The year 2020 should have been dominated by numerous anniversaries. 1970, for example, produced illustrious automobiles, but ten years earlier the world was introduced to the car to be considered for the title of jubilee of the year. The Peugeot 404 breathed harmony and balance. In addition, it came from a larger series of Pininfarina models of that time. It is high time to describe the 404 extensively online.
In May 1960 Peugeot launched the 404. The first -04 Peugeot lifted the French manufacturer to a higher level in terms of figures, until then Sochaux still a fairly modest role in sales statistics. In fact, technically there was not even much new under the sun. The engine was a descendant of the powerplants in the 203 and 403, and was mounted tilted 45 degrees. The front train was modern for that time, with for example independent suspension and McPherson struts.
Detail changes and the arrival of luxury versions
The 404 quickly greeted changes in detail, especially in the interior. In the 404s, the Peugeot 404 was also available with the thermostable Hydrovac brakes and the petrol engines hailed a five-bearing crankshaft. Furthermore, Kugelfischer injection engine was a nice addition to the 404 program. In terms of transmission, the 404 buyer could choose from the four-speed gearbox and the Coupleur Jaeger semi-automatic. Later in the XNUMXs, it was also possible to order the XNUMX with a three-speed ZF automatic transmission.
SL, Cabriolet and Coupé
The most luxurious Berline was the Super Luxe. That came into the books at the end of 1960. That was a comfortable version with, for example, extra chrome and a truly beautiful interior. In addition, it got the XCKF1 1.6 injection engine with 86 DIN-HP and Kugelfischer mechanism. In fact, the heart of the range was always the GT, which got the 1.618 cc engine. The Coupé and Cabriolet were the extravaganza, which were in the list with both carburation and XCKF1 engine. These Franco-Italian co-productions were beautiful, the bodies came from Turin and were united with the technology in France.
The beautiful 404 was also expanded in another area. The Break entered the range as Commerciale and Familiale. A remarkably spacious series of station wagons, which got a reinforced rear suspension by the installation of two coil springs per side. The Commerciale got the XB2 1.468 cc petrol engine, the diesel was the 1.8 XD85, which were also fitted in the Parisian taxis. The Familiale was equipped with the 1.618 cc power source and the XD85 Indénor was also available there. A deluxe version of the Break, the Super Luxe, was also released later. Back to the diesel engine, De Berline got (later) the 1.946 cc XD 88 diesel, the 1.8 was never fitted (except for the taxi version mentioned). It remained for the station versions.
Renovation continued to maintain sales. The Peugeot 404 thus remained at the heart of the range of the French manufacturer, even after the smaller 1965 was introduced in 204. The 404 hailed a rear stabilizer, a new clock shop and some cosmetic changes (sheet metal between the rear lights on the Berline). In addition, Peugeot presented the 404 Pick-Up (1.8 diesel and 1.5 petrol) with canvas hood, a recipe that was available in Africa long after the European production stop. Speaking of Africa: it was there where Peugeot showed that it was a very serious rally player. In 1963, 1966,1967, 1968 and 404 the Peugeot 404 was the winning car in the Safari Rally, and connoisseurs know how tough that rally was. In addition, Peugeot also built the Record Diesel based on the 72 Coupé, with which an average speed of 160 kilometers per hour was reached at Montlhéry in XNUMX hours (non-stop).
Changes and entry
Peugeot's belief in the 404 remained, the derivatives also hailed changes. Technically, the 404 continued to be fine-tuned. For example, a more powerful injection engine was introduced (XCKF2, now with 97 DIN-HP). The XB2 1.468 cc engine was the "entry-level" 404/8 Confort, which was new for model year 1968. In addition, it fell into a lower tax class in France. The Confort was a stripped-down version with the old tape measure dashboard without cooling temperature gauge and bumpers without bumpers. It did get disc brakes at the front, the first 404. That application was later applied to all petrol versions. The diesel kept the drum brakes all around. Meanwhile, the old shifting pattern had also changed. The steering gear could now be operated via an H pattern.
Changes and retrenchments
The 1968 was launched in 504, but the popularity of the Peugeot 404 was initially not affected. However, the injection engines disappeared, and later also the 404/8 Confort and Super Luxe. 1968 was also the year in which Peugeot stopped producing the coupé and the convertible. Peugeot still took the 404 seriously and continued to make subtle changes, which, incidentally, could not always be seen in isolation from retrenchment. Moreover, the break and the Familiale were allowed to retire. In the end, French production of the Berline continued until the spring of 1975, elsewhere in the world (for example in Argentina) it took a few more years to say goodbye.
More than a building block
We say goodbye, at the same time it is impossible to say goodbye to this beautiful 404. The classic forever was distinguished, and just like its type number in balance. The Peugeot 404 could be seen on the streets in many capacities. It is not without reason that many entrepreneurs, business travelers, civil-law notaries, doctors, professionals or taxi drivers drove with this representative and dosed chic appearance. With 404 million units built, the Peugeot 2,8 became more than a building block within the program of the French. The 404 definitely anchored the brand's strong position in the middle class. And became the basis on which Peugeot could rise in the speed of the nations. The 404 is a monument that deserved a much better anniversary year than 2020.