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Purchase advice Peugeot 504 Coupé and Cabrio: The last coup

Frank Herzog
Purchase advice for Peugeot 504 Coupé and Cabrio
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It's the Mercedes feeling that gets you when looking at and driving the P eugeot 504 Coupés sometimes creeps. That unexcited sense of style that is always within shouting distance of fashion, that conservative solidity in many equipment details that appeals. And of course the solid technical basis, without which a sophisticated, comfortable car would be inconceivable.

If the term had already existed in 1968, the Peugeot would have been 504 Injection, the technically identical model of the coupé, was immediately characterized as a premium automobile. This is supported by the generous dimensions of this upper middle class car, the restrained, elegant lines by Peugeot in-house designer Pininfarina and the sophisticated chassis based on the BMW model.

The 504 Sedan was named Car of the Year in 1969

With a front strut axle and an elaborate trailing arm construction at the rear, it set standards in terms of ride comfort and road holding. The smooth-running and powerful 1.8-liter injection engine rounds off the image of the likeable car. With such merit, the 504 Sedan was promptly named Car of the Year in 1969.

The Pininfarina 504 Coupé and Cabriolet creations presented in the same year have - as is usual with noble creations - no pressed sheet metal part in common with the sedan. You can afford the extravagance that automotive gourmets prefer to be seduced by. No wonder that the Peugeot 504 from auto motor und sport was often dubbed 'the French Mercedes' at the time.

Even if the nonchalant workmanship and the sometimes tinny sound of the doors didn't quite do justice to this predicate - the sense of style and the constructive care definitely justified it. An Opel Commodore, a Ford 20 M, even an Audi with the then new flagship 100 LS did not reach the ingeniously high level of the conventionally powered Peugeot.

Play of light on the silver paint of the Peugeot 504 Coupé

A late 504 Coupé invites you to get to know it. The body shines in silver metallic - the favorite color of Sergio Pininfarina,when it comes to helping studies at car showrooms to achieve optimal results. The play of light in the beads and arches can best unfold in this way.

Only rarely are lifted models the most beautiful of a model series, this also applies to the large Peugeot Coupé. The elegant proportions remain untouched - the harmonious ratio of width and height, the long wheelbase despite 19 centimeters of the sedan dimensions and the graceful, light roof structure with the narrow posts. And last but not least, the dainty triangular windows with rotary knob controls à la Mercedes in the finely framed front doors. The playful, delicate swing of the hips over the rear axle was thankfully retained.

But the clunky bumpers from 1979 onwards, with the optional metallic paint also dipped in the body color, do not quite match the elegant standards of the car. As early as 1974 it was adapted in details to the more daring car fashion of the 1970s. With the introduction of the powerful, flexible and easy-revving European V6 engine, the 504 Coupé and Cabriolet lost the stylistic innocence and purity of the sixties, which also delighted women in fashion. The face with the fine lines of dainty double headlights became brawnier and more masculine, analogous to the extra power. The delightful parallel individual rear lights, three each on the left and right, gave way to striking light units.

Restraint in the facelift of the Peugeot 504

Although the seating position behind the flat steering wheel is not for everyone, you immediately feel at home in the light, easy-to-use car with the dignified, tasteful velor interior that exudes a subtle touch of burr walnut veneer and brings the classic sixties to life again. It also gives a good sense of space. It is a real two-plus-two, which is also spacious in the rear.

The later models are equipped with power steering and five-speed transmission. Even the pleasantly discreet rumbling sound of the four-cylinder takes one for the car. It is - as was generally the case in the past - unmistakable, this is exactly how a Peugeot 504 sounds like no other. The engine with aluminum cylinder head and wet liners corresponds structurally to the old French school. As with the Renault 16, conservative with a certain skepticism towards the overhead camshaft, he focuses on good pulling power in the lower speed range and onEconomy.

That's why the cylinder head is pretty modern. Unlike the OHC four-cylinder from Mercedes at the time, it pays homage to the cross-flow principle, even has V-shaped hanging valves and a hemispherical combustion chamber. The spark plug connector located in the middle of the cylinder head cover gives it away.

Modern and economical engine technology

The Kugelfischer gasoline injection with mechanical pump ensures perfect transitions and optimal filling. So it is difficult to use the not so light coupé, after all, it weighs 1,270 kilos, on average more than 10 liters.

The modern aluminum six-cylinder is hardly missed. It's more of a question of image and the much-touted class difference between the four and six-cylinder that make it desirable. The lush 90-degree V6 disappeared in the convertible as early as 1977, after a good three years. He stayed in the coupé until the end, after having been prescribed a tame performance cure by K-Jetronic from 136 to 144 hp in 1976. With the 504, Peugeot initially said goodbye to the rigid axle, only the payload-addicted Break models and the 504 L calculated with the red pen brought them back later.

Pleasantly direct driving experience

A soft, The 504 Coupé is characterized by smooth rolling even on bumpy roads. The rear trailing arm axle is attached to a subframe, which also reduces shocks and vibrations. At the front, an appealing McPherson strut axle combined with the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering ensures a handy and pleasantly direct driving experience.

The Peugeot 504 Coupé is an extremely sophisticated Gran Turismo - not fast, but motorized comfortably and economically. And again the comparison with a Mercedes comes to mind. This time it's a 230 C. The somewhat baroque, heavy Wagnerian shape of the 123 Coupé cannot keep up with the light-footed elegance of the Peugeot, but the constructive quality, enriched by a dignified interior (assuming velor upholstery in the 230 C), unites the two .

In the end, it is only gratifying that the Peugeot is by far the more exclusive automobile in its later form.

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