New Zealand (Motor Holdings)
|Class||Large family car|
|Body style||4-door sedan
2-door coupé utility (pickup)
|Engine||1,290 cc I4
1,468 cc I4
1,816 cc diesel I4
|Wheelbase||2,660 mm (105 in) saloon
2,900 mm (110 in) estate
|Length||4,470 mm (176 in) saloon
4,610 mm (181 in) estate
|Width||1,670 mm (66 in)|
|Height||1,510 mm (59 in)|
The 403 made its debut in saloon body style on 20 April 1955 at the Trocadéro Palace in Paris. The engine size gave the car a "tax horsepower" of 8 CV (8 hp), which placed it a class below the soon-to-be-replaced 11 CV Citroën Traction, but at least one class above the small cars produced by the principal competitor manufacturers.
When it was first shown, and until after 1958, the leading edge of car's nose carried an angular, forward-leaning chrome lion bonnet ornament – the lion image being Peugeot's trade mark. That was removed in 1959, due to safety concerns, and the logo was incorporated into a shield-shaped grill emblem.
Subsequently the semaphore-style trafficators on the C-pillars were replaced with flashing indicators within the light cluster. The front lights were modified to conform to new standards and in 1957 parallel windscreen wipers were substituted for the original "cross hands" ones featured at launch.
The 403 came with an enlarged version of the Peugeot 203's 1290 cc petrol engine. Displacing 1,468 cc, the straight-four unit employed pushrod-actuated valves and hemispherical combustion chambers but no crossflow cylinder head to produce 65 hp (48 kW) at about 5,000 rpm and 75 lb·ft (102 N·m) of torque at 2,500 rpm. An unusual feature at the time was the thermostatically controlled engine fan which cut out when the engine temperature fell to 75°C and reengaged when the engine temperature increased to 84°C. Claimed advantages included an improvement in fuel consumption of between 5% and 10% according to average speed and the avoidance, under many conditions, of fan noise.
A diesel powered Peugeot 403 estate was introduced in the Autumn of 1958, the first of a long line, followed by a diesel saloon a year later.
Upon the 203's discontinuation in 1960, a 47 hp version its 1,290 cc powerplant became available as an option on a reduced specification version of the 403, branded initially as the "403 Sept" ("7") and soon afterwards as the "403 Berline Luxe". Car tax in France was based on engine size, and the smaller engined 403 fell within the 7CV taxation class rather than the 8CV of the bigger version.
Body variants 
The wheelbase was lengthened by 24 cm (10 inches) for the five door Peugeot 403 "Familiale" and "Commerciale" estate versions. The Familiale provided a third row of seats and was described as a 7/8 seater while the Commerciale offered a more conventional seat configuration for an estate car.
The lengthened 403 estate had a solid rear axle fitted to an aluminum differential case. It came with a manual column change gearbox and, in its "Familiale" guise, fully reclinable front seats. Sunroof and steel belted radial tires were standard. Reliability was considered excellent for the time.
A two-door cabriolet version of the car was also offered, with a luxurious interior featuring high quality leather upholstery. In 1958 the 403 cabriolet cost 80% more than the entry level "berline grand luxe" 403 sedan, and presumably for this reason the convertible 403 was produced and sold only in very modest numbers. In the spring of 1961 production of the 403 cabriolet came to an end, in anticipation of the launch later that year of the manufacturer's 404 Cabriolet.
In addition to Argentinian and Australian production, the local Volkswagen assembler in New Zealand built 1,033 Peugeot 403s in just under four years, beginning in March 1960.
The end 
Superseded by the Peugeot 404 in 1960, the 403 remained in production as a budget alternative until 1966.
- Peugeot in Australia Retrieved from www.peugeot.com.au on 14 January 2012
- Webster, Mark (2002), Assembly: New Zealand Car Production 1921-98, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand: Reed, p. 73, ISBN 0-7900-0846-7
- Gloor, Roger (1. Auflage 2007). Alle Autos der 50er Jahre 1945 - 1960. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02808-1.
- "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1958 (salon Paris oct 1957) (Paris: Histoire & collections). Nr. 8: Page 15. 1998.
- "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1962 (salon Paris oct 1961) (Paris: Histoire & collections). Nr. 19: Page 42. 2001.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Peugeot 403|
|« previous — Peugeot, a marque of PSA Peugeot Citroën, road vehicle timeline, 1940s–1970s — next »|
|Small family car||202||202||203||204||305|
|Large family car||402||403|