504’s Little Brother – 1971 Peugeot 304

Certainly a rare car in this country, the Peugeot 304 was styled to look like the 504. They are reasonably advanced for the time, with full-independent suspension and a transversely mounted alloy SOHC 1.3L engine and transmission turning the front wheels. They may have only had 65hp, but compared to other small sedans at the time, this is fairly competitive. I would wager that not many were imported to the US, although the lighting on this car suggests that it was indeed officially imported to the US. Check out this example located in St. Mary, MO (near St. Louis) for the bon marche price of $1000!

As you can see, it’s actually in pretty good shape. Remove the wind deflector since your 65hp engine doesn’t need any extra drag or weight, and make sure that hood closes properly and is not bent. If you squint a bit, the US-market headlights could have you thinking you’re looking at some kind of Datsun 510. It’s nice to see that the car is fully intact – often weird Euro-sedans have suffered in storage or in the attempts of previous owners to restore them.

1971 Peugeot 304 left

The right side also looks good. Another plus with these is they share parts with the popular 204, and are still popular as taxis today in places like Cairo. While the seller says it runs and drives well, from the look of the tires I’d expect work on systems affected by long-term storage – fuel, brakes, and cooling. That said, put a little elbow grease into the paint and this car might not look so bad. The body color being what it is, it’s hard to tell if there’s any rust on it, but it looks pretty clean.

1971 Peugeot 304 right

The interior doesn’t look half bad. Based on the reputation of other French cars, expect comfortable chairs and ride, but not terribly fast acceleration. You might want to grab a driver’s door panel and carpet kit at your local Pep Boys (ha!) if you’re picky. It would be interesting to see the upholstery under those seat covers – no doubt it’s not available anywhere, except maybe from some old guy called Jean-Claude in Sochaux, who stole some in ’71 while on strike because they wouldn’t let him smoke his Gitanes.

1971 Peugeot 304 interior

Looks like you won’t have to make contacts in Cairo after all. A couple of blocks, a transmission, some gaskets, and various other bits are all visible in this pic. Overall, for not too ridiculous money, you could be the hit of the LA-area French Italian show, and have a fun little tourer to boot!

1971 Peugeot 304 parts


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4 Responses to “504’s Little Brother – 1971 Peugeot 304”

  1. Manfred Says:

    Hi, did you sell this car inbetween?
    I am from Germany and I own some of those 304, two of ’em running. I am hardly trying to find some US headlamps in usuable shape. If you not manage to sell this car and maybe decide to brake it down for spares one day, I would love to make an offer for the headlamps. A US postal adress is available. Otherwise I would love to see this car some day runnning in the US traffic. Good luck, and thanks for a short feedback.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Glad to hear you’re keeping two of these neat little cars on the road. I’m not the seller, just someone who writes about interesting cars for sale… but I wouldn’t recommend changing over to the weak US-market sealed beam headlamps.

  2. Keith in Nashville Says:

    My first car was a 1971 Peugeot 304 4-dr sedan with 5 on the floor, sunroof, and Michelins all around. I positively loved it. It was so much fun to drive–very zippy, and it cornered like a train!

  3. Jere Says:

    I owned one in the early 80’s, second owner. 4dr. sunroof, 5 spd. I was told only 275 were imported that year and about half ended up in San Francisco Bay area where i lived then. Man I loved that little car,greatt mileage and comfortable seats and ergonomics.

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