No Reserve: 1985 Peugeot 505 Turbo/5-Speed

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The two hardest things about a Peugeot are remembering how to spell it and remembering the last time that I saw one. I assumed that the French-Italian-American-German-British mashup known as Stellantis would bombard us with those and Citroens, but so far, they’re a no-show. That being the case, let’s take a look at a 1985 505 Turbo that is advertised as “super rare”. This sedan is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania and is available, here on eBay for a current no-reserve bid of $2,275.

Built between 1979 and 1992, the 505 first showed in North America in 1980 and then got its Turbo credential for the 1985 model year. The 505 left the states in 1990 and by the time the end of regular production occurred in 1992, the world had experienced over 1.3 M 505s – it was a significant model for Peugeot.

The seller claims, “Looks great inside and out. Just some exterior dings and scratches on the body that have some rust starting on them“. I’ll admit it, it looks nice, I actually like the lines in profile. The black rubber trim parts are faded, but not cracked and those hardly detract from the refrigerator white finish which still has some depth. The listing states that the underside, “frame” (probably the reinforced boxes), and rockers are in excellent shape – good to know because this import from one time Gaul has experienced 144K miles of use and it’s located in Pennsylvania so the initial thought goes to salted roads.  Of course, this sedan may have performed its U.S. citizenship in some other part of the country.

The big selling feature here is the 142 HP, 2.2 liter, turbo-charged, in-line four-cylinder engine which drives the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. There is no included engine image but there is an operating video, brief as it is, embedded in the listing and I suggest that you review it. The seller adds, “THIS CAR IS LIKE A FRENCH-MADE BMW M5. SMOOTH RIDE AND VERY QUICK. STRONG ACCELERATION AND GREAT HANDLING“.

The interior is in sound nick and very eighties-ish in its angular blocky style. I actually expected more wear considering this car’s mileage but either the interior materials are high quality, or the owner(s) have been gentle users (or maybe it’s both). I’d like to point out something memorable, or noteworthy inside, but there’s really nothing due an elaboration. I’ll let it rest by suggesting that the interior will not require any attention.

Back to that rarity issue, if I had a Franc for every time someone told me that their sale car was extremely- super-very-really RARE I’d have a lot of, a, um currency that’s not in use anymore. The seller, however, further states, “ONE OF ONLY 53 TURBO 5 SPEEDS IMPORTED IN 1985“. Assuming that’s an accurate statement (I couldn’t find proof one way or another), I would have to agree, yes, this Peugeot 505 Turbo is a rare aviaire! So, if you’re looking for something sporty, a bit different, and probably cheap, here you go – when was the last time you spied one?

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    No problem, it’s a “POO-joe” , like my old man called them. Always liked the Peugeot. French cars always seemed to push the limits, but the Peugeot was like the French car for us “normies”. It’s quite conventional, really. Would I buy one? Good heavens, no, and I pity the person that does. A quick check on the “Zone”, shows, a couple parts for 505, cap, rotor, etc, but not much else. Be like trying to find Gremlin parts in France.

    Like 6
  2. Greg

    Most comfortable seats ever produced

    Like 9
    • connbackroads

      I fully agree on most comfortable seats.

      “When was the last time you spied one?”

      Yesterday afternoon, in the woods behind my house. I have 4 Peugeots that I used to run on FRENCH fry oil. They are quietly converting to finest French rust.

      Like 9
  3. Big C

    $2700 is just about all the money for this French “BMW.” But, with 144,000 miles on her? This may be the best French car ever built. How’d Peugeot let this one slip out of the factory?

    Like 5
    • bone

      I dont know about reliability, but the 505 was the best looking car to ever come out of France IMHO

      Like 10
      • SubGothius

        We have Pininfarina to thank for the 505’s good looks, and for introducing the “Eyes of Sophia Loren” headlight styling with its predecessor the 504, which became a Peugeot design signature for decades to come.

        Like 4
    • SubGothius

      Dunno about lately, but Peugeots up to this era were world-renowned for reliability and superb build quality, such that they were (and many still are to this day) widely preferred and routinely deployed for taxi duty across Africa, especially in former French colonial nations where Pugs and mechanics experienced with them were ubiquitous. Based in Sochaux near the French-German-Swiss border nexus, Germanic sensibilities were influential in their engineering and build pracitces, such that many regard them as a “French Mercedes”.

      So why didn’t that reputation prevail here in the States? Simply a matter of a scant dealer network primarily concentrated along the coasts, and spotty/delayed parts availability even for those dealers. If you didn’t buy one in a town with a local Pug dealer, you might be hard-up finding anyone who’d know how to maintain them properly — certainly not the corner filling-station garages better versed in more primitive Detroit iron — and Lord help you if an issue cropped up touring cross-country somewhere out in the sticks or “flyover country”.

      Like 10
      • MikeH

        Somebody replaced the hideous American headlights with the European ones. AFAIK, Peugeots were all sold at GM dealerships who could give a rats a** about selling or servicing Peugeots. That was one of their major problems in the US.

        Like 1
  4. Steve

    This is nothing like a BMW. More like a Volkswagen

    Like 0
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      I have owned several Peugeot’s and many VW’s and I would take a Peugeot over an equivalent VW any time. The only way the VW is a better buy is because there are more sources for parts than for Peugeots.

      Like 12
    • SubGothius

      More like a Mercedes, in terms of build quality and engineering.

      Like 7
      • Big C

        That’s a knee slapper. Maybe as expensive as a Mercedes to fix.

        Like 2
      • Barry Ervin

        I was a tech at a Peugeot dealership for 13 years, worked on and drove them every day, and even owned one at one point. Peugeots are NOTHING like a Mercedes in terms of build quality. Not even close.

        Like 1
    • Vincent Joseph McHale

      You have no idea what you are talking about.

      Like 3
  5. CCFisher

    The seller has clearly never driven a BMW M5.

    Like 5
    • Patrick Sales

      And you have never driven a 505 it is a wonderful car and much cheaper

      Like 10
    • SubGothius

      Have you driven both, as a basis for valid comparison? Or are you just going by Internet word-of-mouth about them?

      Like 1
    • Barry Ervin

      With 142 hp, this isn’t even comparable to a regular BMW 535, much less an M5. And having worked as a tech at a BMW/Peugeot dealership all through the 80s, I do know what I’m talking about.

      Like 1
  6. connbackroads

    BTW,

    Those replacement tires are probably going to be expensive metric tires . . . have to check the sidewall on one.

    Like 0
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      I seem to remember that my Peugeot 505 had 15″ tyres.

      Like 0
      • connbackroads

        I have steel rims (American tires) on my 505’s, but a 604 I picked-up to steal the XD2S engine from has these alloys on it, and they require metric tires. I believe I heard that some alloy wheels were American spec, but most were Metric spec.

        Somebody posted about using Pug rims on their Scooby Doo, and that is the only vehicle that I was able to find (years ago) that could interchange its wheels with a Pug.

        Best to ask the seller what size tires this Pug will need.

        Like 0
    • Barry Ervin

      The metric (TRX) tires were only made by Michelin, and I think Pirelli, cost a fortune even back in the day, and most of the ones I saw were the Michelin XGT model was were noisy, rough riding and wore out rapidly. Some BMWs and some Fords used them too. I could always tell right away when I road-tested any Peugeot or BMW if it had the XGT tires by the loud rumbling sound they made. Michelin quit making them years ago and the only company making them today, the last I heard, was Avon, at very high prices. Imagine buying a cheap 25 year old Ford Escort off a used car lot and then discovering that the only tires that would fit it cost $300 each? LOL!

      Like 0
      • MikeH

        The TRX tires were only on the GTI and the turbos. Lesser 505s had standard wheels. Simple matter to go to the junk yard and get regular wheels. BTW, I have a set of those TRX wheels in my garage—free plus shipping.

        Like 0
      • Mitch

        Ferrari and some other premium brands also used TRX tires.

        Like 0
      • Brian Holm

        All gas 505 Turbos had 15″ wheels. In ’85 and ’86 they closely resembled the 390mm TRX wheels used on STIs and 604s. The TRX tires were hard riding, poor in the rain, disastrous in snow, and the fronts wore on the inside.

        Like 0
  7. Jonathan J Einhorn

    I bought a new silver 505 but not turbo; It was beautiful, unique and extraordinarily comfortable. It did have some electrical problems which usually required the car back in the local Peugeot dealership every Monday. When the dealership closed I sold it.

    Like 2
  8. Cdice

    Had an 86 505 Turbo STI which was the base interior with the Turbo S engine and suspension. Posted one looks like same base interior because the Turbo S had leather seats. Mine had a 4-spd auto which actually was well-suited to the Turbo engine. While on the heavy side, it was excellent in handling even with that extra smooth Gaulic ride. Wonderful seats. Put 7 years and 128k miles on it before the ZF transmission gave up the ghost. Repair or replacement cost far exceeded book value of car so sold it to my independent Peugeot mechanic for $500 and a tow away. He fixed it and gave to his father as it was in excellent condition.

    Like 6
    • Brian Holm

      It’s a common misconception, but there weren’t any gas turbo STIs. Until ’87 all STIs had 2 liter gas pushrod XN6 or turbodiesel (2.3 liter XD2S in ’84 and 2.5 liter XD3T in ’85 and ’86) engines. The base ’86 Turbo had cloth seats, hand crank windows, and no sunroof; the Turbo S had the luxuries, same engine and suspension, and was about 150lbs heavier. Later STIs had the 2.2 ZDJL or 2.8 ZN3J V6. The early 4HP22 automatics had a defect which caused them to self destruct if you revved the engine much in P or N, as in emissions testing, if you didn’t shut it down for 60 seconds before the test.

      Like 1
      • Cdice

        You know your stuff. I have still have the Moroney sticker from my 86 505 Turbo and I had the base interior Turbo with the ZF 4-speed auto.

        Like 0
      • Barry Ervin

        BMW used the same ZF 4 speed trans. Back in the 80s BMW was having lots of problems with clogged fuel injectors and we were doing injector cleaning on them which involved running the engine at 2000 rpm or so in park on a pressurized tank of a gas/cleaner mixture until the tank ran dry. This could take 20 minutes or more. We had more than a few transmissions destroyed by this procedure until the official word came down to have the rear wheels jacked off the ground and the trans in neutral while doing it. The rear wheels would be spinning in neutral.

        Like 0
  9. 433jeff

    Got the pug 14s on my Subaru Gl.

    Like 0
  10. Malachi S Smith

    Last time I saw a Peugeot 505? Tough one. That would probably have to be as far back as… yesterday.

    I’ve driven an ’83 505 for about five years now. Best car I’ve ever owned, and it’s #26 out of the 30 total that I’ve had in the past 13 years since I started driving. 😂

    Like 5
  11. Daymo

    I’ve got a friend whose father bought one brand new – a GL family estate (or wagon to you in the US) – back in ‘83 here in the UK. My friend still has it with approaching 600,000 miles and still going strong!

    Like 11
  12. Alex Deutsch

    I’m the owner of the dealership selling this car. Over the past 35 years, I’ve driven just about every car made. Over 5,000 euro and exotics. Including an 88 BMW M5. While this car is not a BMW M5, it could be its little brother because they have similarities..

    Like 2
    • HoA Howard AMember

      Oh, oh, the BFs commentors worst nightmare, the owner/seller chimes in. Not to worry, most folks here, me included, are merely “arm chair” buyers, with no real intention of buying anything. The site is big, however, and coverage is coverage. Someone will grab this,,, it does come with a 5 year warranty, right?

      Like 0
  13. Grant

    What a stunning car!!! I was just a young boy when this was rolling out the door. Peugeots are fairly common her in the UK and I’ve found them to very good reliable cars, I’ve owned and drive the 407 307 and now a 308. All beautiful fantastic cars, you Americans really should get more Peugeot dealers over there I quite simply love my French cars, Citroen are also a decent car and they are a sister group of Peugeot.

    Like 3
  14. John Kezlaw

    Had a 504 wagon , diesel , so slow , but reliable , most comfortable seats ever

    Like 2
  15. David P

    Nice bonus is the European headlights, which look great.

    Like 4
  16. jwaltb

    A nice looking sedan for sure, but I strongly doubt it’s anything like a contemporary M5.

    Like 1
  17. TJ

    Prior salvage/rebuilt title, but AutoCheck also shows it had 165k miles in 2013.
    An uncle had a couple earlier Peugeot diesels I rode in a time or two in my pre-teens, but I do remember how smooth they rode and different they appeared inside & out.

    Like 0
  18. MarkMember

    Nice find. I seriously considered buying one as I really like the styling and the ride, the engine/transmission was fine, and I wish the dealer had a TD with a stick, I probably would have bought one.

    Wish this was a lot closer.

    Like 0
  19. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $3,451.

    Like 0
  20. Mitch

    You can’t compare the 505 with a M5 as the Munich car used
    another philosophy. Hard, just loud and always demanding to
    fix something who was broken.

    The 505 was more intended as a competitor to Mercedes
    W123 230E or as turbo 505 to the Mercedes W123 250\E
    Back then i had a 505 GTi, dark blue met. with sunroof, electric
    front windows, alu rims (non TRX tires) and also the rear
    spoiler. Velour heaven inside. A very silent and comfy car.
    Peugeot of this time (205, 305, 505) where good cars but
    the Germans just made the much better advertising.
    My resumee for this French cars is like good home cinema;
    see, hear, and experience.

    https://www.bmw.de/de/neufahrzeuge/5er.html (e28)

    Like 0
  21. Daymo

    The ‘05’ series cars were the last of the ’proper’ Peugeots. Something (bad) happened with the ‘06’ series onwards. Never had the same appeal, character or build quality that the previous ones had.

    Like 0

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