Thursday, January 23, 2014

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1960 Peugeot 403

I've previously featured a Peugeot 403 here, but really, what better way to commemorate street sighting number 403 than with another Peugeot 403? This one is owned by the same person who has the grey 403 we looked at in 2012. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it's a one-owner car.

I spoke with the owner's husband and, if memory serves, he told me his wife's father purchased the car new for her in 1960. At some point the couple moved to Colorado and the 403 went with them. The 403 wasn't the best car for Colorado winters. The heater could never quite warm up the cabin, but the car was reliable to start. It came back to California sometime in the '70s as indicated by the blue license plates, and now resides with multiple other 403s and a gaggle of Lincoln-Mercury products in Santa Cruz. Like its 1959 sibling, the black car suffers hood rust. Given the wet coastal climate of Santa Cruz and the road salt of Colorado, I'm surprised the rest of it is so solid. A classic Peugeot is a good car for the area, as Santa Cruz prides itself on being artsy, weird and unique. What's more "sustainable" than a little car with a miserly 1.5 liter four that was built five decades ago? There aren't a whole lot of steep hills to climb, either, unless you need to take Highway 17 back into the city in which case you'll get run over by frenzied SUVs. But as a local runabout it should be fine, and with that roof rack it's quite practical.

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