Peugeot 1968 : 504

Peugeot 1968 : 504

Enduring reliability

Successor to the 404 (with which it coexisted for 7 years), the 504 has both a larger frame and a greater cubic capacity than its predecessor. This large luxury sedan demonstrates the rise in the standard of models aimed at the middle classes, from the 203 to the 504, increasing from 1.3 to 1.8 litres, then finally to two litres. This development stands testament to the increase in the French standard of living during the "Trente Glorieuses" post-war period.
Scheduled for spring 1968, the launch of the 504 was delayed because of the social unrest that year. The car was finally unveiled at the Paris motor show. It cannot be said that the 504, a sober saloon embodying Peugeot's traditional values of reliability and responsibility, was in tune with the spirit of '68.
The 504 was in line with the technical style of the 404, with the exception of its four-wheel independent suspension, previously unheard of at Peugeot on a RWD and also very rare on the mass-marketed saloons of the time. This provided the vehicle with excellent road performance, while its four disc brakes gave the 504 exceptional braking.

A 1796 cm3 four cylinder engine was available on the carburated (87 hp and 156 km/h) and the injection (103 hp and 168 km/h) versions of the 504. The gearbox had four speeds — a ZF automatic transmission was available as an option. In spring 1969, the coupé and cabriolet models were launched, with their alluring Italian lines designed by Pininfarina, powered by the V6 engine from the future 604.
The 1970 Paris motor show saw the evolution of the model, which gained a two litre engine with an enlarged bore. This model provided 98 hp (162 km/H) in its carburated version, while the injection version gave 110 hp (173 km/h). Alongside this, a 504 with a 2.1 litre (75 hp) diesel engine became available. In spring 1971, three new body types completed the range, the estate, the family saloon and the pick-up, built on an extended wheelbase and fitted with a solid rear axle.

In 1973, Peugeot produced a more economical 504 fitted with a 1.8 litre 79 hp (154 km/h) engine and a solid rear axle. Four years later, the GLD saloon was made available with a 2.3 litre diesel engine, providing 70 hp DIN.

A huge commercial success, especially for export, most notably to Africa where even now it retains its legendary reputation, the 504 also enjoyed an auspicious sporting career in the tough African rallies. The sedan stayed in production until 1983. But it continued to be manufactured in Argentina and Nigeria until 2006.

Its road handling, comfort, enduring reliability and longevity earned the 504 an outstanding production run with 3.7 million vehicles built, all versions included.  

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