V.I.S.I.T – The Peugeot 'Not Found'

Don't run away, mon petit ami!

Early last Sunday morning, while driving home from the bar grocery store, I spotted a Pug, and I don’t mean one of those dogs with the eyes that makes it look like the Greek Navy is in town. No, it was a Peugeot 404, in a natty shade of key lime pie, and making better time than you’d expect of a 35-plus year old European sedan.
Tricky my friend, but I am tricky as well.

The 404 debuted in 1960, and continued in production for over 15 years in France, and extending into the ’90s in Africa. Body styles included this elegant sedan a wagon and a very pretty coupe and convertible that sadly never made much of an impact here in the States. All the 404 models were designed by Peugeot’s long-time penner, Pininfarina, and you can see many of that design house’s sixties styling cues in this car, including the arrow straight beltline each side of which end in modest fins capturing vertical tail lamps.

I’ve seen this 404 before, but sadly couldn’t get into a position to grab some shots of its wide grille and single headlamp-topped fenders. Despite the elegant ‘Automatique’ script on the back end, it was able to easily maintain traffic speeds and scoot around corners with aplomb.
If you’re not as big a geek as I am you may not know that 404 is the code for ‘not found,’ hence this post’s attempt at a clever title. That modern usage of the numeric comes long after the French car maker decided to anoint their products with a three digit appellation indicating both position in the lineup and sequence of models.
Now I have you!

The side marker lights mean this is probably a ’68, and I think the 404 was replaced in the U.S. by the oddly-trunked 504 the following year, so this may be the last of the breed. Of course, I could be wrong on those dates.
au revoir my 404!

Here’s where we parted company, the Pug heading who knows where, and I turning towards home, my stalking ended for the moment. This was a very pretty Peugeot, and in great condition. Hats off to the owner for maintaining it in such a fashion, and more so for taking it out on the road, and letting others enjoy its Pininfarina lines as well.

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  1. engineerd Avatar

    In a world of bland people movers, it lightens this hoon's heart to see oddball cars gracing the roads.

  2. Duurtlang Avatar

    Quite a large car in its day (in Europe), it seems quite tiny next to that white bloated icebox in the first picture. Somehow the aspect ration of that picture seems wrong.

  3. Thrashy Avatar

    Reminds me — the other day I saw what I think was a late-model Renault Fluence on Kansas Highway 10 near Lawrence. I didn't recognize the plates. Anybody got an idea as to what it was doing there?

    1. Duurtlang Avatar

      Strange. As a Western European I see lots of Renaults every day, and I had never even heard of the Fluence, let alone having seen one. I had to google it. I guess it's a car for the 2nd world and South American countries, it being a sedan and all.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I love these things, what irked me was how Pinifarina did such a good job of France's '60s family saloon, and yet they did such a miserable job of ours, the Austin A55, which, in comparison, looks more like something from Moscow.
    <img src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_A55_mkII_Cambridge_1959_front.jpg&quot; width="300">
    Anyway. The 404amino was sold for ages, I used to see one around until quite recently. Hope it's still out there somewhere.
    <img src="http://www.grapa.net/peugeot404/images/404camionette.jpg"&gt;

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I love these things, what irked me was how Pinifarina did such a good job of France's '60s family saloon, and yet they did such a miserable job of ours, the Austin A55, which, in comparison, looks more like something from Moscow. <img src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_A55_mkII_Cambridge_1959_front.jpg&quot; width="300">

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Weird internet shenanigans. Sorry about the double post

  6. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Love the photo sequence. It's like I'm riding along in an alternate universe where OJ stole a pug.

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