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French Amazon: 1960 Peugeot 403 Wagon

To wrap up Wagon Wednesday, we have a 1960 Peugeot 403 wagon. Peugeot was right along side Volvo when they started building wagons and some will argue that they were the better of the two. We will let you decide that one. This Peugeot was parked back in 1982 because of a hole in the floor. It has since been pulled out of storage and listed here on eBay where bidding is currently at $560 with no reserve.

While the Volvo Amazon was designed in-house, the 403 was outsourced to Pininfarina. The Italian design firm is known for their sleek designs, but these two cars look surprisingly similar. The Peugeot was released a year before the Amazon in 1955 though, so we will give the point to the French for this one.

Peugeot power was provided by this 1.468 liter four cylinder. It was a good engine, but the 1.8 liter B18 was better. The Volvo lump was far from sophisticated, but it offered more power and the longevity cannot be argued. Chalk one up for the Swedes.

Both wagons offered four speed transmissions, five doors, and plenty of cargo space inside. So, it looks like we have a tie. Please chime in though and let us know why you think the 403 is the better or worse of the two!


  1. Cortland Musgrave

    I owned a Volvo 122 wagon but my family and I had 17 Peugeots. Two 403 sedans and a 403 convertible. I like the fact that Peugeot seemed to be technically advanced (Yeah, Its got a Hemi) but the Volvo was more more mainstream technology. John Bond of Road & Track stated that the Peugeot 403 was one of the 7 best cars in the world. The biggest difference between the two was the way the manufactures decided to do business. Peugeot was, at one time the 2nd largest automobile manufacturer in the world but had a very small part in the U.S. Still, you could buy a Weber intake manifold, headers and other performance parts (or parts at all) for your Volvo at several places but if you needed almost anything other than basic parts for your Peugeot, you were bound to the dealer. I owned the Volvo in the ’90’s after all of the Peugeots and could get almost anything I needed but remembering having to get the front wheel bearings for my 504 out of a parts car in the mid ’80’s. If Peugeot acted right, I think that they would have been huge in the U.S. Afterall, look at Volvo & BMW now. They were all young upstarts to the U.S. market in the ’60’s.

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  2. paul

    Cool I remember the sedan but I can’t recall if I ever saw a wagon.

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  3. Horse Radish

    Cool car, ……..but
    this is most likely a Flip UNLESS the person offering this car on craigslist 2 months ago for $1250 decided to offer it on E-bay instead.
    It looks like it did not sell then (??)
    but CL ad had been deleted by author….

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  4. David G

    Neato and pretty obscure machine. Not a huge market once you finished it and decided to let it go but being a wagon should really help with that. Isn’t this the era Peugeot that Columbo (Peter Falk) drove in convertible form? If so, they must be reliable cause he wasn’t the type to maintain stuff, including himself… :o)

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    • 455 Bob J

      Can you imagine the horror of driving this car any distance?

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      • jack looney

        I drove a 403 wagon from New Orleans to Sebring, Fla. and my friend who came with me bought a non running “bug” and we towed it back to N.O.

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  5. James Wallhauser

    In the mid-sixties, my family and my neighbors across the street were definitely unusual car buyers in suburban NJ…my Dad had a ’63 Amazon with a leather interior that had been built for his best friend, the President of Volvo of America at the time. Our neighbors across the street had a Peugeot 403. Even though our Volvo burned out a clutch about every year and died with a bad crankshaft, the folks across the street replaced their 403 with the finnier 404 model that met a far more disastrous end when it was immolated in a garage fire. While Dad went more mainstream with my Grandad’s used Buick, my neighbors replaced their Peugeot with Renaults, an Austin America and a series of AMC sedans.

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