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Peugeot 304: Buying guide and review (1969-1980)

Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304
Once the staple of French motoring for the masses, the Peugeot 304 has now come to be seen as a characterful, desirable left-field classic. 
 
First revealed as a four-door saloon at the 1969 Paris Motor Show, Peugeot went on to produce almost 1.18million units in various guises over an 11-year period. The 304 was based on the 204, sharing much of its running gear and mechanical components. Penned by Pininfarina, the major difference was the pair’s front end styling - the 304’s face was inspired by the larger 504.
 
The highlight of the range for enthusiasts today is the cabriolet. Offering a more laid-back alternative to the likes of the MGB, it remains a handsome and charming alternative to the typical British sports cars of the era.
 
Thanks to the family car origins, the 304 is uncomplicated, easy to work on and easy to drive. Independent suspension and front disc brakes make the 304 a fairly easy car to get along with today, while it’s low weight means that performance is on a par with entry-level contemporary superminis.
 
Which one to buy?
 
The 304 was available in five different body styles: a saloon, a coupe (technically a three-door fastback), an estate (known as the Break), a cabriolet and a van (fourgonette). The coupe and cabriolet joined the range in 1970 with production lasting five years. The Break and fourgonette lasted longest of all, with sales overlapping with it’s replacement, the 305, until 1980.
 
In 1972, the S version was introduced, gaining both mechanical and cosmetic upgrades. The exterior was treated to a revised front grille, badge and a set of new wheels, while inside the dashboard design was changed. An upgraded version of the 1.3-litre engine now sported twin carburettors, and upped power from 65bhp to 75bhp.
 
The cabriolet is considered the most desirable of the range, and is therefore the one that commands the highest prices today. Around 840 right-hand drive cabriolets were sold in the UK, and it is estimated that 73 still exist, with approximately half of those in road legal condition. 
 
Performance and spec
 
Engine 1288cc inline-four
Power 75bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 80lb ft @ 2750rpm
Top speed 98mph
0-60mph 14secs
Fuel consumption approx 34mpg
Gearbox Four-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2595mm
Length 4140mm
Width 1570mm
Height 1410mm
Weight 930kg
 
Common Problems
 
● The biggest issue with the 304 is the potential onslaught of rust. It isn’t a surprise to see rot sprouting up anywhere on the body, but in particular check the floor and sills. It’s also wise to inspect the body panels for signs of filler.

● The electrical system is known to have issues, though due to its basic 1970s design, faults are generally easy to find. Make sure that all the switches work inside the cabin, and that the battery holds a charge on a test drive

● Overall, the majority of potential MOT sticking points can be remedied cheaply. Track rod ends cost around £12 a pair, and a set of front brake discs and pads will cost around £60
 
Model history
 
Sep 1969: Peugeot 304 saloon revealed at Paris Motor Show
Mar 1970: Coupe and cabriolet models introduced to the range. Both are manufactured until July 1975
Sep 1970: Estate ‘Break’ production starts.
1972: S variant released. Features a new interior and dashboard design, revised front grille and badge, new wheels, seats, and a more powerful version of the 1.3-litre engine.
Sep 1976: 304 van (Fourgonette) introduced
Jul 1979: Saloon production run ends, with almost 850,000 units sold
May 1980: Final Break and Fourgonette models produced
 
Key clubs and websites
 
• www.peugeotparts.co.uk - parts and spares specialist for a wide range of old Peugeots, including the 304. Based in West Yorkshire
• www.peugeot304.com - a detailed resource about the 304 Cabriolet run by an enthusiastic owner
• www.clubpeugeotuk.org - an owners club for classic Peugeots. Includes a forum, parts finder and classifieds section
 
Summary and prices
 
Cabriolet models are the most sought after today, and as a result they are the models that most frequently pop up in the classifieds. Expect to pay between £6000 and £8500 for the best examples, with good runners generally priced between £4000-£6000. More ropey examples - those sporting rust and mechanical issues - can be bought for closer to £2000. Non-runners and those without an MoT should be cheaper still.
 
Words: Alex Ingram
Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304 Peugeot 304
Last updated: 8th Nov 2015
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Peugeot 304 cars for sale

2 Search results
Peugeot 304
9500 9950 GBP
  • Peugeot 304 '73

    €9,500(£8,470.20) €9,500(£8,470.20)

    >>>>> Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: 18-20/11/2016 InterClassics Brussel - Belgium 25-27/11/2016 Milano Autoclassica - Italy 17-18/12/2016 Dreamcar International Kortrijk - Belgium 12-15/01/2017 InterClassics Maastricht - The Netherlands 28-29/01/2017 Auto Retro Brugge - Belgium 11-12/02/2017 Flanders Collection Car Gent- Belgium 03-05/03/2017 Antwerp Classic Salon - Belgium

    • Year: 1973
    For sale
    Oldertimerfarm.be
  • Peugeot 304 Cabriolet '72

    €9,950(£8,871.42) €9,950(£8,871.42)

    The Peugeot 304 was introduced to the public at the Paris Motor Show in September 1969. Peugeot, which had always been a financially prudent company, saw a gap in the midsize car market in France, Italy and the rest of Western Europe. By using the smaller 204 midsection, development costs were minimized resulting in a higher profit margin because of the higher pricing structure in the larger, better equipped market. The 304 main competitors on its home market came from Renault and Simca (Citroen was surprisingly absent from this sector at the launch). The 304 was a success for Peugeot and was noted for several advanced features under its Pininfarina styled exterior. With its independent suspended front-wheel-drive drivetrain and disc brakes, it rode and handled better than most of its contemporaries, including some cars in higher price brackets. The chassis served Peugeot well and lasted for approximately 24 years adapted to derivative models. There was a distinct upmarket feel to the 304, its handsome lines were well suited to postwar Europe's newly affluent middle classes who desired roomy, advanced and stylish cars to park in their driveways. The car was sold until 1980 and was

    • Year: 1972
    For sale
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