In the spring of 1934 Peugeot introduced the 601. With this the brand returned to the six-cylinder side-valve and a large limousine that, according to the advertising texts, had to be brilliant, quiet and economical. Aesthetically, the 601 is in the style of the 301 but looks slimmer thanks to the length of the roof. Technically, the 601 also remains close to the 301 and 201 because the independent suspension, the blocktube frame and worm drive are the same. At its presentation in May 1934, the 601 was immediately available in 7 normal C body styles and 4 L body styles. The long body variants are the same as the C variants except that their wheelbases are 308 cm and 320 cm respectively. The 601 was able to reach a maximum speed of 105 km / h with its six-cylinder engine. That was pretty smooth for the time.
In 1935 the 601 was further developed with minor modifications and some new body variants on the C-series of 1934 and these were classified in the series 601D. The long body styles were called 601DL. The D-series are recognizable by the lowered headlights and the elongated handles on the hood instead of the flaps.
A total of 1,235 units were produced of the C variants in 1934 and approximately 779 units of the L. There were 1,074 copies of the D variants and 911 copies of the DL.
Although the 601 was only in production for 2 years, the 601 was a popular car at concours d’elegances. The body style “transformable electrique” (now known as the CC) in particular appealed to the public’s imagination. The transformable electrique, or the Peugeot ‘Eclipse’, was born thanks to the meeting of three men: Darl’Mat, one of the most important Peugeot dealers, coachbuilder Marcel Pourtout and Georges Paulin, who was actually a dentist but also found his talent in designing of cars. It was Georges Paulin who entrusted the paper with an idea in 1933 to fold a metal roof completely into the trunk. He patented his invention and then went for coffee with Marcel Pourtout. Eventually, they enlisted their friend Darl’Mat to try out the concept on the new 601. The result was astonishing. The iconic Peugeot Eclipse was born. Within the walls of Peugeot, the Eclipse is also called the Paulin car. Most Eclipse were built on a 601 frame, but some copies were also built on a 401 frame.