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The real Lion d’Or 

In Utrecht a 204 is shining in the autumn sun. The black grille adorns a proud golden lion because not many beautiful specimens remain, let alone in perfect condition. And if a 204 “mint in box” is offered, it is often at a reasonable price. Why isn’t this car so popular among collectors? Or is the tide turning for the 204? Mark van Dansik, the enthusiastic owner of this brightly colored car, talks about his preference for the 204.

Mark: “The 204 sedan purchased in September 2004 was delivered in 1975 by Peugeot dealer S&K in Zurich. In total about 1.5 million units were produced out of 204 between 1965 and 1976. That makes it one of the most successful cars of those years. In ’69 and ’70 it was even the best-selling car in France. This 204 never left the western part of Friesland. In 1983 he got his second owner, a now retired metal worker in Witmarsum. He took excellent care of it for 21 years. The mechanical maintenance was always in the hands of Peugeot dealer Cats (“what’s in particular” if you do in Leeuwen …). Around 1995 the car underwent some restoration work, the most important of which was the replacement of bottom sheet metal. The car was also provided with a new paint layer. The blue-green paint (1343AC) is typically a color from the 1970s. This striking jacket looks great on the car, is safe and practical because dirt is not easily visible. ”

“The most characteristic feature of the 204 is the elegant carriage. Clearly a design by Pininfarina. A nice combination of “cuddly” shapes and yet a certain toughness. Within a length of only 3.99 meters, it offers a lot of interior space. Four adults comfortably find a place in it. Although the trunk looks small, it is more generous than that of a 206, the previous owner reported from his own experience. ”

“Technically, the 204 was a very progressive car. The light-alloy engine block, with overhead camshaft, is placed transversely at the front at an angle of 20 degrees. The steering gearbox and differential are assembled with the engine. This was Peugeot’s first front-wheel drive passenger car. With a power of 55 hp, the 204 with its 880 kilos is excellent in modern traffic. The engine is special, excusez le mot, “drehfreudig”: so the block likes to make speed. According to the book, the top is at 140 km per hour. In practice, a cruising speed of 110 km is perfectly achievable. The all-round independent suspension and long smooth suspension travel ensure safe and comfortable road holding. The power-assisted brakes, with disc brakes at the front and separate brake circuits – certainly not standard at the time – bring the light coach to a standstill. Fuel consumption is modest. Long distances are well above 1:15 feasible, on average about 1:13 is within reach. ”

“The 204 is actually a rather undervalued classic. Many initially overlook the car. You often hear “well, never thought of that, but actually a very nice car”. And also literally undervalued, because even very beautiful copies rarely yield more than about 3000 euros. Despite the high production number, the 204 is now quite rare. That has everything to do with the great sensitivity to rust, which actually all cars from those years were struggling with. This little lion is a real Peugeot in everything, absolutely worthy of the golden lion in the grill. A small critical note: the 204 is not exactly key friendly. It is best to get over that with some experience and good will. In terms of driving experience, you recognize things from the 504 and 205 at the same time. In summary: 204, absolutely worth it. ”

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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