Turbo Wagon: 1987 Peugeot 505

Put the words “Turbo” and “wagon” together and you’ll generally get enthuaists’ attention. However, in most cases, they’ll envision a Volvo 740 – not a Peugeot 505 Turbo estate. This example is a rare sight on American roads these days, and despite its salvage title status, looks like a strong foundation for a fun winter beater. Find it here on eBay with a $1,300 Buy-It-Now.

The seller notes that the Peugeot runs and starts – but because of the salvage status, it is only being sold for parts. Now, in states like my neck of the woods in Rhode Island, the guv’ment doesn’t really care about the previous salvage title. They just want a bill of sale and proof of prior registration. If you like in a state like mine, you can easily register a rare car like this 505, which presents decently enough with an interior in fair condition.

Fun fact: the Turbo estate, or wagon, was unique to the North American market. This 2.2L mill found its way into a few vehicles, but the 505 was the only model we saw here in America. The seller indicate the Pug doesn’t need much to return to the road – a set of tires and a battery – but it’s hard to discern from the posting just how likely it is that it will fire up and drive. What we do know is that the wagon is ripe for a 505 Turbo S makeover.

So, different wheels from the GTI or Turbo S models, a period chin spoiler, along with some glass European-market spec headlights, and this 505 Turbo wagon would look equal parts handsome and menacing. We’d love to see this one return to the roads and not simply be parted out due to the title issue, as the salvage moniker is not a death sentence in every state. Do you believe the seller that this 505 just needs tires and battery to fire up and drive?


  1. Fred Martinsen

    Nothing can kill a 505. This engine is infact a Simca Engine. Peugeots own engine didn’t cope with the turbo. It is found in the Simca/Chrysler/Talbot 160/180/2 litre and the Matra 3-seater. As you can see from the oil filler cap, Fiat had something to do with this. As most of Simcas products.

  2. Miguel

    You lost me at Peugeot. They still sell them in Mexico and I avoid them like the plague. The same goes for Renault.

    I don’t think I have ever seen one of these in the US that ran as it should have.

  3. Rabbit

    I actually envision a Mercedes 300TDT. In my experience, French cars are for masochists.

  4. Leon

    After reg in RI can it be later registrated if moved to different state ?

  5. MikeG

    This would be so fun to get restored and running. The 505 was a really cool car, I remember my friends family had a turbo coupe. There were lots of interior components that would fall off and or break, so not the best quality car in the world, but these days a fully restored one would be so great to own.

    • Little_Cars Alexander Member

      Never seen a 505 Turbo coupe here in the States. (?) Lots of sedans and wagons where I grew up near Washington DC. My family owned two sedans, one new, one used 15 years later. Both exemplary cars until ALL parts became unobtainable. Best seats ever!

  6. Edselbill

    We owned nearly this exact car from new: 1989, red turbo wagon, black leather seats. I had to look close to see it wasnt ours. (We had an ASC sunroof installed at the dealer). Drove amazingly well. No major problems. Put 175k on it. Gave up on it when it no lnger could pass inspection, and a new cat converter was unobtainium. Gave it, along with a parts car, to the kid who worked at the dealership. Wish we kept it now.

  7. David Zornig

    In the late `70s & early `80s, Peugeot was the only model our shop would not work on.
    And our owner was a former Air Force mechanic.
    Just wasn’t worth the hassle.
    I attempted adding a quart of oil to one at the pump islands once.
    It had multiple screens built into the filler neck, so no oil filler or funnel could be used.
    I could only add about a tablespoon’s worth at a time.
    Or it would immediately overflow.
    We had to change our signage to exclude them.

  8. Karl Nelson

    I love Peugeots and would love to save this one, but the seller needs to knock a zero off the asking price to make it worthwhile. The turbo motor is known for cracking the cylinder head, and repairing it would cost more than the asking price if a shop does the work. The 4hp22 auto transmission is known for burning up the clutch plates if the engine is revved in park or neutral, so that’s a big question mark as well. Rust in the rear quarter is classic for the 505; my 1985 sedan has the same issue, though not quite as bad. The suggestion that this car needs only a battery and tires to get back on the road is somewhat laughable.

    Last year I brought home a nearly identical car in silver from New Hampshire. Came with a 1989 turbo wagon – an eight-passenger model – that looked much better than this one. Drove 700 miles without issue. Paid $900 for both cars with a cargo area full of parts. The nice one fetched a whopping $2,025 on eBay and ended up in west Africa. Scrapped the silver car. The cylinder head was cracked.

    • Mike

      that looks dangerous pulling a RWD car backward on a tow dolly! how well does that work?

      • Karl G Nelson

        Works fine if you secure the steering wheel very, VERY well. Ratchet straps with ends wrapped around door hinges do the job.

      • Nick G.

        I don’t know about him but if I’m towing a rear drive car a long distance and have some worries about the drive train, I’ll tow it the same way too. I either lock the steering wheel, if it has that feature, or tie the steering wheel straight. It’s safe if you periodically keep an eye on it and check the tightness of the steering wheel (if tied up). I’ve never had an issues but I’m sure there are people who have mucked it up.

      • Miguel

        You do get to see how tight the front suspension is when towing like that.

  9. Jeffrey Johnson Member

    Had a turbo diesel version of one of these twenty years ago.
    Drove it from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and back many times without issue.
    Loved that car, terrific seats but crappy plastic bits on the interior.
    Had to give it up when the head cracked.

  10. James B.

    Had a girlfriend once who had one. Loved it more than her ! Got rid of her . Kept the wagon. My good buddy has one just like it and a sedan and Races both!. He says “PUG GOT U” . HE IN CALI. LOTS OF SALVAGE CARS ARE ON THE ROAD . I JUST GOT 8 1960’S WAGONS.

  11. Jubjub

    Had an ‘84 S wagon years ago. Not fast but a serene, comfortable and cavernous machine.

  12. Allen Member

    I too had an ’84 S wagon. ‘ Bought it in ’88. Worst car I’ve ever owned! And I’ve owned well over 100. I’m an MG hobbyist, so rumors are that I ought to know about electrical failures. I’ve pulled old MGBs out of swamps and fields that hadn’t run in years. Even then, I’ve never seen a Lucas electrical system that could match the disasters in this Peugeot. ‘ Traded my ’79 Chrysler LeBaron wagon for it. The Chrysler was a jewel, but I wanted something more “interesting”. I sure picked a rotten way to learn that lesson! ‘ Took a heckuva beating when it promptly came time to get rid of the thing. Obviously the rest of the market knew something I didn’t know. The basic drivetrain was probably OK, but everything else was junk.

  13. David Miraglia

    one of my coworkers owns a 505. Still running out here in Brooklyn after all these years.

  14. 2VT

    I’m always amazed to hear reviews that describe Peugeot’s as horrible, are for masochists, worst car on the planet, etc. Personally I’ve held that the worst thing that can happen to a Peugeot is a mechanic. I bought my Turbo 505 new in ’87 to race in SCCA as a Showroom Stock “B” car. We raced it 44 times and won 2 SCCA National Titles with it which earned us $88, 000 in 2 years. Then I drove it as a street car for the next 17 years and still have it today with 200,000 miles on it. I then bought nearly a twin to the first one but it only had 60,000 on it in 2005. It now has 148,000 miles on it. People ask “But where do you get Peugeot parts?” I don’t need Peugeot parts, I need Bosch parts occasionally but brakes are ATE (like Porsche 944), hoses and belts are from Pep Boys. Yes the Turbo is known to crack the head but mine don’t because I found out that getting into the boost before it was warmed up cause the crack.Same with the 4HP22 automatic, which BMW and Volvo also used, don’t rev it up in neutral or park. Yes radiators, water pumps and alternators have failed but replacements/repairs are available. Peugeot exist worldwide, just not here. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson described the 505 Turbo as “One of the finest Sports Sedans ever made.” (He then goes on the lam blast the new products, but I digress). Some here will know me or of me and my defending the car comes as no surprise but I believe this last 505 Turbo will probably outlast me.

    • Edselbill

      I agree. These cars get a bad rap. We purchased ours brand new but with hesitation… worried that it would be a problem. However, in 1991, the sport wagon competition was limited to Audi, Volvo & Mercedes, all of which were priced $10-$15k more than this left-over brand new Peugeot turbo wagon. We took the gamble and could not have been happier.
      But, we took good care of it, had it serviced regularly at the dealership with the same mechanic who continued to work on it long after the company left the USA. Over the175,000 miles the repairs we encountered were nothing out of the ordinary or ultra expensive. The engine, turbo and tranny were all still perfectly intact, never were rebuilt, and running strong. Other than no longer being able to pass RI Emissions test, we’d certainly still have it. No electrical gremlins other than a finicky AC controller. No rust, even though it lived in New England. As been said before, the BEST seats ever. I do wish we kept it.

  15. BiggYinn

    These where bullit proof and reliable

    As mentioned its knly bad mechanics that’ll kill them!

  16. AdriaanB

    No-one seems to have mentioned what I consider to be one of the best points of the bigger Peugeots from this era (504s, 505s, 604s) – the quite fabulous capabilities of their suspension, soaking up every sort of road surface and profile, with great stability and controllability (from many miles of 504 and 604 experience on Australia’s vast distances of very variable roads).

  17. Mark-A

    Is it a legal requirement to fit AWFUL LOOKING headlights to ANY European vehicle imported into North America? The lamps on this are HORRIBLE but its not just this car, I’m also thinking about the Jaguars too!? Anyone got a Sick Bag I can use please?

Leave a Reply to Edselbill Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.