This post marks my 404th Street Sighting feature on California Streets, so to commemorate that otherwise ordinary number, today we're looking at a Peugeot 404.
The Peugeot 404 is really a fascinating car. It was produced from 1960 until 1975 and was one of Europe's great large family cars. When production ended in France, it kept going in Argentina until 1980, and in Kenya until 1991. It was primarily sold as a sedan or station wagon, though a coupe and convertible were available. In the latter markets of South America and Africa, a pickup variant was very popular. In total, nearly three million were produced over 31 years. In the United States, the 404's appeal was, shall we say, a bit limited. It was a car marketed for its reliability and build quality, not for styling, luxury or performance. A French car from this era strikes me as being the exclusive ride of university professors. Most American car buyers wanted something as fast, luxurious and cool as their budget allowed. A Peugeot generally was not it.
registry of known 404s. According to its list, there are 188 known 404 serial numbers in the United States. Of those, 87 are North American-spec 404 sedans. Any list of survivors from a worldwide production run of 2.8 million is going to be incomplete, but it illustrates that this is a rare car in this country by anyone's count.