Incredible Survivor: 1978 Peugeot 504 Diesel

This is one beautiful car and it’s all original according to the seller who has it listed here on eBay. This is a 1978 Peugeot 504 diesel and it appears to be in almost like-new condition. It’s located in Pasco, Washington, the current bid price is a ridiculously-low $3,000, and there is no reserve. Come on, you Peugeot lovers, get those bids in!

The Peugeot 504 came between the crisp and stylish 404 and the one that most of us may remember from their time in the US market, the 505. The 504 was made between 1968 to 1983 in several countries and its mid-1968 debut was delayed three months due to political unrest and strikes. The 1969 version was named the European Car of the Year which was quite a well-deserved honor. The diesel engine wasn’t yet available.

This car appears to be in absolutely excellent condition. If a person ever wanted to buy one, maybe the best one for sale in the US, here’s your chance. I would absolutely do a fly-in-drive-home experience with this car if I were one of those people which I may normally be if 2020 didn’t give me a Cordell-Walker-like spin-kick to the gut and/or wallet.

You can see a big rip or tear, or a split in the driver’s seat and the seller does mention that. Other than some normal wear on some touch surfaces such as the power window switches and things like that, this interior looks great to me. The seats other than the driver’s seat look perfect and the driver’s seat would be easy to fix. The back seat looks like it’s never been used and the trunk, although not humongous, looks clean and tidy. A manual transmission would have been nice but this one has what I believe would have been a ZF 3-speed automatic.

The engine is Peugeot’s updated-as-of-1976 2.3L inline-four diesel with around 70 horsepower. This one has 61,000 miles on it, it’s barely broken in, and the seller says that it runs great. The seller says that this car has a new battery and new tires and this sure looks like a nice example. Have any of you owned a Peugeot 504?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Pasco has a really climate,so rust shouldn’t be an issue.
    I’d imagine that this’d be a real slug to drive,with the diesel & auto.
    Funny that the low mileage isn’t mentioned – 61,000 miles.
    Thanks for listing the location.

  2. Howard A Member

    A “Poo’-Joe” like my old man called them. Well, you had me until I saw’r the oil motor, IDK, I suppose I’m in no hurry these days, they are dependable as a Maytag, not sure how it would like our current temp of 17 degrees. Does it get that cold in France? Gas jobs are just so more civilized, and 70hp in a 3,000lb car isn’t much for our roads, trust me. Great cars, price sure is right, do I have any business owning a vintage diesel Peugeot in the Rocky Mountains? Probably not, but still great cars.

    Like 5
    • That AMC guy

      Yeah, but in a pinch and with a few mods you can run these on leftover vegetable oil! You’ll go slow, but in comfort, and leaving a wake of french fries in your wake. :)

      Like 8
      • connbackroads

        I ran two 505’s on WVO around 10-15 years ago . . . the exhaust smelled like whatever was cooked in the oil . . . cruel and unusual punishment at a red light if you were hungry, like on the way home from work.

        The 5-speed was way better than the 3-speed auto.

        Extremely comfortable ride . . . I’m currently enjoying the comfort of a Volvo 940 wagon, but I think the Peugeots were better.

        Still have three 505’s and a 604 quietly rusting in the back yard . . . I doubt that I’ll ever do anything with them, but I’ve been contemplating dropping an Xd2S into a 940 wagon, unless I can find a diesel 505 wagon.

        Great memories :-)

        Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      My dad called them ‘Pew-gets’.

      Like 3
  3. JCA

    My friend had one with a manual and I thought that was slow. Can’t imagine it with an auto. Solid car but way too heavy for that engine

    Like 4
    • DON

      A friend of ours inherited one of these diesels from one of their families estate. It was Hershey bar light brown with a manual trans. It was about the most base model they could have offered, steel wheels ,no trim moldings , no radio etc. Slowest thing around at the time . I thought it was the most boring car ever built

      Like 2
  4. Derek

    My dad’s pal loved these; had 4 or 5 in a row. The diesels go on forever but no’ very quick.
    They’re tough enough to survive Africa with their reputation intact!

    Like 3
  5. Peter k

    Less up than my 300d turbo Mercedes ? Getting on any interstate will be a real suicide mission. 0-60 in 20 sec maybe. I don’t think so.

    Like 1
  6. Steven Dempsey

    I owned a 1974 504 gas with a standard and really enjoyed the car. The tin worm got after it after a few years but the final straw was when I went to the dealer to order a part and it was gone, building and all!

    Like 1
  7. Solosolo Member

    I had an automatic 504 for several years although it was a petrol engined car. Slow to get to cruising speed but once there it was a wonderful, bullet proof car. Only sold it as scrap because the chassis rust eventually caused it to break in half.

    Like 3
  8. Joe Flannery

    I worked for Peugeot back in the early 80s. The Diesels were so underpowered that they would barely make it up the ramps for the alignment machine. To each their own. Just keep it out of my way. I installed the A/C units in these at the VPC in Englewood NJ. We had the 504-505 and 604s. I was unimpressed with the product and the company.

    Like 4
  9. Dennis

    I bought a 1979 504 diesel, new, and it was an extraordinary automobile. Great mileage, more comfortable than your living room sofa, quiet, a really great family car. Sure, you never leap into a small opening in traffic, but on the highway it had more than adequate power.
    If a tree hadn’t jumped out in front of my ex I might still be driving that Peugeot.

    Like 4
  10. charlie Member

    Was in Cairo (the real one, not in IL or ME) 10 years ago, where the standard taxi was a Peugeot, 30 to 40 years old. An extremely dry climate, so they did not rust. Mostly diesel, mostly badly dented, they drive in Cairo the way they walk in Times Square, anywhere there is an opening, no lanes, 18 million people and 22 traffic lights, most of which did not work. Hired a taxi for most of a week for $40/day, caught on fire one day, wiring under dash, fixed by the next morning. Driver had some English, told me on the phone that “Taxi is caput, no go, OK Corral”. Had over 200,000 km of city driving, original engine, several clutches, only one window crank which we passed around the car to open and close the windows. SO, if you are not interested in going 75 mph, this is a great car.

    Like 8
  11. Maestro1 Member

    They are great cars, very slow in this case, and they run forever. Someone has already said they have a great reputation as desert cars
    (and trucks at one point for someone’s army). Parts will be an issue, try Kip in Dallas or Houston Texas, I think, otherwise buy and enjoy.

    Like 2
  12. JS

    I just pulled in front of a semi I had passed when the ’78 504 Diesel wagon engine seized. It took me a fraction of a second before I realized why the rear tires were skidding and pushed the clutch in and pulled off the road. Meanwhile, the trucker managed to avoid hitting me and gave his air horns a real workout. That wasn’t the only time that engine locked up. The water pump is on the front of the cylinder head. You only need to be about a quart low of coolant to stop coolant circulation. Then the engine overheats and burns out the rubber seals at the base of the cylinder liners. I consider it to be the second worse engine design ever closely following the air cooled VW engines. I’d give the Nissan twin plug 240 engine third place. My brother in law was driving the wagon and the battery ground failed so the 504 found a ground through the emergency brake cables which set the center consul on fire. I can’t imagine how bad this would be to drive with an automatic.

    Like 1
  13. Guggie 13

    while in Jamaica a few years back Peugeots were used as taxis , drivers loved them. I was at my local Chrysler /Dodge dealer for service on my Nitro and long story short, the service manager informed me that after the first of the year Peugeot will be the owners of Chysler/ Dodge , Fiat wants out , thats the only thing I ever heard of this , anyone else got any thing ?

    • MikeH

      PSA-FCA merger will be larger than either GM or Ford. PSA is essentially buying FCA.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltaylor/2020/12/21/eu-approves-psa-merger-with-fca-in-automotive-deal-of-the-year/amp/

      Like 2
      • Guggie 13

        Mike H thanks for clearing that up , I guess my service guy was spot on

    • 8E45E

      What comes around, goes around. Throughout the 1980’s, selected Chrysler-Plymouth dealers handled Puegeot sales & service, notably on the 505 models, at least in Canada. After 1990, when the sales agreement with Chrysler was terminated, a new outfit, Autolion Distributors started handling the 405 models in Canada. I don’t believe they had any dealers signed up in Western Canada by the end of 1991 when PSA decided to leave the North American market.

      • MikeH

        In the US it was GM dealers that sold Peugeots. I bought a new 505 from a Chevy dealer in Dallas. No one there gave a rat’s a** whether I bought a Peugeot or not. They probably sold 100 Chevrolets to every Peugeot. And service?? I knew more than they did, plus they were dishonest. I feel Peugeot’s biggest mistake in NA was linking up with mega dealers most of whom could care less about sales or service. I hope they do better this time.

  14. Beyfon

    Owned “a” 504? How about surely 10+?
    Comfy, surprisingly well built for being a 70’s car. Generally not that rust prone either, most contemporary cars were worse. (That said, one design flaw was that the rear suspension arms would rust causing the strut to suddenly punch through the suspension arm which made for hairy moments until you could get the car back under control. Interestingly, the wagons and the base 504L did not have that issue as they used a regular live axle instead of the independent suspension on the fancier versions of the Sedan.)
    The 504TI that used the same kind of mechanical Kugelfischer injection system as the BMW 2002tii was an awesome car with enough power and that fantastic throttle response as the BMW was known for. But the Diesels were absolute dogs. Hard to start in any kind of freezing temperatures, and would struggle to get up to 60 mph. Can’t imagine what it must be like also saddled with a 3-speed slushbox.
    One of the weirdest facts is that the Swedish rally driver Tom Trana once did the Swedish WRC rally in a 504 Diesel! He did not win!

    Like 4
  15. JoeBob

    I was going to tune up a friend’s 504 in the early 80s. Points, condenser, cap and rotor were all easily available. I want to check the timing, and the procedure was to drop a rod down a hole cast at the top of the back of the block, near the bell housing, into a matching divot in the flywheel to indicate TDC. The only problem was that the back of the block was under an overhang of the firewall where there was only a few inches clearance, and there was no way I could find to drop a rod of sufficient length with the limited space above the hole. I never saw any timing marks anywhere else and I wondered how the procedure was done in the shop.

    Like 1
  16. Skorzeny

    If this one was a manual, I’d rather drive it than a new Corvette. Always loved the 504/505/604. Especially the 504.

    Like 5
  17. Francisco

    I had one of these with gas engine and 5 speed. Loved it. However it had one tiny quirk. The drivers seat would sometimes spontaneously go into full recline mode. Almost cost me my life one time. I wouldn’t mind owning this, but it’s a whole country away. Also, I don’t think it has A/C.

    Like 1
  18. The_Driver

    Nothing rides like a Peugeot, but I’d drop an LSX in that engine bay!

  19. Pete in PA

    JS — hilarious experiences. Probably not so at the time.
    My ex-FIL owned 2 of the 504 sedans back in the late 70s. He bought them both as new cars. The first was a white example and that one didn’t last long but I can’t remember why. The second was a burgundy diesel/automatic with a dark tan interior and I drove that one several times. It was awful. I didn’t think a properly running car could accelerate so slowly.
    I clearly remember a few characteristics of that burgundy car. When you put it in gear the rear end would squat noticeably due to the rear axle design. Also, handling was outstanding on twisty roads but once you got into some hilly terrain, well, for get it.
    I clearly remember being on a on ramp to a 4 lane highway and trying to merge safely in front of an 18-wheeler. Unfortunately I didn’t anticipate that the slight uphill grade would totally overwhelm that diesel and I soon had 18-wheeler headlights right above my rear bumper. I thought I was gonna get pushed right off the road. My apologies to that trucker whoever he was.
    My ex-FIL kept the burgundy one for about 2 years and the maintenance/repair costs were horrendous. There was always some major engine problem that required a week in the shop. I got the feeling that mechanics at that dealership were in way over their heads when it came to that engine but maybe not. In any event Doc soon tired of the aggravation, moved on to Mercedes Benz, and never looked back.
    Ironically a few years after that I did some contract work for the industrial engine division of Peugeot when they were headquartered in Rutherford, NJ. The guys I interacted with swore that the diesel engine (XDP490?) was absolutely bulletproof and was used in TX oilfields to run pumps 24/7 unattended for months on end. Odd.

  20. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this beauty sold for $4,500!

    Like 1

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