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American Dream in a French voiture

Sameer Wahba is a Peugeot enthusiast, lives in California and works as a self-employed car haulier. He sometimes comes across a particle on four wheels. In the US, a Peugeot is not a daily appearance on the street. Many Peugeot’s in the US have been scrapped while some cars have been preserved. Similarly, the white 505 manual 2.3 turbo diesel from Sameer from 1982. Perhaps the sunny climate of this US state and caring first owner saved this 505. In an online interview, Sameer talks extensively about the 505 that stole his heart.

How did this 505 end up in your garage?

“The previous owner was an acquaintance of mine. He never wanted to sell the 505 – with MOMO handlebars. It was the first daily car they could afford after the family immigrated to the US. The car was bought by them in 1984 and they drove it until 1995 with a total of 119,000 miles on the odometer, or about 191,000 kilometers. Then the car came to a standstill for a very long time. Neatly stored in the garage. I have tried many times to buy the car but that didn’t work. Until last year. The car is in excellent condition, although I had to replace the necessary parts after 25 years of inactivity. It is a unique car and it drives super.”

“The car is now in top condition. The white paint is untouched and the lovely blue velvet seats are still intact despite the many kilometers the car has driven. You can see that the car has been treated with care. That is understandable. The first owner emigrated to the US and this car was cherished as a great luxury. The American Dream in a French car.”

Do you often come across a Peugeot on the road?

“Not really. This car is also the first encounter with a 505. When I go out by car people often look at the car twice. Many Americans have never heard of Peugeot, let alone seen one. Classic Peugeot’s are now a rarity in the US, so enthusiasts often do not live around the corner but are spread over different States. I have known a few owners with a 504 or a 505 since I joined Peugeot Club North America. Members are spread all over the country. Owners I have contact with are a few hours, sometimes days away. But with a Peugeot that is of course a pleasant ride.

Peugeot for life?

“I’ve gotten my heart hooked on Peugeot. However, I also have a business to run and I cannot afford a large collection. When last month a buyer came with a very good offer, I resold the car. The 505 went to an enthusiast on the east coast and is part of a classic car collection. A great destination for this lion. I am now looking for a new Peugeot. Preferably a copy to restore. I will find it because there are still some Peugeot’s in the US that could use a makeover. Let’s keep them on the road!”

Maarten van der Velden

Na mijn opleiding aan de Frederik Muller Academie ben ik jaren werkzaam geweest voor verschillende uitgeverijen zoals Elsevier en NRC Handelsblad. Daarvoor heb ik zelfstandig en met heel veel plezier het kwartaaltijdschrift Peugeot Expo Magazine uitgegeven. In mijn vrije tijd rijd ik graag in een Peugeot 403, ik Twitter graag over auto's en ik houd van hardlopen. Ik vind het leuk om mensen met elkaar te verbinden.

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