Introduced as a replacement for the ever popular 404 series, the Peugeot 504 made its public debut at the 1968 Paris Salon motor show.
It’s new Pininfarina designed body immediately captured people’s attention, and it’s conservative mechanical underpinnings were designed with comfort and durability in mind.
The formula was simple: longitudinally mounted engine at the front, rear wheel drive via a manual or automatic gearbox and torque tube, MacPherson struts at the front, Coilovers at the back, rack-and-pinion steering, and disc brakes all-round.
But the execution was outstanding. The car was universally praised for being one of the most robust, reliable and comfortable saloons on the market, and was duly awarded European Car Of The Year for 1969.
Given these credentials, it’s hardly surprising that the 504 quickly gained a huge following, not only in Europe, but also in the developing nations, where terrain was rough and durability was valued above all else.
And it’s a testament to this popularity that the Peugeot 504 was still being produced in parts of Africa as recently as 2006 (!), at which time well over 3 million examples had been produced worldwide.
The same attributes that contributed to the 504’s success in the public domain: robust design, strong suspension, reliable powertrain etc, also lead to its success as an endurance rally car.
Unlike the shorter, faster European sprint-type rallies that were dominated by the likes Lancia and Alpine-Renault, with their Stratos and A110 respectively, the longer, more arduous endurance rallies of the Africa continent called for an entirely different approach.
And it was in this environment that the Peugeot 504 excelled…
This Peugeot 504 may well be an evocation of the 1975 East African Safari winning car, but don’t be mistaken, this is no fake. This is the real deal.
Built by experienced rally car preparation specialist, Paul Waller of Rally Torque, Australia, this 504 has been designed to cope with the toughest of endurance rallies.
The original 4-door saloon was first taken down to a complete bare shell, before being seamed welded and strengthened in all the necessary places.
The drivetrain was tuned for maximum torque down low, with the engine being completely rebuilt and balanced by a local specialist.
The Peking To Paris event was very much part of the car’s design brief, and so every element of the car has been configured with that in mind.
The 5-speed gearbox was fully stripped and rebuilt (gear ratios unchanged), while the differential ratio was altered and a Quaife torque bias device fitted.
The 1971cc OHV inline-4 engine’s capacity was kept the same – with the 2-litre class in mind – while the front and rear suspension set-ups were completely overhauled.
Both the front and rear ends received new struts and dampers from MCA, and the rear turrets were lengthened to accommodate longer dampers.
The entire wiring system was modified with rallying in mind, and the uprated exhaust system was re-routed through the body of the car to avoid unnecessary exposure to the terrain beneath the car.
The car is kitted out with a full array of rally focused gadgetry, including:
Powerful Air Conditioning System (worth its weight in gold on some of the tougher rallies)
Stilo WRC DES 9V Intercom System
Custom Dash Ignition Timing
Monit G-100+ GPS Rally Computer
QuickCar Master Battery Disconnect Switch
Spare Alternator and Radiotor Fan (strapped to roll cage)
Electric Fridge between Driver and Passenger Seats
Smartphone Mounting System
Garmin Navigation Mounting System
6 x Braid Fullrace T Acropolis Motorsport Wheels
6 x Pirelli Scorpion Tires
Twin 57L Fuel Tanks
Comprehensive Spares Package
All things considered, this is a purpose built historic rally car capable of competing at the highest level.
This specific car is currently registered in Australia, but is located with us here in Bicester.
It has competed on the international historic endurance rally stage several times, with notable appearances at the 2012 London To Cape Town and 2019 Peking To Paris:
Whilst doing our research on the car, we were lucky enough to talk with the man responsible for maintaining and recommissioning the car after these long distance events. He explained to us:
Usually when a car comes back from something like the Peking To Paris rally, a huge amount of work costing tens of the thousands of pounds is required to straighten the car out. Do you know how much this cost me to repair after the 2019 event? £2500… and most of that was just precautionary! That shows you how strong the car is.
The hero-era package
Through our partnership with Hero-Era, we have managed to include with the purchase of the car:
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