Old French cars: Peugeot Vieilles voitures francaises: Peugeot

Posted by on August 20, 2012

Lots of French people consider driving an old car demeaning, but got to say so do lots of Americans.  I love antique and vintage cars, they have more … character.  This vintage 202 Peugeot was built sometimes in the was in the 30’s then their construction was stopped during the war, 20 models were made in 45 and the construction was restarted until 1949 when it was replaced by the newer model the 203.   Apparently this particular one had been used in a wedding few days before because the ribbons on it are still squicky clean.  Could a piece of fabric be squicky?  Beats me, anyhow this is a fantastic car, with it’s headlights hidden under the grill right in front the radiator.  It’s 1133 cc engine gave it a speed of 62 miles an hour.   With only 3 speed, I wonder how much gas this thing would burn.

It was then followed by the 203 which had a longer wheel base and a bigger engine of 1290 cc, a top speed of 75 mph and 20 to 35 miles to gallon.  It’s too bad the current owner of this beauty added those dreaded lights as I do not think they were on the original mount.  The types of light were standards only on race car and this is a 4 door sedan.   Although built until 1960, it was replace by the car that made Inspector Columbo famous… or maybe it’s the other way around …

The next car built by the Sochaux company was the 403.  My dad had one, it’s a majestic automobile.  I wish I could afford one.  The car has a massive look although it was only a mid size sedan.  The car had a 1468 cc engine and an something that  is now current feature but was totally new at the time: the thermostatically controlled engine fan which cut out when the engine temperature fell to 167  degrees  Fahrenheit  and reengaged when the engine temperature increased to 183.  But Peugeot was real good at innovating back then… the 203 had been the first monocoque car build.   And Pinin Farina did the designI

This model was also designed by the late (he died recently) Italian.  I remember wanting one so badly when I was a teen.  It was the dream car of all teens I guess .. at least until I got my hand on a Fiat Spider (also designed by Pinin Farina) with it’s 1600 overhead cam engine which I saddly crashed sliding on some cow shit in a curve.  But this is a Pigieouet page.  This is how some dude spelled the name when trying to sell a Peugeot 403 in Topeka KS.  Anyhow my Dad had the 4 door sedan version and it was rather powerful for a French stuff.  I wouldn’t mind having the 1.9 liter diesel version now.  Those cars lasted for ever and ever.

Image courtesy of Paracelse | République No.6

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