Peugeot 204 Coupe
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
The beautiful Peugeot 204 Coupe was a revelation upon it’s release at the 1966 Paris Salon, it defining form, function and good looks. But best of all, Peugeot managed to keep the newcomer relatively affordable, it only demanding a 20% premium over the 204 sedans released 18 months earlier.
Taking the original Pininfarina
design, then shortening the wheelbase, the coupe’s swept rear treatment was good looking and, from a luggage perspective, fairly practical.
Mechanicals were also identical to that of the sedan, although the interior came in for some revision, most notably the instrument cluster that featured three large circular dials (these would later become standard on the sedan too).
But the omission of a tachometer
left few in doubt as to the target market of the pretty little car, and that was certainly not the performance car enthusiast. That the manual transmission
was mounted on the column also spoke volumes about the appeal to the lads.
Instead, Peugeot were targeting women drivers, the lines of the car exuding sex appeal like few others of the era.
The little coupe was also very innovative, fitting the aluminium engine transversely and driving the front wheels – and remember this was 1966.
The 204 coupe also boasted four-wheel independent suspension
at a time when leaf springs were the norm. The suspension
was firmed, as if in some attempt to make the car more sporting, but with a top speed of only 142 km/h it only meant that most lamented the fact that Peugeot had not fitted a bigger engine.
We could say of the 204 coupe that it was stylish, innovative, practical and very economical. But there are many others that will quickly point out the lack of mumbo under the bonnet, and instead describe it as a wheezing underpowered try hard, that promised so much in design, and delivered so little on the bitumen.