The Peugeot 504 was a mid-size, front-engine, rear wheel drive automobile manufactured and marketed by Peugeot from 1968 to 1983 over a single generation, primarily in four-door sedan and wagon configurations — but also with two-door coupe, convertible and pickup truck variants.
The 504 was noted for its robust body structure, long suspension travel, and torque tube drive shaft — enclosed in a rigid tube attached at each end to the gearbox housing and differential casing, relieving drive train torque reactions. The 504 ultimately achieved widespread popularity in far-flung rough-terrain countries — including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Kenya and Nigeria.
More than three million 504s were manufactured in its European production, with production continuing globally under various licensing arrangements — including 27,000 assembled in Kenya and 425,000 assembled in Nigeria, using knock-down kits — with production extending into 2006.
1968 — introduction
Peugeot's flagship, the 504 made its public debut on 12 September 1968 at the Paris Salon. The press launch which had been scheduled for June 1968 was at the last minute deferred by three months, and production got off to a similarly delayed start because of the political and industrial disruption which exploded across France in May 1968.
The 504 was a sunroof-equipped four-door saloon, introduced with a carbureted 1,796 cc four-cylinder petrol engine 79 bhp (59 kW; 80 PS) with optional fuel injection. A column-mounted four-speed manual transmission was standard; a three-speed ZF 3HP12 automatic available as an upgrade.
The 504 was European Car of the Year in 1969, praised for its styling, quality, chassis, ride, visibility, strong engine and refinement.
The 504 Injection two-door coupé and two-door cabriolet were introduced at the Salon de Geneva in March 1969. The engine produced the same 79 bhp (59 kW; 80 PS) of output as in the fuel-injected saloon, but the final drive ratio was slightly revised to give a slightly higher road speed of 20.6 mph (33.2 km/h) at 1,000 rpm.
- 504 4-door saloon
- 504 Injection 4-door saloon
- 504 Injection 2-door coupé
- 504 Injection 2-door cabriolet
The 504 received a new four-cylinder 1971 cc engine, rated at 96 bhp (72 kW; 97 PS) (carburated) and 104 bhp (78 kW; 105 PS) (fuel-injected), and a four-cylinder 2112 cc diesel engine rated at 65 bhp (48 kW; 66 PS). The 1796 cc engine remained available.
In September 1970 an estate was added, featuring a higher rear roof, lengthened wheel base and solid rear axle with four coil springs. It was joined by the 7-seat "Familiale", which had all its occupants facing forward in three rows of seats.
- 504 4-door saloon
- 504 5-door estate
- 504 Injection 4-door saloon
- 504 Diesel 4-door saloon
- 504 Injection 2-door coupé
- 504 Injection 2-door cabriolet
- 504 pickup
1973 to 1983
In April 1973, because of the oil crisis Peugeot presented the 504 L. It featured a coil sprung live rear axle and a smaller 1796 cc engine rated at 79 bhp (59 kW; 80 PS) (81 bhp (60 kW; 82 PS) for Automatic). The different rear axle required somewhat more space; this required some alterations to the floor pan which meant marginally less boot space and rear headroom.
At the 1974 October Motor Show Peugeot presented a more powerful engine for the 504 coupé and cabriolet, now fitted with a 2664 cc V6 unit developed in collaboration with Volvo and Renault. This was the same engine that would be used for the 604 berline, to be introduced at Geneva five months later, in March 1975. The engine incorporated various innovative features such as an aluminium cylinder block, and a fuel-feed system that employed carburetors of differing type, one (type 34 TBIA) featuring a single chamber controlled directly according to the movement of the accelerator pedal, and the second being a twin chamber carburetor (type 35 CEEI) designed to operate simultaneously with the first, using a pneumatic linkage. Maximum output for the 504 coupé and cabriolet fitted with this new V6 engine was given as 136 bhp (101 kW; 138 PS), supporting a top speed of 186 km/h (116 mph). During 1975, the first full year of production, 2643 of these six-cylinder 504 coupés and cabriolet were produced, which was considered a respectable number, although dwarfed by the 236,733 four-cylinder 504 "berlines" (saloons/sedans) and "breaks" (estates/station wagons) produced by Peugeot in France in the same year. Following the launch of the six-cylinder cars, the four-cylinder versions of the coupé and cabriolet 504s were delisted: they returned to the showrooms in 1978 in response, it was reported, to customer demand.
At the Paris Motor Show of October 1976 the option of an enlarged diesel engine was introduced. The stroke of 83 mm (3.3 in) remained the same as that of the existing 2112 cc diesel motor, but for the larger engine the bore was increased to 94 mm (3.7 in), giving an overall 2304 cc along with an increase in claimed power output from 65 to 70 bhp (48 to 52 kW; 66 to 71 PS). The 2112 cc diesel engine would also find its way into the Ford Granada since Ford did not at the time produce a sufficient volume of diesel sedans in this class to justify the development of their own diesel engine.
Peugeot 504 production in Europe was pruned back in 1979 with the launch of the Peugeot 505, although the 504 Pickup was introduced as a replacement for the 404 Pickup for the 1980 model year. The last European-made example rolled off the production line in 1983, although the pick up version continued in production, and was available in Europe until 1993. More than three million 504 passenger cars were produced in Europe. The 505 shared most of the Peugeot 504 mechanical parts, similarly to the Peugeot 604 and Talbot Tagora.
As of December 2015, 197 examples of the Peugeot 504 are still in use in Britain.
Manufacturing continued in Kenya until 2004, and Nigeria until 2006, using the Peugeot knock down kits, which meant that versions of the 504 had been in production in various parts of the world for a total of 38 years. Kenyan production was 27,000 units and the car remained on sale to 2007, being described as "King of the African road". Egypt also had its own production facilities. In South Africa it was built by PACSA (Peugeot and Citroën South Africa) alongside the 404 until late 1978. Sigma Motor Corporation took over from PACSA in early 1979 and moved 504 production to their "Sigma Park" plant east of Pretoria. South Africa received the two-liter and TI versions until mid-1976 when the lower priced 1800 L version was added. The L has a matt black grille and window surrounds, and did not receive bumper overriders. A similarly equipped L Wagon had arrived earlier in the year, to replace the discontinued 404 Wagon. The Peugeot 504 is also one of the most common vehicles employed as a bush taxi in Africa.
The car was assembled in various countries, under license of Peugeot. In Australia it was first released in 1969 and was assembled by Peugeot's rival Renault, and sold through Renault Australia's dealer network. In 1981 the 504 GL retailed for AUD $11,000.
In China, the 504 was produced in pickup form, with a four-door crew cab, a live rear axle, on an extended estate platform. These were built by Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile Company. Chinese production of the 504 pickup ceased in 1997, when the joint venture folded.
The Peugeot 504 was also produced in Argentina until 1999 by Sevel in El Palomar near Buenos Aires, in sedan, estate and pickup forms. The pickup was manufactured in single and double cab with payload of over 1 tonne (1300 kg ) from 1983-1997, and exported mainly to bordering countries. In 1991 the later models were slightly restyled at the front and rear, with the lamps and bumpers changing design. These cars were also given a new interior. Argentinian 504s offered the 1971 cc petrol four-cylinder, or the 2304 cc diesel.
The French company Dangel also produced Peugeot approved four-wheel drive Break (estate/station wagon) and pickup models.
Pickup and commercials
In September 1979, for the 1980 model year, the 504 Pickup was introduced. The considerable work involved in converting the 504's monocoque body into a load-carrying version had taken a full decade. The pickup used the longer wheelbase and live rear axle of the 504 Break. On introduction, it was available with very basic spec and single round headlights, fitted in plastic frames shaped like the 504's "cat's eyes." The engine options were the 404's 1618 cc petrol (U01) and 1948 cc diesel (U20); outputs are 62 and 49 PS (46 and 36 kW) respectively. This was the only 504 sold with the 1.6-litre XC5 engine. As with most of Peugeot's commercial vehicles, the 504 Pickup was assembled by Chausson. Cargo capacity was 1,100 kg (2,400 lb) for both versions; models exported to Africa were rated at 1,250 kg (2,760 lb) (V01/V20). A chassis cab model was also offered, and manufacturers such as Heuliez offered a number of different applications for the 504 chassis. Germany's Bimobil even offered a demountable camper for the 504, weighing about 450 kg (990 lb). Around 300 of these were built, following an initial order of twenty made by Peugeot themselves.
As with the regular 504, the pickup has rear-wheel-drive and a floor-shifted four-speed manual transmission. A locking differential was also standard. Late-model pickups were also available with a five-speed transmission. In July 1981, Dangel added a four-wheel-drive version of the Pickup. These were mainly purchased by French governmental agencies, as their procurement rules required them to purchase French when possible. About 5500 Dangel 4x4 Pickups were built until the model's discontinuation in 1994.
For 1982 the better equipped 504 Pickup GR was added, these received some chrome touches and luxuries such as a clock and door-mounted armrests. Externally, the GR was set apart by black rubber bumper overriders, different hubcaps and a modicum of chrome ornamentation (the standard version received a grille and bumpers painted light gray). By 1984, the chrome parts were dropped in favor of a cleaner, more modern appearance. The GR was renamed "Confort" in 1987, at least in the French domestic market. This is also when the 1.6 petrol option was discontinued. The GR received an 80 PS (59 kW) version of the 504's 1.8-liter petrol engine, while the GRD had the 70 PS (51 kW) 2.3-liter diesel. The French models were then renamed "Entrepreneur" in 1988 (by now with a 2.1 Diesel) and was upgraded to the 2.3-liter diesel for 1990. Trim levels received differing names in various markets; in England, most later 504 Pickups received "GL" badging. For 1995 and 1996, subsequent to the end of pickup production in France, Argentinian 504 Pickups were exported to France. These can be recognized by the large modernized front bumper and redesigned dashboard.
A 504 Pickup used as popemobile
The car was rear-wheel drive, with longitudinally mounted engines, canted over to bring a lower bonnet line to the styling. Manual and automatic transmissions were offered. The suspension system consisted of MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front, and with either semi-trailing arms with coil springs (sedans, coupes, convertibles) or coil springs and live axle (wagons, pickups) at the rear. Most 504 models used a torque tube driveline. With huge suspension travel and great strength, the 504 was suited to rough road conditions, and the car proved extremely reliable in conditions found in Africa, Asia, Australia and the like.
The car used disc brakes at the front, and either disc brakes or drum brakes at the rear, depending on the model. Brake pad wear warning via an instrument panel indicator light was a notable innovation. The steering was a rack and pinion system. The Peugeot 504 was widely available with diesel engines and an automatic transmission option, which was a rare combination at the time. Engines were of the Indenor design and included 1948 cc, 2112 cc, and a 2304 cc. The Indenor engine was also used in the Peugeot 403, Peugeot 404, Peugeot 505, Peugeot 604, Peugeot J7, Peugeot J9, Peugeot P4, Ford Sierra, Ford Granada, Talbot Tagora, Mahindra Jeep, Leyland DAF 400, Cournil 4x4/UMM 4x4 Cournil, UMM 4x4, Belgian-assembled Scaldia-Volga M21, M22, M24D (GAZ-21, GAZ-24), Opel Blitz and for marine application.
There were three petrol engines available in Europe, 1796 cc and 1971 cc four cylinder and a 2664 cc V6. The 1.9l was also available with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection, first available on the earlier Peugeot 404. Gearboxes were either the BA7, four-speed manual or ZF three-speed automatic. Later pickup trucks in Europe gained a fifth gear. Export market vehicles had different variations available.
In November 2010. Iranian state television announced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to auction off his 1977 Peugeot 504 to raise money for charity. The car is white with a sky-blue interior, and has covered only 37,000 km since new. The political significance of the car being a 504 is that it was used as a working-class status symbol to draw electoral support from the less well-off during the 2005 presidential campaign. The money earned from the sale at international auction is to be donated to the Mehr housing project, a network of cooperatives that provides affordable housing for low-income families. Soon after being put on auction in January 2011, a bid of $1 million was received from "an Arab country". When the auction closed in March 2011, the final bid was $2.5 million.
Peugeot 504s won the following World Rally Championship events:
Event Season Driver Co-driver Car 23rd Safari Rally 1975 Ove Andersson Arne Hertz Peugeot 504 18ème Rallye du Maroc 1975 Hannu Mikkola Jean Todt Peugeot 504 19ème Rallye du Maroc 1976 Jean-Pierre Nicolas Michel Gamet Peugeot 504 26th Safari Rally 1978 Jean-Pierre Nicolas Jean-Claude Lefèbvre Peugeot 504 V6 Coupé 10ème Rallye Bandama Côte d'Ivoire 1978 Jean-Pierre Nicolas Michel Gamet Peugeot 504 V6 Coupé
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