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A ’60s summer in Paris leads to a search for a good Peugeot 404

Whether the subject is food, colors, or cars, I generally do not have favorites. What’s best is situational, and even then, subject to the vicissitudes of mind and mood. But when it comes to cars from the classic car era—roughly from WWII’s end to the first Arab Oil Embargo—the Peugeot 404 stands above all others. It’s partly the crisp, clean styling by Pininfarina, and partly the precise rack-and-pinion steering, then practically unheard of in the U.S. Then there’s the suspension, which took pothole-pocked Massachusetts roads with aplomb, even when negotiating tight curves. At a time when American station wagons came rattling out of the factory, this French estate was still solid in middle age.


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