Peugeot’s 404 has to be one of those cars you buy if you want to meet people from other countries. If driving a Lada is an automatic opener to conversations with people from most former Soviet countries, so driving a Peugeot 404 must be an ice-breaker with people from France and its various colonies, along with other countries on the African continent. As with the Volvo featured earlier this month, older Peugeots are a great starter classic, both for their durability and their parts availability guaranteed by a production run that lasted through 1991. Okay, so that’s already 24 years ago, but some of those must still survive. Check out this 1969 Peugeot 404 for sale for $3500 on Camano Island, WA.
What lurks behind those garage doors? The seller says he’s getting old and thinning the fleet, and if this Peugeot is any indication, what’s in there should be interesting. This car’s suffered a shallow dent down the side, but if you can’t get it out via a paintless dent service, it seems like this is one of those cars where a dent tells a story about the car’s utility and hard working life – a little like an older pickup, really. Stated to be in excellent condition, that’s hopefully a mechanical assessment, or perhaps the older pictures are underselling it.
Check out the old dealer plate frame on the back, hopefully an interesting indication of where the car spent part of its past life. It wears recent Washington plates, likely a sign that it spent some time off the road before being resurrected with a new clutch, carburetor and fuel pump, rear brake cylinders and shoes, and battery in the last 5000 miles. The engine has about 25,000 miles on a rebuild, and the owner drove it down to San Francisco, where the son of the original owner lives. All good signs that this is a usable classic car – those comfortable seats and the smooth ride mean you should easily be able to drive to the starting point of your next vintage rally, even if it’s a bit further afield.
If that little spot on the driver’s seat squab is just a reflection, these are perfect seats – no splits, tears, or sunburn, which is surprising in an older, driver-condition car. While not as funky as the recent Renault 12, the dash still has some unusual touches like the ignition switch in the center of the dash, column shifted 4-speed, and what is presumably the handbrake lever under the left side of the dash. Notice the absence of cracks on the dash too – you’ll need to make no excuses to passengers about the interior. Where would you go with this long-distance cruiser?