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French Wagon: 1953 Peugeot 203

The 203 was Peugeot’s first new car introduced after World War II. It was a small family automobile that the French manufacturer built from 1948-60. Though not many were sold in the U.S., its styling would be reminiscent of the Chevy Fleetline fastback of the day. This ’53 edition appears to be in very nice condition and has recently been repainted. This rarity can be found in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and is available here on Facebook Marketplace from a dealer for $9,000 (trades considered). A nod of the beret to Chuck Foster for this tip!

Though it debuted in 1948, very few 203s made it to market before 1949 because of material shortages (sound familiar in 2022?). The 203 was Peugeot’s first monocoque-bodied car in its history at the time. Over a production run lasting 12 years, the company produced nearly 700,000 copies of the 203 in various body styles, including the 5-door wagon like the seller’s vehicle. Between the end of the 202 models in 1949 and the new 403 in 1955, the 203 was the only car built by Peugeot.

As the seller acquired this wagon for resale, no history is provided. It’s powered by a 1290-cc 4-cylinder engine paired with a 3-speed manual transmission which is column shifted. The mileage is unknown and what’s on the odometer could very well be stated in kilometers. We’re told it runs and drives, but the seller doesn’t mention how well it does those things. Someone recently invested in a new white paint job, so we assume there is no rust, and the photo of the undercarriage supports that.

The interior is quite spartan and – frankly – the front seats don’t look as though they’d be very comfortable for any kind of long ride. It appears to be tidy and complete, although the headliner comes across as dirty and might need cleaning (hopefully it won’t fall apart with age). This would be a cool little wagon to own and not likely one you’d see any duplicates of running around, but what does the parts supply look like in the U.S.?

Comments

  1. AnnasBigBananas

    What a steal! Great car and built like a tank! and yes, the seats are extremely comfortable. Built to handle the country roads of France.

    Like 1
  2. Steve Clinton

    These would be hard to find…even in France!

    Like 2
    • Peter

      Last week I bought a 203 familiale in Belgium.
      Parts are still readily available in the Netherlands

      Like 2
  3. MikeH

    They’re not hard to find on France and parts are readily available. The 203 was never sold in the US but I think it was sold in Canada. I have a 203 and thought I knew of most of them in NA (less than a dozen?) but I never heard of this one.

    Like 8
    • Steve Clinton

      My bad.
      BTW, are the seats as uncomfortable as they look?

      • MikeH

        i was rather shocked to see the seats in this utility van myself. The seats in my sedan are quite different.

        Like 1
      • MikeH

        I was rather shocked when I saw the seats in this utility van. The seats in my sedan are quite different. I guess if its a truck, it’s not supposed to be comfortable.

        Like 1
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    I go by this dealer’s place all the time.It’s right off
    of highway 220,& always seems to have some interesting
    cars for sale.I think he’s cornered the market on ’70’s Fords
    & Mercurys.

    Like 2
  5. Richard

    Where, oh where does this stud come from? Looks like it was driven for awhile and then parked. Time capsule.

  6. Lance

    Block off the side windows and drop a slant six in. Would be a dandy sedan delivery.

    Like 2
  7. Dominique Legeai

    These have a 4 speed transmission, the 4th being overdrive.

    Like 1
  8. Gary

    Lance, a 273 hipo or 340 with a four speed. It would be a blast

  9. Richard Kirschenbaum

    The front end appears coldcocked from the ’40-’41 Chryslers. Not the first time Peugeot has borrowed from Chrysler. The Peugeot 302 and 402 look like vastly improved versions of the Airflow, in fact they are the cars that the Airflow should have been.

    Like 2
    • Steven King

      Unaware what Peugeot borrowed from Chrysler, but the 203 engine, released 1948, is obviously where the Hemi came from.

  10. Skip

    I see a diagram four a four speed trans on the dash.

  11. James (Jim) BANDY

    Et al

    I took my French Driver’s License in a 203.know them well….”ve had 403’s amd 404’s…Peugeots are great…..I have Citroen DS, Panhard, Deutsch Bonnet , Salmson….had Delahaye’s and Talbot’s…Where exactly is the guy…???

    Merci a tous

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