Possible Bonus: 1964 Peugeot 403 Sedan

Throughout its history, Peugeot has managed to build some interesting cars. Some have been interesting because they have possessed surprising levels of performance. Others, like this 403 Sedan, have been interesting simply because they are incredibly robust. If a robust French classic appeals to you, then you will find this 403 located in Tehama, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $2,850, although the option is available to make an offer. As you will see, there may well be an advantage if the buyer decides to exercise the BIN option.

One of the great aspects of the 403 is that they never seemed particularly prone to rust issues. This one has a few small spots in the floor, but they look like they need no more than some minor patching. The body itself seems to be nice and solid, and one really interesting and slightly unusual feature of this car is that it features a factory sunroof. There are a couple of very minor trim pieces missing, but otherwise, the car is complete and very straight.

The front bucket seats in the Peugeot have recently received new covers, while the rear seat only has some minor and repairable fraying on the leading edge of the cushion. I can testify that those front seats are among the most comfortable seats that you will ever experience, and considering how flat they appear to be, they provide a surprising level of support. New carpet and a headliner will be required, while the dash and door trims will also require restoration at some point.

The 403 is no rocket ship, but the 1,468cc 4-cylinder engine does produce 66hp. This is sent to the rear wheels via a buttery-smooth 4-speed manual transmission. The 403 is said to run well, with the brakes and clutch operating correctly. The car will require a rebuild for the fuel pump and a new battery, but this is where the advantage of hitting the BIN button comes into play. The owner has a spare engine, and this will be included with the car at that price. Not only is that engine freshly rebuilt, but it has apparently been rebuilt in France. It is a hopped-up motor built by a company that specializes in race engines. The owner is surprised that such engines exist, but Peugeot has a long and successful motorsport history.

It is highly doubtful that a Peugeot 403 is ever going to become a valuable classic, but as a classic, they are a car that is robust and dependable. They are also exceptionally comfortable and smooth, and it is all of these qualities that have seen them become a firm favorite in many African nations. They are extremely easy to maintain, and parts remain in plentiful supply. This one looks like a really good example, and I hope that someone grabs it and undertakes a really nice restoration.

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Comments

  1. jcnspots

    Lovely old Pug.

    Like 7
  2. Chebby Staff

    OMG it’s adorable. No need but lots of want.

    Like 2
  3. Haig Haleblian

    Columbo

    Like 4
    • Bob C.

      His was a 1959 convertible,but basically the same car.

      Like 2
  4. Ken Tilly UK Member

    Absolutely bullet proof. I think a 404 won the East African Safari 4 or 5 times back when it was a real rally.

    Like 2
  5. Chas H

    My first car was a ’59 403. Great car; I sold it to a hitchhiker I picked up and bought a Jag XK120 coupe. Talk about different.

    Like 2
  6. Glen M

    I had a 61 wagon. Interesting car. All trim is stainless, not chrome. Synchromesh 4 speed, worm drive rear end. Boxed frame. Hemispherical combustion chamber. Rack steering. Many things were way ahead of other cars at the time. Built from quality steel, no rust.

    Like 5
  7. Francisco

    I wonder if it includes the crank.

  8. Greg Millard

    Rallied one of these in Canada – an off road excursion bent the Panhard rod – jacking it up and placing a rock between the rod & the car’s body we were able to bend it back with the weight of the car but it later broke so we hobbled at much reduced speed to the next service point with only the buzzing of the tires against the wheels keeping the body vaguely in position

  9. Will Owen Member

    I’ve driven only one very tired example of these, but caught several very brisk rides in an immaculate one some friends had. I’ve had a couple of 404s, which are a bit quicker and in some ways easier to work on, but just about any Peugeot through the Seventies is a car worth having. I wish this weren’t clear at the other end of California, because I would very much like to go take a look; if I were still in the SF Bay area I’d certainly do a weekend run.

    The 404s came with that hand crank too; mine had a feeble battery, in Alaska and in winter, and every trip to or from home required at least three yanks on that thing. Made me wish that more of my cars had come with one!

  10. Bill McCoskey

    My father bought a new 1959 Peugeot 403 “Familial”, the wagon body but with 3 rows of seats, the center row being a pair of jump seats. I was too young to remember details, but the back seat would fold forward providing a cargo area, and with the jump seats folded, it had about the same amount of room as a Ford or Chevy wagon.

    Dad sold it to a local Minister who had been assigned to a missionary situation in south America. The guy packed up his family and drove the car all the way to [if I remember right] Guyana. A few years later, they drove back up again, and with something like a quarter million miles on it, sold it to a high school friend of mine for $25.

    And what did dad replace the Peugeot with? a very late Volvo PV544 Duett [station wagon] with a one-piece windshield. Dad always insisted his Volvo was built in Canada! In 1969 Dad traded that in on a one year old Porsche 912 with a 5-speed. Just in time for me to get my driver’s license!

    Like 1
    • Paul Reilly

      Volvos were assembled in Halifax and Bayer Lake, Nova Scotia from 1963 to 1998.

      • Mike Tippett

        Peugeot 404 sedans were assembled in St-Bruno-de-Montarville PQ between late 1965 and early 1968.

  11. Fossil

    Love our Pugs. Like them so much, we just sold a 2011 Peugeot 308 and bought a 2005 Peugeot 407 with only 11,000 miles on the clock. Yes, they are a quirky car but to own one is to love one.
    I remember, in another life working on a mates 203 and another friends 404. Almost bulletproof machines and extremely competitive as rally cars.

  12. Mike Tippett

    VIN on cold stamping and (screwed in) VIN plate don’t match. Hmmmmmm

  13. Willowen Member

    Semi-bulletproof: My first 404 with my wife (also the first) at the wheel was stopped and signaling a left turn, when a young woman doing her first solo in Daddy’s car came around the bend a bit too fast and rear-ended my car hard enough to fold the boot and the rear axle down, giving the car a cat-in-heat stance. Believe it or not it was still driveable, except that you had to select either the one-two or the three-four plane from neutral. The bank totaled the car … and several months later I saw it in downtown Anchorage, still bent, except the trunk-lid was off and it was obviously being used as a farm truck, with sacks of feed and some tools in there. So: Easy to bend, but doggone hard to break.

    Like 1
  14. Wayne Thorpe Member

    In 1968, my Dad bought a 1958 403 for $15.00 (fifteen) from my uncle’s neighbor in Windsor Locks, CT. The guy was going to give it to my Dad, but then his $15.00 CT auto registration came due, so he told my Dad he wanted $15.00. My Dad gladly paid it and off we drove. Being on the column, my father thought it was a 3 OTT. I sensed something was not right because even at town road speeds, the little 4 banger was revving high. I was right when my uncle chased and caught us to show my father there was a 4th forward gear. During the summer of 1968, I drove that 403 back and forth in our back yard. My Dad decided to register the car about 2 months after buying it. When he drove it to work for the first time his coworker had to have and offered him $50.00. Needless to say, it was sold. Great memories for a 13 year old kid though. Lots of happy learning and imaginative hours. It had a center arm rest in the back seat and side lights on the “C” pillar.

  15. jimmy the orphan

    These cars were engineered with longevity in mind. Good quality steel. Little if any rust. What’s the old saying “Your house is just as good as your foundation.” Why do most of us pass on so many projects? RUST. These are much like Volvo’s of the day. 4 on the tree I like this Peugeot even better. Cool…………………………………………..JIMMY

  16. Brian Holm

    It is true that 403s rarely showed rust from the outside, but in a humid climate or the least presence of road salt they are quickly gutted structurally in the floors and box beam that runs from the front jack point along the bottom of the wheel well out to the door sill and back inside the rear wheel well to the rear jack point. The motor mounts attach to that structure, and on one beautiful sedan I purchased with shiny paint and no visible rust, one mount rotted off and dropped the engine on its side while I was towing the car home. The front floors often allowed the driver to do Flintstone-style braking by dragging their feet on the pavement. I have five of them in my yard now growing raspberries through the floor. I love them though, and have one structurally sound wagon that I cherish. Sadly the parts cars must go to recycle heaven very soon due to local politics.

    Like 1
  17. Prakash

    Yes, when I had resided in 🇺🇬, our family business that used to deal with Michelin tires and Citroëns , we had seen many of these in all shapes, some pickups, station wagons, Coupè at one time , then one or two with the rag top like the one that Colombo had driven in that tv series, plus other Peugeots , these used to drive forever, 100K miles were not even broken in , a few with a 1,000,000 miles were still in service and our shop mechanics we baffled

  18. Louis Q Chen

    My next to last ride in one of these “quatre cent trois” (403) when were getting the hell out of Dodge in 1975! The last ride was in 2001 when went back to visit “Dodge City”. Our driver/tourguide had one with A/C, four on the tree trans. This ’63 had one of the best rides around! I asked the driver/tourguide how did he kept this “treasure” running? He had a cousin that evac to France during the “mad dash” out. Perhaps I could fly to Cali, this car, redo the brakes, tune up, oil change and drive back to Texas. After that, I could contact the Vietnamese driver/tourguide if his cousin could get me some trim part? With no rust and a rebuit spare engine I could keep motoring on this smooth riding 403 into the next century?

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