Just One More Thing: 1960 Peugeot 403

030316 Barn Finds - 1960 Peugeot 403 - 1

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Lieutenant Columbo had a much cooler version of this car – his being a 2-door convertible – but he would have had more room for his dog in this sedan. This 1960 Peugeot 403 sedan, found here on craigslist in Albany, New York, looks like a complete car, but you’ll need more than just one more thing if you plan on restoring it back to perfection. There is no asking price, the seller just says to, “Make an offer.” Thanks to reader Peter R. for submitting this find!

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This particular car was made in the middle of 403 production which was between 1955 and 1966. The 403 was certainly an elegant and stylish car in its day, which isn’t surprising given that its debut was at the Trocadéro Palace in Paris, France. From the somehow simultaneous under-and-overexposed photos, this car looks like it has virtually all of its parts, trim, hardware, etc. Some parts of this car look like they’re getting thin in some spots, but isn’t that the case for most of us? It doesn’t look like it’s beyond restoring if there was a passionate, dedicated Peugeot person out there somewhere with a lot of time on his or her hands. If the frame and the other hidden parts aren’t much worse than the body is, it should be doable and you’d be one happy 403 owner. I mean, come on, just look at how happy the Peugeot 403 owner is in the seller’s ad!

1960 Peugeot Model 403

There are no photos of the drivetrain at all, unfortunately, but under the dusty and rusty hood there should be a dusty and rusty, and hopefully intact, inline-4 of 1,468cc and 65hp in size. It is also equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission with a column-shift; just the thing for those evening gatherings on the Champs-Élysées so as to not have an awkward shifting incident with your date.

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The interior also looks very complete and it looks like with some elbow grease and new upholstery, it would look like a million francs. There are some interesting details in there and it looks like a lot of it would clean up quite well.

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Peter R. wondered if this car was worth saving and I personally think that, oui, it is very much worth saving. It would be a fun car to work on, but it would be even more fun to hear all of the accolades that you’d be getting at your local imports-night car show. Just one more thing, does this French beauty make you say, “Oh là là” or “non merci”?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude

    I think this vehicle is a better fit for Inspector Clouseau.

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  2. Bill

    Oiu, c’est bon!

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  3. Howard A Member

    When I saw the banner headline, “just one more thing”, I knew it had to be Scotty G. We are both big fans of watching older TV shows, mostly for the cars.( and catch phrases) My old man had a fling with French cars for a while ( remember, he wouldn’t have any car from Italy, Germany, or Japan) Had several Renaults ( which he called Renultz) and a 403 ( he called them Poo-Joes) just like this. I was just a lad, but I remember it was the 1st car I rode in with a sunroof. I remember the old man hollering “Howard, get your head back in the car”. I don’t remember much else about the car, but seems pretty normal for a French car, although, nothing special, really. Not sure about Peugeot’s parts network in the US, but I can’t imagine there’s a lot of these around, maybe in France. If it was a wagon, now you’re talking. Cool find. btw, I’d like to personally welcome Scotty G. to BF’s. You can bet we’ll see some unusual stuff,,,, no submarines, though, please. 🙂

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    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty G Staff

      Ha! You know me too well, Howard. And, a big thanks for the nice comments!
      (hmmm.. a ’43 General Dynamics Submarine, good shape, owned by a little old Admiral who only took it out on Sundays)..

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  4. redwagon

    crap. you mentioned ‘submarine’. now scotty is on a quest.

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  5. john

    I have always liked these, their shape is so classic.I have even been in one as a boy, it was a taxi in France. The trouble is here in Europe they are not worth that much, Cabrio aside. Plus there are some really good ones for sale, rust free, scattered around the Mediterranean countries. Around E7000 ish. So unfortunately this one becomes a parts car, or something to base a wicked sleeper on. I have always wondered what it would be like to squeeze a BMW 6 cylinder into a 403 virtually doubling the power……uprate the brakes, lower the suspension, wider but still steel wheels, leave it a little scruffy looking, and go have some fun….might be the best fate for this one as restoration costs means you would be better off buying a nice one in Europe and shipping it over…..

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  6. Luki

    Love the hole in the middle of the front valence for the hand crank start.

    Had to use one more than once since my buddy wouldn’t spring for a better battery.

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  7. Three Pedal Steve

    I learned to drive stick shift on one of these cars in 1964. People don’t believe me when I tell them I learned to drive with a “four on the tree”.

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  8. Andrew

    They had real glass rear lights, not plastic. It’s a lot like the Austin A 105.

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  9. alan

    Mouse house.

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  10. Jim Norman

    I used to own a 1959 403. It was a solid car, and I drove it twice coast to coast round trip. The front seats folded down fully to make a somewhat lumpy bed. Other features: the gas filler cap was under a hinged taillight, the door lock buttons pulled up to lock an d pushed down to open, and the directional signal indicator was a single double arrow shaped blinker in the dashboard pod, so if you saw it blinking you knew a signal was working but not which one. The choke knob, for those who even know what that is, had an embossed “S” on it. I actually used the crank to start it on many occasions, sometimes for comic effect and sometimes because I could not afford a new battery or starter motor or solenoid. I really loved that car. I sold it to buy a 1968 203 convertible in Canada, which I imported into the U.S. and when that was totaled by being literally run over by something much bigger while it was parked, I bought a 404. Yes, I guess you could say I was a Peugeot guy at that time of my life.

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  11. Jerry

    Had one. Loved it. Don’t need another.

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  12. Wayne T.

    My Dad bought a 1958 403 in 1968 for $15.00. Yes, fifteen dollars from my uncles neighbor in Windsor Locks, CT. I remember as my Dad and were driving through town that it seemed we were not yet in high gear. As I was only 13 years old.at the time, my dismissed my comments. Luckily we stopped for gas nearby and my uncle drove in ( chasing us) to show my Dad that the car was a four.on the tree. I perfecfed my ability to drive a standard on that car, driving it back and forth in the backyard. My Dad called it the “Charles de Gaullle Rolls Royce.” After we enjoyed.a summertime of fun playing with it, he drove it to work. When a coworker saw it, he had to have it, so my Dad sold it to him for $50.00. My brother and I were disappointed, but the memories and fun remain. Oh, about the car, it had features that were not yet available on US made cars. Do the other submitters remember the signal aide lights on the “C” pillar?

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  13. Dominique

    Hey Jim…..1968 203…..cannot be since the very last year of the 203 was 1959, overlapping 2 years with the 403….. Could you be mistaken with ….?

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