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1982 Peugeot 505 S Turbo Diesel 5-Speed

We have seen some super interesting Peugeots here at Barn Finds over the last couple of years and a predecessor model just last week, a 504. You might automatically think that the next generation would be known as the 506, but it was actually the 405. My brain hurts. What doesn’t hurt is checking out this good looking 1982 Peugeot 505 S Turbo Diesel listed here on eBay in Flanders, New Jersey. The current bid price is $3,050 and there is no reserve.

The Peugeot 505 was made for a couple of decades starting in 1978 and it was reportedly the last rear-wheel-drive car made by Peugeot. Cars bound for Canada and the United States received modifications such as different headlights, a relocated gas tank, antenna, and a few other changes. The 505 is known as a line of tough and comfortable cars and they were the last models that we got here, unfortunately. There were – count ’em – 13 models of the 505 here! That’s amazing. This is the S model which is two steps above the base model.

Whoa, that’s a shin-burner and/or slicer but maybe a previous owner felt that they needed that long extension since there is a diesel engine powering this baby. Peugeot 505s for the US and Canada arrived in 1980 and this car, as in this exact car, sold on Bring a Trailer this past January for $4,550 and I’m assuming that the seller is hoping to beat that number with their eBay auction.

It looks like a pretty honest presentation here. The dash could have been dyed or otherwise brightened up a bit but then a seller could be accused of trying to hide something. The same with the carpets which appear to be a little faded or in need of cleaning and they could have been dyed, but that’s a tough one. You can see a replacement MOMO steering wheel and the front seats were widely known as some of the most comfortable seats in any car in the US at the time. The rear seat looks equally nice and I’m sure that it’s a comfortable seating area back there, too. Yes, that’s a 5-speed manual transmission which is great – although that was the standard transmission, no pun intended.

Talk about a missed opportunity: detailing the engine compartment. Or, I think there’s an engine under that nest of wires and hoses, wow. I see why they put a big plastic shroud over engines these days if this is what they look like otherwise. Cool looking engine or not, it’s a tough and reliable one being Peugeot’s 2.3L inline-four turbo diesel with 80 horsepower. This car apparently was in storage for 25 years before the BaT auction this past January and has had a ton of work done to it since then to get it into great operating condition. Have any of you owned a Peugeot 505?


  1. Howard A Member

    Again with the diesel POO-Joe. IDK, the “hair dryer” adds some zing, I know the difference in turbo and non turbo diesels, I think it’s in there somewhere, again, for me, and probably most, it has to be simpler than this. Personally, I just don’t know enough about them. Nice car if it was “Americanized”, like say a 4.3 , V6, something that wouldn’t require a shipment from France.

    Like 1
  2. alphasud Member

    I personally have always liked the styling of the 505 series. French cars always have a plush ride which would appeal to our country and as far as reliability it all came down to who worked on the car. Brands that got the worse reputation can be blamed to poor dealer networks and mechanics that didn’t appreciate or understand the marquee. I think in a lot of ways that’s what killed Peugeot in the US market. I always wanted a 405 16V and thought it would be cool to own along with my Alfa 164LS since they shared the same styling.
    The under hood appearance if this one especially with a aftermarket electric fuel pump just sitting on top of the battery with sketchy wiring should alert the sharp eye that corners have been cut to maintain this car. We either have fuel pick up issues in the tank or a failing injection pump.

    Like 2
    • SubGothius

      There’s a reason the 505’s styling is so nice; Pininfarina designed it, as well as the 405 and your Alfa 164.

  3. Vance

    Wow, its French and its a gutless diesel, where do I sign? Where is the engine ? I see a mass of hoses like a nest of snakes. At least it isn’t hideously ugly like most French automobiles. But I still say boat anchor

    Like 2
    • JYC

      Are MOST French automobiles hideoulsy UGLY ??? REALLY ???

      Like 8
    • Dave Mazz

      Vance; It sold for $7,000. That’s a damned pricey boat anchor! :-) :=)

  4. Bob C.

    The president of a company I started working for in 1987 had a red one, same year. About a year later he bought a BMW and the Peugeot just sat in the parking lot like forever until he sold it.

    • CarsonX

      These used to sit in driveways in the neighborhoods of my teenage years too, apparently waiting until they were paid off after the owners had given up on keeping them running. A decade or two ago it wasn’t that unusual to see the ones that never cut it as daily drivers emerging from storage to ruin the lives of a generation that never experienced just how bad they were. I wonder how many owners’ credit cards were abused taking this one to almost 120K miles in almost forty years? The current one lasted three months.

      • SubGothius

        It wasn’t that they were inherently unreliable — after all, Peugeot 504s and 505s were (and in many areas still are, even now) the model of choice for taxicabs all across Africa, which isn’t exactly the most car-coddling environment.

        Rather, their corporate dealer and parts distribution network in the US was just too spotty — which then went off a cliff once they’d pulled out entirely — and local corner garages didn’t know how to properly maintain “any o’ them ferrin jobbers” and tended to bodge the job when they tried.

        I.e., if you didn’t have a superb local dealer or specialist shop and weren’t up to turning your own wrenches, your lovely and normally-reliable Peugeot was SOL if it ever needed anything done and may well wind up leaving a local shop in worse shape than it went in.

        Like 4
  5. Beyfon

    just a comment that the 405 was not a successor to the 505 but rather to the 305. 405 and 505 were different size and price levels and for a few years sold side by side, and the 505 was eventually replaced by the 605.
    Generally speaking, the first figure indicated the size of the car, the second figure was always a zero and the third figure roughly indicated the generation so a 304 is smaller and newer than a 403.

    These 505 Turbodiesels were decent enough – a lot better to drive than the earlier non-turbo diesels. But it’s hard to see the point of owning one. They are no really distinctive enough to be owned as a collector car, they are pretty harmful for the environment to use as a daily driver and both in terms of purchase price and operating costs I could think of a lot of other cars I’d rather get if I was to just get a cheap beater for getting to work. So unless you happen to be a die-hard 505 Turbodiesel fan, what would you do with it?

    Like 3
  6. Francisco

    These were used as taxi cabs in New York for a while.

  7. Willowen

    Our first trip to France together was with her parents, in ’91, beginning in Paris. Papa borrowed one of these from his local best friend, and Tania and I rode in the back seat to Chartres, then down to Burgundy for a week with French relatives, then to Nice, then Florence, then back to Nice, from which we two flew back to the US. I have to say that I had never been so comfortable riding in any back seat in my life; the car itself was a splendid ride, like a big horse with great big hooves and an undying appetite for swallowing miles. I had had two Peugeots of my own, both 404s, but this was the first Diesel car I ever truly admired. Its only sooty moments were once a day, blowing smelly black on each day’s cold startup, but the price difference between Diesel and petrol, something like a dollar per liter, were a good argument for the car, especially to my frankly skinflint Pa-in-law.

    Like 2
  8. Larry Brantingham

    I’m with Willowen. We had a gas 505 for the five years we lived in the south of France, near Nice. We traveled a lot and this was the most comfortable car I’ve ever had. Ours was only a year old when we bought it, but that first year had been as a Monaco taxi, so it had had some hard use already. In spite of the great ride, it still handled really well. Lots of roll, but great balance and it stuck well even on its small tires. The gas engine got a little vocal above 150kph (93), so we kept it to that on vacation trips. That was back in the good old days before the French learned how much they could make from speeding tickets. When we moved back to Europe 10 years later, I found the good times were over – in France. Fortunately, Italy was still laissez faire. I have no need of a four door, but I’ve always felt these were perfect candidates for an LS swap. The original engine was half of an aborted V8 design, so it’s already canted at 45 degrees – plenty of room.

    Like 3
    • Chunk Plepgeat

      It’s a torque-tube setup, isn’t it? I always wondered how those would take to a motor swap…

      • John Klintz

        Yes to Chunk; it is indeed a torque tube. The only engine swap that wouldn’t involve re-engineering the entire car would be with the later more powerful turbo Diesel engine.

  9. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    The last time I was in Cairo, about 8 years ago, the city was overun by Peugeot’s of all shapes and sizes. There were about 30 of them, taxis, parked in the car park at the Giza pyramid. I personally owned a 504 automatic and loved it and couldn’t kill it before it rusted away under the next owners backside. Ken Tilly UK

    Like 1
  10. kenB

    In the 80’s, 505s had become a common sight in the US….well, for a French car. I loved the looks and my test drives of gas and turbo diesel versions (both 5 speeds) were impressive. Ended up owning a 505 Wagon, gas engine and 5 speed, vinyl interior. No on else wanted it! It was a great driver, great hauler. Long wheelbase, huge back seat leg room. But funky engineering. Example: an electric fan clutch…..that was adjustable??….and needed it?? A session with a tube of JB Weld fixed that. Replacing the clutch had me dropping the rear axle (joined to trans by a torque tube) and lowering the front cross member to get at top two tranny bolts. The wagon had a live rear axle that was a beautiful aluminum unit….very cool. Hats off to Pat Whale in Austin, whose French Revolution kept me in parts long after the local Peugeot dealer folded. Car ended up going to Nigeria.

    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      Where it is most likely still in service!

  11. Constantine Siversky

    Happy New Year All My wife and I had a 1986 505 turbo white blue velour interior. We have had many vehicles in our time and at least for me this was a favorite ride. Handled great, super comfortable and a great cruiser. Was sorry when they stopped importing. CS

  12. Jeff

    Peugeot, the underdog marque in the states. From an enthusiasts perspective, the 505 series isn’t collectable nor is it fit for those that are not capable of maintaining on your own. I’ve owned many versions of the 505 series over the years and the turbo diesel version has proved to be the most cost efficient per mile and reliable as a daily driver. The 5spd. is a huge plus for this engine as the 3 spd. automatic simply sucked torque away and increased engine operating temperature due to the same capacity radiator sharing engine and trans. cooling duty. I current drive a twin to this very model. Although cosmetically not as nice at 193k. original miles on the clock, I wouldn’t hesitate driving it anywhere. I’ve owned and sold the automatic version 5 years ago.
    The one listed here had belonged to a friend of mine a 1-1/2 hr. drive south of me on the central coast of Ca. It sold for better than average on BaT and the currently owner in my opinion is upside down with their investment. It requires a bit more sorting and would be suited for a potential buyer that doesn’t require shipping costs. We enthusiasts of Peugeot have a large group on Facebook “Peugeot of North America” where one can find technical assistance & parts as well as our sister site Merci :)

    Like 1
  13. John Klintz

    Drove many of these as I worked for Peugeot Motors of America in the ‘80s. They got really good in 1985 when the new, larger engine was introduced with the electronically controlled injection pump. Fast and comfortable by 1980s standards!

  14. Willowen

    Comments concerning lousy dealer support are on the money. My first 404 was in Alaska, where there were plenty of skilled mechanics capable of fixing and willing to fix just about anything. It had been a trade-in at an IH truck dealer, and when the driveshaft fell out they towed it and fixed it for free. Second 404 was in the SF Bay area, similarly blessed with able and willing mechanics. OTOH, when we drove a new 1980-something (not remembering model #), my past experiences with that Nashville dealer killed the deal … and Yes, he folded everything up and went out of business by declaring bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

    If I knew NOW of a nice Pooj, either 404 or 405 (or 403!!), and had both room for it and, you know, permission! … my LA County location would let me buy confidently.

    • Jeff

      Willowen, I know of a very nice example of a 69 404 sedan in Chico :)
      Very similar to my 1968 ;)

      • Willowen

        Oh, my … that last one was a ’70. It was actually borrowed, and driving back to Palo Alto from Berkeley one night one of the pistons fractured at a ring groove at 70 or so. We got home okay after I pulled the relevant plug, but the owner didn’t think it was worth repairing and just shoved it into a corner of his industrial-park space.

        As I think I’ve hinted, if not actually stated, I am by (ahem!) domestic agreement not in the market for anything that needs to be licensed, given garage space or whatever. My one “hobby” car (’87 Alfa Milano) is sitting neglected, and whatever needs doing must be done there first. I am however very glad to know that there are still some 404s (and other personal favorites) inhabiting this wonderfully car-friendly part of the world. So thanks!

        Like 1
  15. Willowen

    If I had another older Volvo I might consider swapping in a bigger, badder engine; I remember a mechanic in Anchorage had an early 544 that he’d put a Chevy V8 into, and I was surprised at how well it fit … But Peugeots to my mind are cars that were designed (and designed very well) to be exactly what they ARE, and that was as close to perfection for that purpose as possible. When I got my first 404, it was not the quickest car I’d ever driven, not the most agile, but it was utterly perfect for its purpose: to carry one to four people wherever they needed or wanted to go as comfortably and conveniently as possible. That it rarely felt as though it was going as fast as it actually was is simply the result of that very good design.

  16. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this car sold for $7,000.

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