1969 Peugeot 304 4 cylinder petrol from Germany
A comfortable, surefooted, safe and stylish family car
I had two: 1971 and 1969, I believe.
The first one had electrical issues because the previous owner wrongly wired the voltage regulator. It pulled to the side and had a rusted out exhaust and body rust.
The second one, the older one, had a lot of body rust. I totaled it (sorry for that) before other issues surfaced.
I really liked these cars. The engines were powerful for their days and loved to rev. They had SOHC engines with rockers. These engines outclassed the more common pushrod design back in those days. Coming from a VW1300 Beetle, they placed me into a new automotive era. They were also easy to work on. I once changed a head gasket on a 304 for a friend.
They were incredibly comfortable on any road and the autobahn. They had independent suspension on all corners, front wheel drive, McPherson struts, transverse mounted engine, brake booster. There was significant under-steer, but it was very predictable. It excelled in rain, snow and wind. The 4 speed steering column shifter and hydraulic clutch operated as smooth as butter.
They were well equipped for their time, and offered plenty of interior space. The second had fake leather seats. The vinyl was so good, a lot of people thought it was real leather. It also had a fake walnut dashboard with a rectangular band speedometer. It felt luxurious. The newer one had grey velour seats, three round instruments and a brushed aluminum dash board, giving it a utilitarian feel. Both had monaural radios.
There were 2 things I would have wanted improved: the unassisted steering was very indirect, and the wind noises were rather severe at autobahn speeds.
They were truly modern cars then. Today, I consider them classic modern family touring sedans.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 28th October, 2011
28th Oct 2011, 18:12
They had 304s way back in 69's? Great cars... never had a 304, had 204, 404, 504, 309, and soon a 508SW.
2nd Nov 2011, 10:08
Yes, according to Wikipedia, the 304 was unveiled at the the Paris Auto Salon in September 1969. The 304 had the cabin of the 204, but a larger trunk and a restyled front.