Today’s a special day. It’s one of only twelve occasions in the year when the Americans get the day right.

It’s also the latest in a progression. We’ve had the Peugeots 104,204 and 304, so it seems only fitting to explore the next in the sequence.

Meet the oh-so-sensible 404.

And its longer version (and note the seven seats of the Familiale).

I had thought the range stopped there, never having seen anything else, but no. Even a car so resolutely square and staid could let its hair down

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And there was more. It could even get wind in its hair.

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And more. Bonus 104.

We note the rhd wipers on these lhd models and, somewhat unusually at the time, the absence of quarterlights on the sensible ones.

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The 404 like many Peugeots after and a few before it was styled by Pininfarina which leads us to something interesting about one of his other designs aimed at exactly the same clientèle.

Peugeot:

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Morris Oxford:

Yes, they are like brothers separated at birth.

Top trivia: the 404 was available with a 1.9 diesel producing no discernible power (pre turbo days). Later and bigger versions of this were used by Ford in the Sierra and Granada, still producing no discernible power. Ford and PSA are still joined in the diesel world because the Ford’s current 1.4,1.5 and 1.6 diesels are PSA designs.

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More trivia: about 12% of the 17,000 coupé and convertible models are still around.