Here’s an interesting example of a Peugeot 505 SW8 that I came across some time ago. The SW8 was of course the version of the 505 wagon with third-row seating, being able to seat (at least theoretically) a total of 8 people. My favorite factoid about these is that with the back seats folded down, the 505 offered 13 more cubic feet of cargo room than a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. The 505 SW8 here featured recessed fog lights in the grille, which I have to admit looked pretty neat. Why they weren’t all offered like this, I don’t know.
This 505 was purchased new (and by new I mean new in our sense of the word: new to the buyer) by a Peugeot enthusiast from the midwest. At the time he wrote the following on a Peugeot forum about his purchase “Saw it on Craigslist at noon, it was in my garage by 7pm. Man, talk about an impulse buy. Mind you, I’ve wanted one for a while. This one isn’t -exactly- what I wanted in an SW8…not a turbo or a diesel, not a manual transmission. On the other hand, it does only have 132,700 miles on it and apart from the suspension needing some serious attention and a slightly loud exhaust, it works flawlessly. The only damage is the left-front corner, from an incident which totaled a Corolla.” Now THAT, gentlemen, is in true hoon spirit.
The car’s impressive battle record, removing a Corolla from the streets while taking only minor damage in the process, had practically been thrown in for free. Not every 1980s Peugeot can lay claim to such a feat, and needless to say one just can’t buy that kind of pedigree.
The interior and the chassis feel of the 505s are, almost invariably, what owners like the most about their cars. Having driven several 505s myself, I was always impressed with the ride quality and the fit and finish of the cabin. Even by today’s standards, the 505 offers very well balanced feedback for a car that’s been out of production for the last 20 years. My only gripe about the ergonomics of the interior would be the lack of tilting and telescoping steering, but that sort of thing was not really standard on too many midsize European cars designed in the 1970s.
Anecdotal evidence furnished by the Department of Tracking French Cars in America (DTFCA), suggests that most remaining Peugeot 505s on the right coast are wagons, whereas most remaining 505s on the left coast are sedans.
Does that sound about right?