Ashtrays: 1975 Peugeot 604

A lot has been written about the car but nothing has been said about its ashtrays.

1975 Peugeot 604 dashboard
1975 Peugeot 604 dashboard: where is the ashtray?

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?

1975 Peugeot 604 console
1975 Peugeot 604 console

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.

1975 Peugeot 604 driver's ashtray
1975 Peugeot 604 driver’s ashtray: not that big.

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.

1975 Peugeot 604 passenger door ashtray
1975 Peugeot 604 passenger door ashtray
... open. Handy, small.
… open. Handy, small.

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.

1975 Peugeot 604 rear passenger ashtray, centre.
1975 Peugeot 604 rear passenger ashtray, centre.

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.]

Author: richard herriott

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

6 thoughts on “Ashtrays: 1975 Peugeot 604”

  1. Does anyone (apart from me) see in the 604’s instrument binnacle a precursor to the current Mercedes-Benz IP design? Dump the twin air vents, slap in an liquid-crystal infotainment screen. QED. I thank you…

    1. And does anybody else spot the inverted NACA-shaped centre console? Or that 604 badge worthy of a Star Wars rip-off’s poster?

  2. Philistines, the lot of you. I agree that the dashboard is not close to great but it all works well. And once you’re in motion you forget that and revel in the wonderful steering and ride. If you’re in the back then you’re sitting in the best seats the 70s had to offer. Only the XM – perhaps – gets close in a newer car.

    1. I have to come out in favour of old Peugeot dashboards, but for the lowest reasons. When I hired a 504 Estate in France, after my van expired, I realised that the horrendous mileage charges that were in place back then were beyond my means. It took just five of minutes to pop out the console and disconnect the speedo drive, then just five more to reconnect it. Well. it was the 70s – we were all bent back then. I imagine a Mercedes would have been a far trickier proposition.

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