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Remembering a Neighbor’s Old Car: Norev 1960 Peugeot 404

Psychologists observed that we humans have the tendency to collect objects that remind us of our childhood. When I was 11, I would ride my bicycle every morning a couple of blocks from our house so I can see an elderly gentleman lovingly care for his nice, shiny black Peugeot 404 sedan. I can tell by its rear fins that it was a car from the early to mid ‘60s but I wasn’t able to gather the nerve to talk to the owner and ask questions about his car. After all, I was just a kid on a bike who’d stop and stare while an elderly owner cleaned his old car.

I later learned that the 404 was produced by Peugeot from 1960 to 1975 and that it was styled by Pininfarina. It came with either a 1.6-liter gasoline or 1.9-liter diesel 4-cylinder engine and that it enjoyed a reputation for exceptional durability and value. A total of 2,885,374 units were produced worldwide with 1,847,568 units made by Peugeot in France before production ended.

In 2013, I had a chance to go to the Automobiles Peugeot headquarters and main showroom along the Avenue de la Grande Armée in Paris, France. While there, I saw a Norev 1:18 scale model of the 1960 Peugeot 404 among their large display of Peugeot model cars. It had opening front doors, hood and trunk lid, and it was finished in metallic gold with a tan/biscuit interior. Our host, Felix Mabilog, Jr., who was then the President of Eurobrands Distributor, Inc. (EDI), the Peugeot distributor in the Philippines, saw the glimmer in my eye and insisted that I should get one as a memento of our trip to France.

In broken French, I asked the saleslady if they have a black 404 model car and she immediately excused herself to look in the stock room. She came back after a few minutes to report, in fluent English, that the black scale model 404 was out-of-stock and offered me a light blue Peugeot 404 model with a blue interior instead. With little time to shop, I asked if they can sell me the gold one on display instead but she said that the display model is not for sale. Long story short, I got the Peugeot 404 in light French blue. Viva la France!

Upon careful inspection, I found that there are some nice thoughtful details that Norev crafted into the 1:18 Peugeot 404 model. The engine compartment was nicely constructed and would just require a little more detailing to make it more accurate. The rear compartment included a spare tire inside a cover and would just require some minor detailing to make it perfect.

The interior also hides some surprises. The dashboard and instrument panel looks realistic while the steering wheel even has a Peugeot lion emblem at the center of the hub. The seats are done in blue and the folds and tucks of the upholstery are nice done. If you look closely at the interior, you can imagine yourself inside an actual Peugeot 404.

I never knew whatever happened to the nice, shiny black Peugeot 404 near our house, or what happened to the old man cleaning it. I never got the nerve to go near the old man and his car but at least, with this scale model, I can touch it and view it as long as I want. At the end of the day, I got myself a memento of a car that I used to admire from a distance when I was a young boy.

To see other stories of the different scale model cars and motorcycles that were posted here in the Power Wheels website, please click “The Rack” button on the header bar near the top right of your screen (if you’re using a PC, laptop or tablet), or type “The Rack” on the Search bar if you’re using a mobile phone. After this pedantic French 4-door family car, we’ll stay in the Sixties and take a closer look at a topless German tomorrow.