Anniversary: the Peugeot 604 is 40 this year.

Large and lovely, the Peugeot 604 was launched amidst an economic crisis and a sharp upward turn in the price of oil. Today, PSA is largely ignoring a car noted for its outstanding ride, superb steering and odd seating position.

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Peugeot are not making a very big deal about the 604 which was launched in 1975. Peugeot´s museum throws the anniversary in with about nine others when they throw a party this summer. If you want to catch a bit of 604 magic, Peugeot might have one on display at Montlhery race track on May 2nd this year. French Cars in America are also silent on the topic. And that´s all a Google search threw up on the matter. 

As a long standing admirer of this car, I find it just a bit of a pity that PSA have not decided to rehabilitate it now that so much time has passed and so much water has flowed under the bridge. Citroen has accepted the CX as part of its heritage. Yes, the CX was a long-lived and successful car while the 604´s career nose-dived after the first four years. However, the 604 did set a benchmark that other makers surely targeted when their entrants in the market were being developed. For that much Peugeot could be justifiably pleased.

Over the years I´ve written a fair amount about this car and so I am reluctant to add some more other than that the recent urge I had to test drive an 1984 Opel Senator was driven by my interest in the 604’s peers.  If I can´t have a 604 then maybe a Senator might do. Autocar viewed the Senator has having a suspension biased towards sporty handling and I found it to be very acceptable, if possibly slightly arthritic on account of tired bushes. If the 604 is better than that, and its accommodation even more comfortable than the very pleasing Senator, then I think by the time I do get around to testing a 604, it will be something of a revelation.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

1 thought on “Anniversary: the Peugeot 604 is 40 this year.”

  1. Heritage is a funny thing. Those company that don’t have any are desperate to invent one, whereas those that do can’t always figure out what to do with it…
    In the case of Peugeot, however good the 604 was, it’s not as if it was particularly successful let alone captured the public’s imagination. More importantly, it’s been mostly downhill for the last 20 years as far as their attempts at making large cars are concerned, so it’s kind-of undertstandable that they don’t feel like they have much to celebrate, which is kind of sad.

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