Oklahoma Francophile: 1978 Peugeot 504 Diesel

I know that there are a lot of diesel pickups in Tulsa, Oklahoma but I wonder how many diesel-powered French cars there are in Tulsa? This 1978 Peugeot 504 diesel sedan is located there so there’s at least one. The seller has this example listed on OfferUp with an asking price of $6,000 or offer. Thanks to John D. for submitting this Peugeot 504!

This is a rare car to see anywhere in the US today but I didn’t expect to see it in Tulsa. Tulsa is a great city and I always love going there but I don’t expect to see French cars there. I think more of New Hampshire or Oregon or maybe somewhere in Canada. Peugeot made more than 3-million of them in Europe between 1968 and 1983 and this example looks like it’s in excellent condition.

Gaa, the dreaded thumb-hiding-the-license-plate photo! There is a reason why this car looks so good, and maybe why the asking price is above NADA’s high-retail value of $4,700 – it has new paint. What appears to be light green metallic paint is new and the interior has also been redone. It looks like a high-end job on both the paint and interior but it’s hard to tell from just a handful of photos.

This is a manual transmission car but Peugeot offered two or three different automatic transmissions throughout the run of the 504. The seller says that this car “has a sliding sun roof, electric Windows and the heat and ac work”. Peugeot is well known for having some of the most comfortable front seats ever produced.

The back seat looks great, too, as it should since it’s been redone. You can see the manual windows that the rear seat passengers had to work with unlike the front seat occupants who had power windows. So, like the manual transmission, the rear windows are basically unusable for anyone under 20 since it’s a rare person that age who has ever seen a manual window crank! (I’m kidding, sort of, but not really..) Unfortunately, they aren’t showing us the engine, which should be Peugeot’s 70-hp 2.3L diesel. There is no mention of how it runs but hopefully it works as well as the rest of this car looks. Have any of you owned a Peugeot?

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  1. Nathan Avots-Smith Member

    Much nicer than the last 504 I saw, a few weeks ago; a sad situation. That said, I do see a couple still running around in my neck of the woods, a tribute to their durability. It’s worth pointing out, too, that these Diesels have some incredible typography in the badges—the “Diesel” on the rump and the “Peugeot” on the front fenders are especially stylized.

  2. Jim in Tulsa

    I counted them up. There are 4 French diesel cars in Tulsa, not counting this one. There are two more in Sapulpa, a nearby suburb. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to buy diesel in Sapulpa, so they’ll just have to stay there.

  3. UK Paul

    These are nice! This one in particular.

  4. Peter H.

    My older brother drove one in the early 90’s, same color combo. It was slow and stinky but one of the best riding cars I’ve ever been in. I had the chance to drive it too. It would be fun to experience again.

  5. Tom Justice

    Worked on a few wagon versions of these type of cars. Much more reliable than the usual French car but they do tend to pop head gaskets more than they should so keep up with the water pump and fluid levels. Pretty easy job as far as head gaskets go but you have to sand the head instead of shave it if memory serves because of different metals. They go better than you think with the manual but they do smoke as you would expect.

  6. JYC

    Used to be the standard taxi cab here in France in those days. Don’t see much left too, since most of them were sent to North Africa at the end of their life … where they were appreciated for their durability and easy maintenance (or lack of … )

  7. RITON

    JYC, was AC offered in France on the 504?

    • JYC

      Not as far as I know.
      A/C in Europe was uncommon until mid 90’s. Before that it was only on luxury cars.


        Yeah, so AC on a 504 would be “something” at a car show here in France.

  8. Doyler

    I’m a fracophile. Anyone got an Alpine A310 for sale?

  9. Scott Tait

    Not a fan of the fugly bumpers but these where great cars in their day

  10. vlrd56

    All 504 and 505 in France sailed to Africa and now they are rare.

  11. Mark Parrish

    I owned this very same year and color, bullet proof engine. Drives like a dream once up to speed (not by any means fast off the line) and very reliable once the glow plugs warm up….haha

  12. Bocatrip

    An absolute bulletproof car that will last forever! I had many of them when I sold cars in the mid 70s to early 90s. Has no power and is actually dangerous if driving it anywhere upstate NY or near hills as it just won’t make it up steep climbs. I’d love to have one today to knock around as once again the engine and automatic transmission if so equipped just won’t die.

  13. Steve

    The old man had a tan 1977 504. It was a nice rider but a bit gutless.

    Some things I remember:
    Block heater to get it started in New England winter mornings
    Special antifreeze came from Peugeot in litre tin cans
    Tires need to be changed with tire irons as the rims didn’t have a hole in the center for a changing machine

  14. Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

    Hey, it’s my hometown!

    Tulsa has plenty of interesting autos and not all are – or have been – owned by Toly Arutunoff! Okay, a lot of them are, though…

  15. Rusty

    A car always aspired to own. I rode in many of them in Chile in the early 1980s. Great ride, amazing seats, offbeat styling and robust powertrain. Said to handle well for a sedan of its time, too.

  16. Ward William

    Lovely cars. My grandad was a Peugeot mechanic and had 203s, 403s, 404s, 504s etc. I literally grew up in the backseat of a Peugeot. They were still being used as taxis in Argentina until the mid 2000s. Lovely ride and easy to work on.

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