Save it from the ‘Banger Boys’: Peugeot 604

There’s perhaps one single line in the eBay ad for this Peugeot 604 that should see you reaching down the back of your sofa for some loose change. Quite simply, it reads, ‘will be given to the banger boys if it doesn’t sell’. Now really, a car as elegant and exotic as the Peugeot 604 shouldn’t be going anywhere near the ‘banger boys’. Let them play with…oh I don’t know, a Hyundai i10 or something.

If the Peugeot 604 looks like a French 4-door version of the Fiat 130 Coupe, that’s no coincidence – both cars were styled by Pininfarina. And in PetrolBlog’s eyes, these were two of the greatest cars to come out of the Pininfarina studio in the 1970s. It’s also worth remembering that the Peugeot 604 is sandwiched neatly between the Ferrari 308 and Lancia Montecarlo in Pininfarina’s timeline.

Peugeot 604 in the garden

The Peugeot 604 is one of those cars that’s so easily forgotten and this is partly down to the fact that it was a commercial flop in the UK. How often have we heard this? Yet another example of a big, soft and French executive car destined for slow sales and rapid depreciation. Perhaps PetrolBlog should write a book on misunderstood French fancies?

Why should we care about the Peugeot 604? Well for a start, it looks rather wonderful. Paint those huge headlights yellow and you’ve got yourself the quintessential 1970s French barge. All it needs is a half-empty packet of Gitanes in the glovebox and some Édith Piaf on the eight-track.

Secondly, it was the first European car to feature a turbodiesel engine. The 2.3-litre turbodiesel was introduced as an option in 1979, partly in response to the Peugeot 604’s reputation for thirst, with most cars fitted with a V6 petrol engine. Sadly for the 604, the diesel unit developed a reputation of its own – one of poor cold weather starting. Not so good if you’re trying to win the heart’s of an already sceptical British market.

Peugeot 604 Interior

Thirdly, there are just 19 Peugeot 604s left on the roads of Britain. And a barge as elegant as the Peugeot 604 shouldn’t be facing extinction.

So what do we know about the Peugeot 604 currently for sale on eBay? Well it’s an early 1977 2.7-litre automatic with 50,000 miles on clock. Is this mileage original? Well who knows, but given the amount of work the old girl requires, it hardly seems to matter.

Peugeot 604 on eBay

Amazingly for an old French barge, all the electric work and the engine is ‘sound’. But – and here’s the proverbial big but – the Peugeot 604 is in need of total restoration. It ‘needs a fair bit of welding’ and has ‘rust bubbles as to be expected’.

But let’s concentrate on the positives. It’s brown. It has a wonderful interior. It’s brown. The rear legroom could rival a Skoda Superb. It’s brown. It’s currently only £120. It’s brown. It’s more elegant than most barges on sale today. It’s brown. And it’s rare.

Oh, and did I mention it’s brown?

Peugeot 604 For Sale

Do the right thing, head over to eBay and place a cheeky bid on this Peugeot 604. If you’re lucky, you may end up as the highest bidder. Then the fun will really begin. Oh, wait…

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

7 comments

  1. August 22, 2013
    Web Tech

    I saw that car on eBay yesterday, it’s just around the corner from my house. If I knew a gasket from a spark-plug I’d be tempted, but alas, my car restoration skills are purely limited to T-Cut and a bucket of soapy hot water. Something tells me that won’t be enough in this case.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Ha. You could be right.

      But you could buy it as some kind of PBHQ outpost across the border. At least you won’t have to travel far to collect it… 😉

      Reply
  2. August 23, 2013
    Richard

    Not as gorgeous as the 505 but it really shouldn’t go to the banger boys.

    Reply
    • August 23, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Agree with both points!

      Reply
  3. August 23, 2013
    Darren Leslie

    There seems to be alot of French metal recently. You been at the snails again?

    They all look rather nice mind you.

    Rusty French metal and banger racing don’t go together well….

    Reply
  4. November 28, 2013
    Hank Leverence

    I own a “82” 604td in West Virginia, 25420. Looking for a restoration expert!!

    Reply
    • November 28, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Oh wow. Would imagine that’s a rare thing in West Virginia. If not the whole of the United States.

      Any pics?

      Reply

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