Peugeot 504 GL
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
During its tenure, the Peugeot 504 would become one of the oldest cars on the Australian market – but even as it neared the end of its production life it was still considered to be among the world's best ten sedans.
Originally released in Europe in 1968
and in Australia in 1969
, it was, world wide, the largest selling model of Peugeot. The 504 was assembled by Renault
Australia from knock-down kits at Renault's Victorian plant.
The 504 was powered by a conventional 2.0 litre, four-cylinder pushrod engine. Available for some time in both fuel-injected and carburetted forms, unfortunately too few opted to pay the extra cost for the fuel injected model, and it was subsequently abandoned for the Australian market.
The engine offered only modest power output, but it has an excellent reputation for reliability and strength as well as having the ability to return good economy figures. Power was transmitted through either a four-speed manual transmission
or three-speed automatic
gearbox to the rear driving wheels. These details may sound dated but technically the Peugeot was an extremely advanced car for the time, as borne out by its survival in the market place for such a long time.
design and road-shock suppression, the Peugeot has few peers in the automotive world. The four-wheel fully independent suspension
was well isolated from the body, transmitting an unusually low level of harshness and noise to the cabin and its occupants. On paper the 504 was never going to be a strong performer, combining high body-weight with modest engine output.
However, the gearbox ratios were well suited to the torque characteristics of the engine and performance on the highway was actually rather good, the car being particularly tireless over long distances.
Good point-to-point times could be achieved due to the 504's superior road-holding and ride-comfort levels. Poor and indifferent road surfaces did not worry the 504 - in fact, it really came into its own on Australia's outback roads. The brakes, being four-wheel power-assisted discs, offered excellent stopping power and complete stability, even when stopping from high speeds.
The elegant Pininfarina
body design disguised what was a deceptively large interior. Few cars at the price were able to carry four adults in as much comfort as the 504, the rear leg room and head room being better than many large sedans of the day. Boot space was also good, the spare tyre
being located in a tray under the rear of the car which was released by a catch inside the boot.
At over $11000 the 504 was not given away, but it was a car that proved it could last for the better part of ten years while always retaining good resale value.