Disconnected Ramblings

I just came back from hosting the Indonesian delegate to the Air and Space Power Conference in Canberra and in July I'm off to Darwin to host the Spanish contingent in Darwin - the beauty of holding language competencies :)
 
I'll leave my posting on this thread for a while. I don't think there is much interest in the detail of serious 203 or Peugeot research.
You are creating your very own history channel.
I find it enjoyable, and, when time permits will be trawling through it further, purely out of interest. 👍
Please continue.

Here's something different?
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1966 French built RHD Citroen DS21 Pallas sedan.
Currently for sale on Gumtree in Sydney, if anyone is interested.
(Not mine)
 
Australian volunteer driver Olive Sherrington with her Peugeot in France 1940. The War Memorial calls it a 202 but I make it a 402 DK5.
Olive (known as Sherry to the men) was a widow holidaying in Paris when war broke out. She volunteered as a driver and was appointed to the Mechanised Transport Corps. After Dunkirk there was a rush to get remaining British forces in France out. She did a flat out dash with wounded soldiers and British civilians to Bordeaux and a port beyond it. The evacuation of remaining British forces was dangerous and sometimes ended in disaster such as the sinking of the overcrowded liner Lancastria as it left St Nazaire. Her party found a ferry and reached England safely. Olive was awarded a Brave Conduct award by the King. She returned after Normandy and advanced with the British Army into Germany.
She once organised a party for 350 hungry Dutch children who had just been liberated. The British soldiers gave up their rations to give each child two boiled lollies, a quarter block of chocolate and a bully beef sandwich.
A remarkable woman certainly but typical of so many of her generation.
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Another yellowing document that gives a lot of useful information about imports into Australia. Most lists group European cars together under Continental because there were so few. Note this doesn't include commercials. Interestingly this gives the wartime sales. I'll wager that the 20 DKW's sold in 1946 had been sitting since 1939. Figures can vary a little according to list. WA didn't include figures from remote areas. Import figures were compiled separately to registrations. Paul Playoust's uncle was a wool buyer who privately imported a 202. Some swear it was around NSW late 1946 but the figures say 1947. The Delahaye was the three thousand pound supercar of the day. Citroen had quite a good business going for a couple of years because of a pricing anomaly. The Light 15 was only fifty pounds more than a 203. Packard was seen as a very desirable American and Humber as the British car that could take the Australian bush. The 1949 figure for Peugeot includes perhaps half a dozen 203's.
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deja vu maybe, but in this resolution?
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uploaded to facebook thanks to Will Brekin.
 

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A few comments on the 1952 summary. Note the decline in American sales, from 46% down to 11%, being replaced by the rise in Holden sales. European sales bumped along at 3 to 4%. 1952 was the year of import restrictions. Only 60% of 1951 imports. Skoda really hit the wall in 1952. The Tatraplan had been a great success at the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show and lots of orders taken, No cars ever arrived. The last 12 Morgan three wheelers were sent to Australia - are they these?
The fall in Peugeot sales seems severe - 1448 down to 572 - but these are sedans. In the Commercials (which I'll post next) there are 422 commercials. This is an unusually high proportion of commercials to sedans,. It would appear the importers ordered a good number of commercials to promote and were caught short on sedan orders when the restrictions were announced. So there aren't a lot of 1952 sedans about but more commercials. Were dealerships full of unsold 203 commercials? Anecdotally no. When Basil Moran and his father made their regular visit to Canada Cycle & Motor Company in 1952 to check the progress of the mythical Dodge Utility they had paid a deposit on in 1950, they asked if there was anything they could take home that day. The only new car for sale was a 203 decouvrable, which they bought.
Note in the commercials we find Greenpeace's Reliants.
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Kriewaldts had the Peugeot agency in PNG from the 1950's. Looking back over the years Peugeot success in a market always relied on an active marketing campaign run by a person who knew and liked the cars. An enthusiast if you will. Tom Knowles in England, Walt Worron in the U.S., A.W.B. Mather and Alec Chapman in Australia, Jimmy Feeney in East Africa. Perhaps we can include Rob Domerson who knew how to sell Peugeots? Half hearted marketing always sees the make languish.
Kriewaldt certainly was a Peugeot enthusiast. He entered a 203 in the 1955 Redex. He crashed and ripped the passenger door off. The anecdote is that he wanted to continue over the Alps in winter without a passenger door but the navigator refused. Although PNG was an Australian colony cars could be imported under a more favorable regime which meant they got full imports and models we didn't see. Like the 204 and 404 KF2's. A KF2 imported to Ballarat in 1967 carried a formidable $4000 price tag. A PNG KF2 was $1000 less.
In the late 1960's Wheels Magazine carried an article " we drive the first Australian Peugeot 204". Not quite an Australian release. Cars headed to PNG were unloaded in Sydney and re-shipped probably by Burns Philp. The journalist had found a few Peugeots sitting on the wharf including the 204 and a 404KF2. Somehow he got permission to take it off the wharf and out to the country for a run. He wasn't impressed with the ground clearance which was excellent and thought it more like an R4 than the ground hugging Morris 1100. Most of the small number of 204's in Australia came via PNG.
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note Mike T. content :

See Why The 1960-'75 Peugeot 404 Was A Favorite Of Enzo Ferrari​

How to drive like Il Commendatore without spending a fortune​

David LaChance
05/15/2024

You say you want to drive like Enzo Ferrari, but don't have the wherewithal to park a prancing stallion in your garage? The Peugeot 404 just might be what you're looking for.
No, sensible French family sedans aren't the equivalent of V-12 exotics, but they were the preferred daily transportation of Il Commendatore, as the 2023 movie "Ferrari" reminds us. That's verified in an interview with Dino Tagliazucchi, Ferrari’s personal driver, published in the spring 2013 edition of the Italian Peugeot Club magazine. Tagliazucchi, who began working for Ferrari in 1966, recalled that the boss drove a metallic gray 404 sedan with beige leather upholstery and a radio, and fitted with fog lamps from a Lancia Flaminia. There were other Peugeots before and after it, including a 404 station wagon used by the Ferrari racing team. What was behind Enzo's preference for the products of Sochaux? It's probable that the link was designer Battista Pininfarina, who worked for both companies and with whom he had a close relationship.
Launched in 1969, the unit-body 404 was in some ways an updated version of the previous family car, the 403, although the two would be produced side-by-side for six years. Derived from the 403’s engine, the 404’s alloy-head, wet-liner XC four featured three main bearings and an oversquare 84 mm x 73 mm bore and stroke. Breathing through a one-barrel Solex carburetor, the four was rated at 72 horsepower, enough to push the boxy sedan through the air at 88 mph. The engine was canted over at 45 degrees, allowing for a lower hood line. The drivetrain employed a four-speed manual transmission, and torque-tube drive to the rear axle.
Photo: Courtesy of Artcurial
For the passengers, there were pillowy seats in the French tradition, upholstered in cloth or vinyl. The driver got no tachometer, but could gaze upon a 160-kph speedometer, gauges for gas level and engine temperature, an ammeter, and a trip odometer while gripping the big, plastic steering wheel. Gear changes were accomplished with a lever on the column.
Conservative Peugeot took a slow but steady approach to developing the 404. In 1961, it added an upmarket convertible version, sending basic platforms to Pininfarina's factory in Grugliasco, a suburb of Turin, for the construction of the bodies and interiors. An 85-hp injected version of the four, equipped with a Kugelfischer mechanical pump, was developed for the Cabriolet, but was also made available for the sedan.
1962 saw the introduction of a strikingly handsome coupe version, also designed and constructed by Pininfarina. A station wagon variant, with a longer wheelbase and redesigned rear suspension, arrived in 1963, followed by the introduction of an 86-hp, 1,948-cc diesel four in 1964. A diesel 404 Cabriolet converted into a single-seater hardtop captured 40 international speed and distance records at Montlhéry the following year.
Photo: Courtesy of Artcurial
Demand was sufficient to keep the 404 in production through 1975, with regular improvements in horsepower, efficiency, and braking performance. The range was rounded out with the launch of a pickup version in 1967. Peugeot made an effort to sell the 404 to Americans, especially during the early 1960s, taking out full-page ads in Road & Track and other enthusiast magazines. When R&T publisher John R. Bond called the Peugeot "one of the seven best made cars in the world," it was a compliment the manufacturer delighted in repeating.
Bond wasn't alone. The motoring press generally liked the 404, praising its combination of restrained good looks, first-rate build quality, noise isolation, assured handling, and willing engine. Bill Boddy, reviewing the 404 for the British magazine The Motor, called it "generally a splendid car, offering exceptional value for money," calling particular attention to its practicality, ruggedness, and excellent finish. It was the 404 that helped cement Peugeot's reputation for durability through rallying, with four wins in the East Africa Safari Rally alone.
Photo: Courtesy of Artcurial
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. Mike Tippett, who administers a global registry for Le Club 404, estimates that about 29,000 404s came to the U.S., and another 12,000 to Canada. Just over 4,000 vehicles worldwide are accounted for in the registry.
NADA/J.D. Power shows an average market value of $4,375 for the sedan, while three 404s—body style unspecified, but probably coupes or convertibles—have been listed for sale on Hemmings.com over the past three years, with asking prices of $13,900 to $20,000. The carbureted example shown here was sold for the equivalent of $19,500 by French auction house Artcurial in November 2021.

Specifications - Peugeot 404*​

Photo: Courtesy of Artcurial
Engine: OHV inline-four, 1,618 cc (98.7-cu.in.), single Solex downdraft carburetor; 76 hp at 5,500 rpm, 96 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm
Transmission: Four-speed manual/three-speed ZF automatic
Suspension: Front - MacPherson struts, single lower wishbones; Rear - rigid axle with coil springs and stabilizer bar
Brakes: Four-wheel drum
Wheelbase: 104.3 inches
Curb weight: 2,480 pounds
Price new: $2,575-$2,699
Value today: $7,300-$17,500**
*Figures are for a 1965-’66 404 sedan with a carbureted engine.
**Source: Classic Data GMBH
 
Renault made a major marketing mistake to not continue production of the 404 sedan in Heidelberg alongside the 504. A real Renault marketing decision, drop it in favor of the 404 ute that had no established market and was priced over the competition. Then send cab/chassis without trays up to country dealers and wonder why farmers didn't take them home. There wasn't a fenced compound in West Heidelberg that wasn't packed with white or green utes. Took two years to clear the stock, at big discounts.
The last half dozen 404 sedans that sat in the Renault yard waiting for parts weren't sold until 1972. Went for $3200 instead of the list $2550. Finish on them wasn't great and they spent two years in the open.
At a dealer conference in Melbourne early 1970's the Peugeot dealers asked for the 304 to replace the 404 but Renault wasn't interested.
 
The 504 wasn't a replacement for the 404 in the way the 404 was for the 403. It was a move into a larger, more expensive class. The 404 remained on sale in France, eventually to be replaced by the 304 and the unfortunate 305. Car company executives are always keen to move into higher price categories with higher profits with little regard for the loyal established clientele. Renault Australia saw their future in the mass production of the R12 and the 504 being an up market high profit model. In 1973 when the 504 retail price was around mid $5000 there was an assemblers profit of $600 on it.
The pricing of the 504 was seriously muddled up by Renault. Inflation was rising in 1970 and it's unlikely the $2550 pricing on the 404 could be maintained. The 504 was introduced at $3380 which was a serious enough price increase to put it beyond the buyer who could afford a Holden. But the company didn't understand Australian import laws. They assumed that because it was a new model they had a period of some months to bring the car up to 50% Australian content. So the 1800's were being sold with 25% local content. Nobody bothered to look up the definition of a new model. There had to be a certain change in engine capacity. As far as Customs and Excise were concerned the 504 was not a new model, there was no period of grace and a bill of $1 million in import duties was presented to Renault. The price of the 504 was immediately increased to $3880. Australia was moving into a period of inflation, later stagflation, so the price was off and running. Buying a new Peugeot had become an expensive business.
 
A group of people stored some old Peugeots at a property at Kilsyth many years ago. When the site was redeveloped they all had to be crushed. A bulldozer came in to do the job and it turned out the 404 wagon had the strongest roof of all, the dozer sat there for a fair while, may not have been a 403 there.
 
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