1969 Peugeot 404 Sedan
until 1991 (Kenya)
|Assembly||Sochaux, France (Sochaux Plant)|
El Palomar, Argentina
Los Andes, Chile
Natalspruit, Transvaal, South Africa
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Large family car (D)|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
2-door coupé utility (pickup)
|Engine||1.5 L I4|
1.6 L I4
1.9 L diesel I4
3-speed ZF automatic
|Wheelbase||2,650 mm (104.3 in)|
|Length||4,442 mm (174.9 in) (saloon)|
4,580 mm (180.3 in) (estate)
4,492 mm (176.9 in) (coupé & cabriolet)
|Width||1,612 mm (63.5 in)|
1,680 mm (66.1 in) (coupé & cabriolet)
|Height||1,450 mm (57.1 in) (saloon)|
1,490 mm (58.7 in) (estate)
1,300 mm (51.2 in) (coupé & cabriolet)
|Curb weight||1,060–1,250 kg (2,337–2,756 lb)|
The Peugeot 404 is a large family car produced by French automobile manufacturer Peugeot from 1960 to 1975. A truck body style variant was marketed until 1988. The 404 was manufactured under licence in various African countries until 1991 (in Kenya) and was manufactured in Argentina by Safrar/Sevel in El Palomar, in Québec, Canada at the St-Bruno-de-Montarville SOMA Ltd. plant and in Chile by Automotores Franco Chilena S.A. in Los Andes.
Styled by Pininfarina, the 404 was offered initially as a saloon, estate, and pickup. A convertible was added in 1962, and a coupé in 1963. The 404 was fitted with a 1.6 litre petrol engine, with either a Solex carburetor or Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection or a 1.9 litre diesel engine available as options. Introduced at the Paris Motor Show as an option was the inclusion of a 3-speed ZF automatic transmission, similar to the unit already offered on certain BMW models, as an alternative to the standard column-mounted manual unit.
Popular as a taxicab, the 404 enjoyed a reputation for durability and value. Peugeot's French production run of 1,847,568 404s ended in 1975. A total of 2,885,374 units had been produced worldwide at the end of production.
Saloon introduced with 73 PS (54 kW; 72 bhp) petrol engine and column-shift four-speed gearbox with gate "reversed" (first down, up for second, and towards the wheel for third down and fourth up) – identical to the 203 and 403 (except that fourth gear is direct drive). The grand touring model has square air vents on the dashboard and body-coloured wheels.
Introduction of the Super Luxe model: Superstructure painted silver, chrome headlight rims, large diameter hubcaps, tan leather interior trim, front armrest. The grand touring model has body colour wheels replaced with metallic silver ones.
A new suspension with increased travel and flexibility was added. The dashboard was modified and square air vents were replaced by circular directional vents. New reinforced drum brake linings were installed. Anti-reflective paint was used for the dashboard.
Introduction of Commerciale, Break and seven-seat Family estate versions, with tandem coil spring rear suspension in the place of the sedan's single spring arrangement. These versions have a balanced spring system to assist in opening the tailgate, different rear light clusters, rear bumper arrangement and the fuel filler cap is no longer hidden behind the rear number plate, but behind a flap in the rear wing. These variants are also longer (4,590 mm [181 in] compared to 4,445 mm [175 in]) and heavier (1,190 kg [2,624 lb] compared to 1,100 kg [2,425 lb]) than their saloon equivalents.
The Peugeot 404 cabriolet/convertible made its first appearance at the Paris Motor Show in October 1961 and the accompanying coupé version was launched six months later. The convertible and coupé bodyshells were made by the Pinin Farina workshops in Turin and only the floorpan and mechanical elements were shared with the saloon. These models were initially powered by the same single carburetter engine as the saloon and the option of a fuel injected engine (XCKF1) with a Kugelfischer injection system was added to the range at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1962. The US$3,899 price in 1965 put the convertible in the same price bracket as the Jaguar E-Type in the American market.
The 404 Super Luxe sedan has the 86 PS (63 kW; 85 bhp) fuel injection engine (XCKF) and has door cappings trimmed with leather The 404 grand touring sedan adopts painted side window trims instead of chrome The steering wheel and horn ring change The Family estate gains a split middle row of seats to improve access to the rear row The 404 coupé is introduced with the same body as the cabriolet but with a fixed roof
The sedan carburetor engine adopts five bearings (XC5), as does the injection (XCKF1) Launch of the 404 diesel with Indenor engine (XD85), which is quickly replaced by the engine XD88, having a more powerful and reliable Bosch pump Rubber over-riders fitted on the bumper Bi-colour oval front indicator clusters fitted on coupés and convertibles (a similar design was used later on sedans and derivatives) 
Injection engine XCKF1 (86 PS [63 kW; 85 bhp]) replaced by XCKF2, with power increased to 97 PS (72 kW; 96 bhp). XC5 carburettor engine power increased to 77 PS (57 kW; 76 bhp). Thermostable Hydrovac brakes servo-assisted by a mechanical vacuum manufactured by Bendix. The Super Luxe, coupé and convertible get eight-hole wheel covers cells instead of six-hole ones. New seat pads for Grand Touring, with cloth quilted to form longitudinal ridges similar to the 404 Super Luxe. All models are given reclining front seats.
The Grand Touring saloon is available with the XCKF2 injection engine. It was also available with a ZF automatic gearbox. The front indicator light clusters are now orange / white on all models. Two tone door linings (black top and bottom) on all models. Cigarette lighter fitted on Super Luxe only. Brake compensator fitted on petrol models.
The new XC6 carburetor engine fitted with increased power of 69 PS (51 kW; 68 bhp) net (80 bhp SAE). The engine bearings benefitted from improved shells. Rear anti roll bar fitted. New dashboard with three round dials, steering wheel is no longer adjustable. The spare wheel is relocated from inside the boot to under rear of the car. The rear valance is amended (Saloon only) and the capacity of the petrol tank is increased from 50 to 55 L (11 to 12 imp gal; 13 to 15 US gal) (saloon). Cigarette lighter fitted on all models, Super Luxe has automatic light on lockable glovebox. The front of coupés and convertibles is redesigned, incorporating a new grille with integral driving lamps and rectangular indicator clusters. The convertible hood now has a "Panoramic" rear window and the seat mechanism is improved for better accessibility.
In March, unveiling of the Camionnette bâchée / Canvas Top Van (pick-up).
A 404 (8 CV) Comfort model is added to the range, having an identical 1,468 cc (89.6 cu in) engine displacement to the old 403 (although the engine is not from the 403, but a XC7, derived from the larger XC6 unit). It is an economy model, fitting into a lower French puissance fiscale (road tax) class than the 9 CV version. It has the former dashboard and bumpers without over riders. This is also the first model to benefit from front disc brakes. 8 CV cars are not imported into the UK, but some RHD models are produced for other markets. The last 404 Coupé and Cabriolet models were produced in October 1968, after a production run of 17,223 units.
Reversing lamps are fitted to Super Luxe. New gearbox with European grid (BA7) fitted on all models in place of "C3" box. New steering wheel, dashboard modified.
Peugeot launches the 504. 404 Injection no longer offered, new door interior panels introduced. Front disc brakes fitted on all petrol models.
In 1970, the 404 Super Luxe and 404 (8 CV) Comfort are discontinued, leaving the Grand Touring, Break and Family models to continue in petrol and diesel forms. The Grand Touring receives chrome headlight rims and reversing lights as standard. Wing-mounted indicator repeaters are no longer fitted. New XC7 engine fitted (de-tuned to 74 PS [54 kW; 73 bhp]), but with torque equivalent to XC6.
New front indicator clusters from 1971. Two-speed windscreen wipers introduced on the sedan 1972, with an optional rear screen demister.
Water temperature gauge is replaced by warning lamp on dashboard, grille shield is replaced by lion. The optional automatic transmission (which is now 6 positions: PRN 3 2 1) is available until the end of 1974. In May 1975, production of European passenger models ceased. By this time Peugeot customers in Europe strongly favoured the newer 304 and 504 models, and French 404 production was much reduced, with only 15,780 – all berlines/saloons/sedans produced during the first five months of 1975.
- 8 CV petrol: 1,468 cc (89.6 cu in) (60 PS [44 kW; 59 bhp]) (discontinued 1969–70)
- 9 CV petrol: 1,618 cc (98.7 cu in) for carbureted models (72 PS [53 kW; 71 bhp]) or KF, KF1 injection (85 PS [63 kW; 84 bhp] at 5,500 rpm), fuel economy: 10.8 L/100 km (26 mpg‑imp; 22 mpg‑US)
- 9 CV petrol: 1,618 cc (98.7 cu in) KF2 injection (96 PS [71 kW; 95 bhp] at 5,700 rpm).
- 8 CV Diesel: 1,948 cc (118.9 cu in) (64 PS [47 kW; 63 bhp]).
- Transmission: clutch disc or semi-automatic (Jaeger electromagnetic coupler) or ZF automatic.
- Suspension: Coil springs with hydraulic shock absorbers front and solid axle with Panhard rod at rear.
- Maximum speed: 167 km/h (104 mph) (fuel injected KF2 404 Cabriolet and Coupé)
The 404 was assembled in a number of countries besides France. It was manufactured by Safrar in Argentina (later Sevel) (162,583 cars built), and assembly took place in Australia (by the local Renault subsidiary – 8600 cars built), Belgium, Canada (about 3100 404 sedans were built at the SoMA plant shared with Renault), Chile (14,892 cars built), Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, New Zealand (2800 cars built), Nigeria, Portugal, Perú (by Braillard), Rhodesia, South Africa (79,045 cars built), and Uruguay.
In South Africa, where the 404 saloon continued in production until the end of 1978, the GL and Automatique versions received the more powerful 1.8-litre (110 cu in) XM7 engine also used in the 504. The GL also received front seats similar to those of the 504, as well as the 504's floor-mounted shifter with its characteristic bend. Late cars also have 504 steering wheels, as 404 parts were becoming scarce. The 404 Wagon was assembled until early 1976, when the supply of French CKD kits dried up.
The 404, especially in pickup form, is still a common sight in North and West Africa. The Argentinian-built 404 was available with both the 1.6 petrol and the diesel engine, in Standard or Luxe equipment levels. The Luxe featured sporty alloy wheels and a special grille with integrated extra lamps.
Surviving coupés and cabriolets
Le Club 404 (France) is conducting a worldwide inventory of remaining 404 Coupé and Cabriolet cars. 17,223 were built – both variants included – and on October 14, 2020, 2,406 of these cars have been identified. That is 14% of the total that were made. 1364 of those cars have associated photographs on the Register website of Le Club 404. The URL for adding any model of Peugeot 404 to the Register of Le Club 404 is listed below under "external links".
Road tests and press reviews
404 coupé injection
The 404 coupé with the desirable "KF2" fuel injected engine was tested by Motor magazine on December 4, 1965. The title of the article is "A First Class Job" and the rest of the article follows suit in praising the model, highlighting the car's remarkable performance and beauty. Even with 415 lb (188 kg) of driver and test equipment on board, the car posted a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) acceleration time of 12.2 seconds, 18.8 seconds in the standing start 1⁄4 mile (0.40 km) and a top speed of 105.2 mph (169.3 km/h). Fuel economy (over a shorter test distance than usual) was 23.8 mpg‑imp (11.9 L/100 km; 19.8 mpg‑US), which the author suggests would have improved had the usual test distance been completed. The punitive British taxes of the 1960s made this a very expensive car indeed, equivalent in cost to a Jaguar Mark X. Overall the conclusions of the review were that it was an excellent car.
Autocar magazine tested the 96 hp (97 PS; 72 kW) fuel injected KF2 version of the 404 saloon/sedan in the spring of 1965. The testers summarized the car as follows: "100 MPH maximum and high cruising speeds; very well developed fuel injection giving easy starting and moderate fuel consumption; powerful fade-free drum brakes; accurate steering and good compromise suspension; comfortable seating with leather trim; sun-roof a standard fitting; priced rather high in the U.K." Mean maximum speed was measured at 100 mph (160 km/h) with a best leg of 101 mph (163 km/h); the standing start 1⁄4 mile (0.40 km) was measured at 18.8 seconds. Overall fuel consumption was 25.1 mpg‑imp (11.3 L/100 km; 20.9 mpg‑US).
Canada Track & Traffic Magazine also tested the Peugeot 404 with fuel injection in their May 1965 issue. The testers measured a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 12.1 seconds, with a top speed of 98 mph (158 km/h). A good cruising speed is 85 mph (137 km/h), according to the article. "It is difficult to single out any one aspect of the Peugeot as being outstanding, for in truth the whole car is outstanding." The writer concludes with: "To summarize, we can only say that the Peugeot 404 is a car that we find almost impossible to criticize, from any standpoint. It is a car that ideally combines comfort, quality and economy. In short, it is the kind of car one can buy with absolute confidence and drive and drive and drive, for longevity comes with quality in the case of Peugeot."
The 404 saloon was tested by Motor magazine in 1968. The styling was criticised as square cut, perpendicular and appearing rather dated, while the interior was considered "austere" compared to British cars of the time (the article includes a performance comparison with the Triumph 2000, Ford Corsair 2000E and Humber Sceptre). However, great praise is given for build quality, with the article stating that the car is suitable for African safaris and Arctic gales alike.
The 404 was tested (in Family estate form) by Motor magazine in 1965. The car's quirks (the unusual original column-shift gearbox gate and awkward body roll at low speed) are listed. Build quality was praised and the interior described as "quietly tasteful", although the authors felt that the appeal of the car was limited.
The car was tested again by Motor magazine five years later. The article is critical of the car's styling, calling it "square cut" and "hardly avant garde", but then relents and opts for "mature rather than dated" as its final comment. The ride is reported to improve as loading and speed increase. Of some concern to the testers was the driver's difficulty in reaching the handbrake when wearing a fixed seat-belt – inertia reel type belts would not have this problem. Alternative cars were listed as the Citroen Safari and Volvo 145. The car is described as having been used by one reader to transport the driver and 12 children.
During the 1960s Peugeot, along with Mercedes-Benz, were pioneering large scale production of diesel engined passenger cars. The British "Autocar" magazine tested a Peugeot 404 Diesel in November 1965. The car had a top speed of 81 mph (130 km/h) and accelerated from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 25.5 seconds. An "overall" fuel consumption of 32.2 mpg‑imp (8.8 L/100 km; 26.8 mpg‑US) was recorded. This compared with a top speed of 88 mph (142 km/h), a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 20 seconds and an overall fuel consumption of 32.2 mpg‑imp (8.8 L/100 km; 26.8 mpg‑US) for the petrol version of the car which had recently been tested by the same journal and which (albeit without the diesel car's rev limiter) had exactly the same gear ratios. In terms of performance the Peugeot comfortably outperformed the diesel Austin Cambridge and the Mercedes Benz 190D also included in the comparison. The slower Austin nonetheless won on fuel economy. In terms of price, the 404 diesel was offered in the UK at £1,396 as against £1,093 for its petrol fuelled sibling. The manufacturer's recommended price for the Austin was just £875. The slower heavier Mercedes was not really pitched at the same market segment, being priced in the UK at £2,050. The testers described the Peugeot 404 Diesel as 'the fastest diesel yet'. They reported the characteristic diesel rattle when idling and the 'roar at high revs', but found the performance 'very reasonable'. They commended the sure-footed road holding, good steering, powerful fade-free brakes, the comfortable seats, the very good fuel economy and the prospect for a 'long attention-free life'.
The 404 Diesel was tested again (in Family estate form) by Autocar magazine six years later. Top speed was improved on the previous test, 82 mph (132 km/h), but acceleration to 60 mph (97 km/h) was poorer at 26.8 seconds. Notable features in the report were that the test car had broken two speedometer cables during testing. They mention its size twice: "wonderfully roomy" and "a big car for big men". The cars "oddities" are listed as the reverse-acting gearbox gate, window-sill door locks and windscreen wiper controls.
Peugeot 404s won the Safari Rally in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1968, the latter three in Kugelfischer fuel-injected variants. In 2014, a 1963 Peugeot 404 was entered in a 24 Hours of LeMons race at Thunderhill Raceway Park, ran reliably through the 2-day event, and won the event's Index of Effluency award.
- Austin A60 and Morris Oxford, visually similar cars designed by Pininfarina for British Motor Corporation
- Fiat 1100 D and its Indian derivative the Premier Padmini
- "Changes during building period". 404.tin.at. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- Davis, Pedr (1986), The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, p. 362
- Howard, Tony, ed. (June 1979). "From the Marketplace". SA Auto. Pretoria, South Africa. 1 (10): 21.
- World Cars 1972. Bronxville, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. 1972. p. 402. ISBN 0-910714-04-5.
- "Behind the glitter of Paris: Show Report". Car Magazine. December 1965. pp. 27–30.
- "La Production". Le Club 404 (in French). Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- "évolution de 404 1960–67". 404peugeot.free.fr (in French). Retrieved 2009-09-01.
- • Commerciale / Station Wagon (gasoline U6 and Diesel U6D): June;
• Familiale / Family Saloon/Estate (L): September;
• Break / Estate Car (U6A): February 1963;
• Camionette bâchée / Canvas Top Van (U8, U8D, U10 & U10D): March 1967.
See "Tableau des tranches de numéros de châssis" (in French). Le Club 404. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1962 (salon Paris oct 1961). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. 19: 42. 2001.
- Wright, Cedric, ed. (August 1968). "Peugeot 404 Sedan (with XC-6 engine)". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 12 no. 7. Cape Town, South Africa: Central News Agency Ltd. pp. 42–43.
- Tom Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Club Peugeot UK – 404 page". Clubpeugeotuk.org. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1975 (salon Paris Oct 1974). Paris: Histoire & collections. Nr. Spécial 72: 39. 2005.
- "Newsletter 10-2011" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Wright, Cedric, ed. (August 1978). "Passenger cars - Vital statistics". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 22 no. 7. Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) ltd. pp. 141–142.
- Howard, Tony (October 1976). "Peugeot's 'Economy' 504". SA Motor. Cape Town, South Africa: Scott Publications: 22.
- Costa, André & Georges-Michel Fraichard, ed. (September 1980). "Salon 1980: Toutes les Voitures du Monde". l'Auto Journal (in French). Paris: Homme N°1 (14 & 15): 225. M1117.
- "A First Class Job". The Motor. 4 December 1965.
- "Peugeot 404 KF2 Super Luxe 1618 c.c Autocar Road Test Number 2024". The Autocar. 23 April 1965. pp. 803–808.
- "Gum-booted refinement Motor Test 10/68". The Motor. 9 March 1968.
- "Peugeot Family Estate Motor Test 19/65". The Motor. 8 May 1965.
- "Car comfort, minibus load Motor Test 26/70". The Motor. 27 June 1970.
- "Built to do the donkey work". The Times. 13 March 1973. pp. Supplement, page III.
- "Autotest – Peugeot 404 Diesel". Autocar. 26 November 1965. pp. 1133–1137.
- "Brief Test Peugeot 404 Family Estate (diesel)". Autocar. 8 July 1971. pp. 16–17.
- "Page not found error". Concepts and Design. Peugeot. Retrieved 23 March 2017. Cite uses generic title (help)
- Martin Brunner's Peugeot 404 site Includes photographs and manufacturer publicity material (primary source material)
- Technical information about Peugeot 404 (French) Includes manufacturer's original literature (primary source material)
- Coche Argentino Facts and figures about 404 production in Argentina
- Le Club 404 Registry homepage Site for the worldwide Peugeot 404 Registry, and to add your 404 to the Registry
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