Petit Coupe – 1969 Peugeot 204 Coupe

Many fashionable coupes on plebeian platforms, such as the VW Karmann Ghia, Ford Capri, and Fiat 850 have appeared here. However, there are some that didn’t make it to North America, in spite of following the same recipe, and having a Pininfarina-designed body to boot. That car is the Peugeot 204 coupe. The Peugeot 204 has made one appearance on these pages, but even that was likely a personal import, as these were never officially brought to North America. Built from 1965 to 1976, it was the best-selling car in France from 1969 to 1971, and was offered in sedan, coupe, convertible, wagon, and van bodystyles. You can find this 1969 Peugeot 204 coupe for sale for €1500 ($2076 today) in Limoges, France.

1969 Peugeot 204 coupe left front

What a pretty little coupe. Whitewall tires are a little silly for anything past the early 1960s, so it’s probably time to ditch those. The body is said to be in good shape, although the floorpans are said to have some corrosion, but no penetration. The paint appears to be original, which adds to the car’s charm. The French black plates underscore its provenance as a vehicle that has been only lived in the most discriminating of damp, cold, and cloudy conditions.

1969 Peugeot 204 coupe right front

Kidding aside, this car looks pretty decent for a seemingly unrestored car. The light metallic blue suits the lines well, and the tidy Pininfarina styling shares elements with some of their other work. The car is said to need work on the brake system, and the gear-shift linkage is also said to need some attention. The car comes without a contrôle technique (safety check similar to MoT or TÜV), but it does appear the carte grise (registration document/title) is included.

1969 Peugeot 204 coupe interior

The interior is said to be in perfect shape, and the picture does seem to support this. Unfortunately, no detail is provided on the running condition of the car, at least as regards the engine, transmission, and transaxle. You might ask, why do I want a small French econobox that has all of 59hp? Well, in addition to weighing in under 2000 lb., and having that unique French balance of comfort and handling, it’s one of the earliest in a long line of Pininfarina designs for Peugeot. It also piloted the transverse aluminum-engine-on-top-of-transaxle layout that became the standard for all front-wheel drive Peugeot cars. While this car was marketed as a coupe, it was actually Peugeot’s first 3-door hatchback, paving the way for the 104 and 205. This goes to show that for $3000-4000 including importation, even the enthusiast on a budget can have a unique (possibly literally, depending on your location) car.

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