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Autobleu Peugeot 204 GT Frua Coupé

Autobleu is an unknown name for many car enthusiasts. It was one of the many companies in Europe that adapted existing cars to a new shape and linked their name to a car model. Autobleu did that for almost 20 years and briefly had a scoop at the Geneva Motor Show in 1967 with the Autobleu Peugeot 204 GT Frua Coupé. However, it remained with a prototype.

Car enthusiasts Maurice Mestivier and Roger Lepeytre founded their company in 1950 at 15 Rue Aumont-Thiéville in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Car production started in 1953 under the Autobleu brand and initially ended in 1958. The company continued to operate as a supplier and engine tuning until 1971.

The adventure at Autobleu started with building cars based on Renault models and it lasted until 1958. But a small come-back was made with the Peugeot 204 in 1967.

During the presentation of the Peugeot 204 in 1965, the idea arose to bring an adapted version to the market. Autobleu ordered immediately one of the first cars of the 204 convertible which was launched in February 1967. Then asked cardesigner Pietro Frua to turn it into a fastback coupe. Frua had already earned his spurs at Fiat and in those years he was known as the designer of Fiat and Masarati models.

Pietro Frua immediately responded enthusiastically and managed to realize the design very quickly. While the first 204 convertible models rolled off the production line in February 1967, Frua and Autobleu presented the 204 Fastback at the Geneva Motor Show already in March 1967. The result was an impression of what the production model should become. The ‘top’ was made of plastic and Frua would add a few more style elements a few weeks after the Salon. But the audience could enjoy at a special during the Salon days.

Under the hood, Autobleu introduced some changes. The engine was modified and fitted with a 40mm Weber carburettor, a modified exhaust, camshaft and special pipes. In total, the motor contained 70 hp, which was 17 hp more than on a basic 204. The car consumed a good gulp of petrol and had a top speed of 160 km / h. The purchase price was much higher than a 204 coupe GT and therefore it was not a sales hit. Autobleu’s Peugeot 204 GT Frua Coupé then left the stage discreetly.

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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