I didn’t see a single Peugeot P4 when I was in London just before Christmas. Hardly surprising, given the fact the Peugeot P4 was a license-built G-Class developed for the French army.
The chances of seeing one in the UK are slim. Mercedes-Benz didn’t grant Peugeot permission to export the P4, although a few did make their way to the colonies. Which is why this Peugeot P4 for sale at a posh car dealer stands out – in more ways than one.
For a start, it’s beige, which means it’s a welcome contrast to the countless red buses, black cabs and grey Ubers that line the streets of London.
On the manicured avenues of Kensington and Chelsea, a beige Peugeot P4 will mark you out as an individual. A little eccentric, perhaps. Who needs a white Range Rover, black Q7 or silver Mercedes SUV when you can roll up outside the Dorchester like a French Lara Croft?
It costs £9,995, which doesn’t seem like a huge amount to pay for a car that is only just being relieved of active duty by the French military. Because it’s a Peugeot, the P4 doesn’t come with the scene tax that affects other 4x4s of this nature.
Buying an authentic 4×4 isn’t easy in 2020. The Suzuki Jimny has a waiting list to rival The Ivy, the Mercedes G-Class is unlikely to leave a showroom for less than a six-figure sum and the Dacia Duster 4×4 isn’t as affordable as it used to be.
While you weren’t paying attention, Dacia increased the price of the cheapest four-wheel-drive Duster to £17,995. That’s… a lot. The days of the £12k Duster 4×4 are long gone.
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Which leaves this Peugeot P4 for sale at Duke of London. It’s described as an “oddball wagon” and a “guaranteed head turner”. The advert concludes that it’s a “brilliant French tank to disturb the Chelsea tractors…” Quite.
As a 1991 example, this Peugeot P4 would have been one of the 6,000 units built by Panhard. Production ceased in 1992, making this civilian-spec P4 one of the last to leave the line in Marolles-en-Hurepoix.
Power is sourced from a 2.5-litre diesel lump, which is guaranteed to encourage a few cheery waves as you drive through London’s low emission zones without a care in the world. Note: the cheery waves should not be confused with abusive hand gestures.
The tarpaulin roof means that you’re never more than a few minutes of fumbling with clips and fasteners away from enjoying a Waterloo sunset or rocking up in topless style at a dive bar in a West End town.
What’s more, the fact that it’s small and light enough to be airdropped and transported by helicopter presents the perfect means of dodging the traffic on the school run. You just need a mate with a Chinook and a friendly ear at the air traffic control centre.
When all is said and done, if the Brexit thing goes wrong, the Peugeot P4 is your passport to an escape. Simply slap a few tricolore flags on the beige body, perfect your Officer Crabtree impression, then watch as you’re waved through Calais to borderless freedom.
London’s streets may not be paved with gold, but they could use a little beige.
The 1991 Peugeot P4 is for sale at Duke of London, Brentford. Images © Tim Scott.
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