo-diesel forms. In Europe, I think the non-turbos were the 100, the turbos were the 200. They were all called 5000 here.

            Not an uncommon car in my neck of the woods, a friend of mine had a hand-me-down turbo-diesel in high school.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Just learned somethin! Upon checking images, I don’t fancy the pre-aero version at all.

  • avatar
    Garak

    I remember these cars, they were pretty much all used up by the early 2000s, as most other 1980s RWDs. Boy racers smashed most of them up in the winter.

  • avatar
    jhwool

    Had a 504 while I was stationed in Germany between 1975-1979. Great car. Supremely comfortable but slow. Was quite reliable. Sold when I came back to the states as I had three children and needed a station wagon. Bought a Peugeot bike when I came back. I recently saw a Peugeot 605 in great condition. Those were beautiful cars but were only sold briefly in the USA

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I love these cars.

    I bet these guys floated down the road, in a very non-malaise sort of fashion.

    Ahhhh. Love the damned 505.

    I’ll take a relatively clean example, make mine off white with brown interior. :P

  • avatar
    davew833

    Why does every single car in the self-serve junkyards have the back seat yanked up or out? Are people desperately looking for change or something?

  • avatar
    Joss

    I recall fondly Peugeot metallic paints and steel sliding sunroofs – manually winched. You could often get a leather option. Remember you can’t get too far ahead in France because everybody is watching, waiting to pull you back down. No Cadillac schmaltz here.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    I being from Cleveland never have seen one on the road, if there were Peugeot dealers, there weren’t many around here.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      If there was more than one dealer in OH, I would be surprised. They only had 151 dealers in the whole country when they pulled out in ’92, and they were concentrated on the coasts. There was probably in whatever the biggest university town was in OH back then. Cleveland seems WAY too blue-collar to have supported a Peugeot dealer.

      Edit: I am surprised – Ohio had THREE in 1991. I found the old dealer list on-line. Maine was down to two by that point, as Colony went under before Peugeot pulled out.

      http://www.newsassociates.com/peugeot.html

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        The USA’s third oldest car dealership, Reynolds Garage & Marine in Lyme, Connecticut, survived Peugeot leaving the market. They always had marine sales and service, and converted to Subaru just before they took off in the Nineties.

        If anyone cares, I helped edit a book on their family history. http://reynoldsboats.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Reynolds%20Year%20Book%20Optimized%20July%2011%202014.pdf

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Interesting! Maine’s oldest Peugeot dealer did the same thing. McElman’s in Woolwich, ME. They picked up Subaru in the early 80’s, and are now Bath Subaru and a fancy boat dealership. They STILL will work on Peugeots to this day.

          I think the other remaining former Peugeot dealer is just a used car dealer.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            As of 2011 there was still Ramsey Peugeot doing repairs on the very busy thoroughfare of Route 17 in New Jersey. I used to pass it 3 times a week and always assumed they also owned the real estate. How else could they stay in business? Anyone know if they’re still around?

            http://www.505turbo.com/forum/index.php?/topic/1442-ramsey-peugeot/

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I was young back then. I thought they were really elegant cars. Not in an ostentatious way. In an elegant way. My warm feelings were probably colored by ny grandfather who had one simply because grandma with her broken hip could negotiate the door. I was right. My god a Peugeot was comfortable. I wish there was something like this today.

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