Peugeot is definitely not a brand I associate with custom car building, and so I was particular intrigued when I found this stunning retro 1966 Peugeot 404. That got me thinking…what do we know about the 404?
The origin of the 404
I’ve done a little digging and found that actually, I quite like the quirky 404. Although it was only in production between 1960-1975, you can definitely see some of the classic characteristics of the Peugeot, but the brand has come a long way in the last 50 years.
The 1966 Peugeot 404
By 1966, the 404 was released as a Grand Touring Saloon, this meant there were a few changes. The XCKF1 that was introduced with the launch of the Cabriolet convertible in 1965 was upgraded to the XCKF2 in 1966. There were also some aesthetic changes, including the change to the front turning signal which was now orange/white on all models.
The interior largely stayed the same as the previous 1965 model but now came with a two-tone door lining. And those that invested in the Super Luxe model had a cigarette lighter fitted too.
Unfortunately it seems the glory of the 1966 Peugeot 404 is short lived and it’s soon replaced in 1967 with a new XC6 carburetor engine which actually provided little improvement to the previous 96 bhp.
By 1975, the 404 had come a long way from its origins and now featured a new badge and dashboard modifications. It turns out that the popularity of the 404 was dwindling, leaving Peugeot with some tough decisions – do they discontinue the lovable family car and reinvest their money in the newer 304s and 504s or do they persevere and provide a complete overhaul?
I think you know the answer to that one.
The surviving vehicles
On the 3rd April 2016, Le Club 404 could account for 2,022 of the original 17,223 404s in their worldwide inventory.
However, during its lifetime the Peugeot 404 did make some appearances on the big screen, generally appearing alongside the actors Pierre Richard and Louis de Fines. It also made a very brief appearance in the French comic Asterix.
So it may not look like much, but personally I quite like it. This one particularly caught my eye because I love the soft top roof. It looks like they’ve updated the badge too, but I personally love those round headlights and that striking red paint job. Although I’m in love with this convertible, I couldn’t help but feel the heartstrings tug and this hard top. It’s pretty plain but kind of appealing still. What’s your verdict?