There she is. The historic Pininfarina lines stand out in full glory against the shining sky. Sharpness and beautiful curves are meticulously forged into a form of coherence that surpasses any ideal of beauty. There she is, the permanent player of my car top 10, competing for a place of honor on my personal podium. The Peugeot 404 Injection Coupé from Wim Noorman is stunningly beautiful.
Largely in the first Gris Graphite lacquer and patinated with great care, it is just as it should be. Totally French / Latin, in the right historical perspective. Breathlessly I see this ravishing coupe, the inscription Injection thanks to the mechanical Kugelfischer fuel injection. Photographer Wouter Oud records the Peugeot in a historically beautiful way. Anno 1966 the buyer for this Peugeot the deepest in the pouch. Because she offered chic in that typical Peugeot way: finely balanced, organic and modest exclusivity. Few manufacturers controlled that trick, Peugeot belonged to that select group. The fine-grained drawing tools of Pininfarina strengthened that unique status from 1962 to 1968. In Turin, the design paper was enriched with the almost fairy-tale lines of the Peugeot 404 Coupé. In Grugliasco, the shapes and details were transformed into a stunning body. And that was combined in Sochaux with the Peugeot 404 technology.
The design shows fine balance, bearing in mind the 404 type name. Take, for example, the kink that, after the slim b-pillar, swings the high waist up and takes the frame of the rear side window into its sail. The route ends with the nicely screwed Pininfarina rear lights, which together with the sharply drawn and sloping rear wings offer shelter to the flat boot lid. And the curves on the front embrace the long hood. The chrome-finished dashboard with beautiful tape measure and ornaments is a feast for the eyes. The instruments are located behind the artfully equipped steering wheel. An automobile as an exceptional bonus for the buyer. She radiates it in everything. There she is.
Two plus one
In the Peugeot you sit like a glove. That compliment concerns the front part of the passenger compartment. There is another bench behind the front seats. The length of photographer Wouter Oud makes that the two plus two undergo a temporary transformation to two plus one. Wouter also takes breathtaking photos while lying, which also flawlessly reflect the beauty of this car. Craftsmanship meets craftsmanship.
Adequate form of pulling power
Here we go. Wim Noorman cautiously drives his Peugeot to a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The Peugeot 404 Coupé Injection reveals an adequate form of pulling power. It is almost forty degrees, so the old technology is not exposed to the heat for too long, not even with the knowledge that Sochaux installed the self-thinking fan (Peugeot patent) in the engine compartment. The typical Peugeot XC engine sound is now sharing the certainty of a smooth and shock-free run. Really, the 1.618 cc power source has its peculiarities. He does not like to be out of business for a long time. If the owner does allow the engine a long break, then Monsieur Kugelfischer becomes a bit moody. The engine and accessories like to make good decoration with the carriage in which they are located. All understanding. During the ride, we notice nothing of any kindness.
Beautiful link pattern
The operation of the clutch and gear is a different story. Because via a beautiful shifting pattern (the second and third gears are above each other, historically useful for mountain rides) Wim Noorman operates the steering gear lever, the gear changes smoothly. Mc Pherson at the front and the rear axle with screw suspension at the rear are very comfortable with each other: the road holding is sporty comfortable and breathes complete balance.
Benefit from convertible floor
The reinforced base plate, which the Peugeot 404 Coupé borrowed from the equally enchanting Peugeot 404 Cabriolet, and the bodywork of the Coupé are also the main ingredients for the strong carriage feeling. And speaking of solid: the Hydrovac brake servo requires the driver to use the brake pedal in a controlled manner. Wim shows an example of the braking potential, and soon you know that the energized thermostables have little difficulty in stopping the Peugeot. A fine example of technology, which proves that elegance can have decisive features.
This Peugeot is the ultimate model of symbiosis. This is a balance in superlative between grand Italian design art and beautiful examples of French technology. Her viciously disarming class is delicate. So delicate that it is impossible to take in all the design secrets of this car in a short period of time. There she is, one of the most beautiful Pininfarina coupes in history. If not the nicest. The visit was an audience without the Peugeot seeing it that way. I glance over my shoulder one more time. There she is. And I fervently wish that saying goodbye does not exist.
Thanks to Wim Noorman and Wouter Oud.