A lot has been written about the car but nothing has been said about its ashtrays.
It is with profound pleasure that DTW presents the ashtrays of the legendary 1975 Peugeot 604. What we find is that the car lives up to its reputation of all-around excellence coupled with a few idiosyncracies. We’ll be presenting a full review of the car later on this month. In the meantime let’s not focus on the ride, handling or strange driving position. What if you want to look at some other aspect of the car?
With the 604 you start in the rear passenger area. President Valery Giscard d’Estaing chain-smoked his way through the late 70s in a cabin such as this.
On the left and right doors are lower-horizontally hinged pull-out trays at precisely the right height. They are not on the armrest where they are inaccessible and not down too low by your knees as on the Mercedes W-123. The downside is that they are not especially deep.
However, in the centre console there is a dainty chromed drawer-type ashtray which is easily reached and fitted with a considerable perch for any cigar or cigarette. The silver cylinder is a clock. Since the car dates from the 1970s nobody thought to provide illumination.
For the driver and front passenger Peugeot fitted a high-mounted drawer-type ashtray. This struck me as being sensibly positioned and easy to access. I’d estimate the volume as around 60 mls. The action of the ashtray was not terribly slick but I think that a little oil might rectify that. I couldn’t ascertain if it had a light. If anyone can fill me in on this I’d be pleased.
Overall Peugeot did quite a good job of providing passengers and drivers with well-located places for their ash. Much can be learned from this kind of attention to detail and goes to show, yet again, the Peugeot once offered very competitive and well-considered designs. As the writers at Motor Trend said in 1977, nothing was left to chance on the design of this remarkable car.
[Thanks very much to Urs-Christoph Ernst at Faire-Gebraucht in Freiburg, Germany, for very kindly providing the car for this article. He has a fantastic collection of Renault 4s and I will be dealing with that car soon as part of this series.]