Had to go look at a 405 for a mate of mine today at a car yard.
Absolute doll of a car. The mate has been a very big Jap fan over the years but has been looking sideways at Froggys since I took him for a very fast 600 klm round trip in my CX a few years back. Eventually built up the courage to have a go at something Froggy but not quite game to go the hog & tackle the "eccentrics" of Citroen which is fair enough.
Went into the yard as arranged, saw the chief tyre kicker & introduced myself. Very obligingly put the car up on the hoist & then took it for a drive. During the drive, it came about that I knew the owner of the Yard, father of the guy selling the car and as a resukt we got down onto a more personal footing. Seems the old man had just bought a new Merc 180 after owning a 280 for many years. He was also a former large Toyota franchise dealer (which in Regional areas at least usually means that a Merc franchise is almost an as of right thing)
About the time he was negotiating the deal, the 405 arrived on the scene. Son says to father "have you driven that Peugeot?" father says to son "Why?" Son says to father "I think you'd like it enough to want to own it." Father laughs.
Father buys Merc. Son clobbers Peugeot to go on holidays. Father grabs Peugeot as son is about to leave using lack of stock as reason. Son returns from holidays to find father driving Peugeot. Son complains bitterly as he was travelling over some big distances. Father admits that he prefers driving Peugeot to Merc and gives reasons; better performance, better comfort, better handling, better fuel consumption, better visibility - "Shit mate!! Why did you let me buy that bloody Merc!!!!???" Car is kept off lot for a few weeks whilst a family feud starts to develop over who is going to end up with the Pug. which is eventually solved when the family matriarc steps in with the wisdom of age and declares that the Pug was bought to be sold through the yard and that is exactly what is going to happen!
This then starts another argument as to why the son can't buy it for himself or the fathers wife as her transport. "put it on the lot & let's see what happens" is the decision. On it goes just as the mats drives past & thinks what a great looking car it really is, which is where I came in.
Now it would be easy to think that this was a nicely contrived story being played out for the benefit of a buyer, but I know friends of the family & they had told me about this before I heard about it first hand. It is still in the lap of the gods if they will in fact sell the car & I can tell you from trying to screw them down and/or take a trade-in, that if the mate was to decide not to buy, there would be no tears lost in the dealers household.
When you consider the legendary discrimination against French cars, this really is an amazing story, don't you agree?

Alan S

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