Peugeot launched their 504 saloons and estate in the Autumn of 1968, as a long-term replacement for the 404 series, which were still in production.

Both models would compete against each other for several years going into the Seventies.

The timing of the launch of the 504 could have been better with France in the grip of civil unrest, causing the domestic market to go into the doldrums.

However, within a year, things cooled down, and the 504 went on to become a top seller, voted Europe's Car of the Year in 1969.

At the time, the rear-wheel-drive, four-door sedan (saloon) was considered a step forward from the 404 in general quality, ride, visibility, and refinement.

The basic platform was used for a 504 sedan, station wagon (estate), coupe, convertible, and a pickup truck.

The 504’s standard column-mounted, four-speed manual gearshift and sunroof were looked upon a being rather cosmopolitan.

Engines and specifications gradually improved throughout the 504's production scan.

Improvements included the introduction of a diesel engined version, a powerful luxury V6, and a four-wheel-drive version.

The 504 had a robust suspension that could take massive potholes and undulations in its stride.

The 504 convertible when launched caused a bit of a stir as it was a far cry from the ugly-duckling saloon and later estate models.

The eight-seat Familiale option and fold-flat rear bench made them immensely useful, and even today a few examples can still be seen in action on in emerging markets such as North Africa, where they earned a tremendous reputation for being robust and easy-to-repair runabouts.

Petrol engines were either 1.8-litre (110 cu in) or 2-litre (120 cu in) fours, both with adequate performance and a fuel-injection system offered as an option from launch.

A 2-litre (120 cu in) diesel was also available, initially borrowed from the 403 until a much-improved 2.1- (128 cu in) and more powerful 2.3-litre (140 cu in) unit appeared from 1977 onwards.

Production ended in 1983 when the 505 came out, by which time more than three million of this excellent dual purpose workhorse had been sold worldwide.

The 504 lived on in the rest of the world, with the model's frontal bodywork and engines continuing until 1993 in delivery van or pick-up mode.

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