The Peugeot 504 has been a strong presence in African countries since the early 1970s and was actually still produced on that continent until 2005 due to its cheap price and high level of ruggedness. Although it is a far cry from the 205 T16, speed and power wasn’t everything when it came to endurance rallies. As such, the 504 model has been a favorite of African rallies and “safari” type events.
The 504 coupé V6 model had been homologated as a Group 3/4 car on July 1st 1975. It enjoyed so much successes that it was nicknamed “The Queen of Africa”. When the 1982 regulations took effect, per the FISA transition and stability rules, the 504 coupé V6 was transferred into Group B (homologation #3069).
Peugeot would subsequently also re-homologate the 504 in its pickup form. It is notable to mention that Group A & N had a minimum interior space requirement and if that figure wasn’t met the car was transferred into Group B. Although it was massively produced with tens of thousand of units, which would have easily made the Peugeot 504 pickup eligible to be homologated in Group A, this minimum interior space rule can be credited with the forceful Group B homologation.
It is a given that under normal circumstances the low powered 504 would stand no chance against the Group B/12 supercars. However, the new Group B regulations were divided in multiple engine displacement classes and could give the less powerful cars a chance at a class win. As such, contrary to some beliefs, the Group B 504 pickup used the European 1971cc 4 cylinder petrol engine with performance internals as opposed to the V6 version. Therefore the car was in the B/11 class for engines under 2000cc and could favorably compete against similar low powered cars. Another myth is that the Group B pickups were 4WD. In fact, the homologation papers clearly show that they were rear wheel drive (2WD/RWD). A system less likely to break down and provide better fuel mileage.
As such, many of the early entry and result sheets of the period badly identified the cars as V6 since they were so accustomed to the 504 coupé V6 variant.
In the Group B era, the WRC calendar included two African endurance venues; the Kenya “Safari” rally and the Côte d’Ivoire rally. In its first WRC outing, a 504 pickup finished in 8th place at the 1983 Safari Rally in the hands of Johnny Hellier and John Hope. The same duo would bring the car in 15th place at the 1984 edition. The best ever WRC finish for the 504 pickup would be a 5th position at the 1984 Côte d’Ivoire Rally in the capable hands of David Horsey and David Williamson (albeit there were only 12 entries). However, Horsey and Williamson would win the 1984 African Rally Championship while driving the same car, hence proving that power and speed is not everything when it comes to endurance events.
|Group/Class||B/11||Homologation number: B-228 (click to see papers)|
|Years active (WRC)||1983~84||Homologation
|Type||I-4, UHC 8v, gas||front, longitudinal|
|Displacement||1971 cc||WRC = 1971 cc|
|Compression ratio||9.5 :1|
|Output power – torque||170 HP@ 6,500 rpm||200 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm|
|Materials||block: iron||cylinder head: N/A|
|Cooling system||Water-cooled||60% increased capacity over standard model|
|Lubrication system||Wet sump||High pressure pump|
|Type||rear wheel drive||BA7/5 – 5 speed manual gearbox|
|Differential ratios||Final : 4.888||limited slip rear differential|
|Clutch||Copper clutch and heavy duty pressure plate|
|Type||Peugeot 504 steel chassis with roll cage, seam weld, Perspex windows|
|Front suspension||HD McPherson type shocks, not adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Live axle, leaf spring type with single shock|
|Brakes||Front Discs, Rear Drums||N/A|
|length: 4803 mm (160.7 in)||width: 1695 mm (66.7 in)||height: 1460 mm (57.5 in)|
|wheelbase: 2750 mm (108.3 in)||front track: N/A||rear track: N/A|
|Rims – tires||
|Dry/Unladen Weight||1160 kg (2560 lb)|
|Weight/power||6.8 kg/HP (15.0 lb/HP)|
|Fuel tank||2 x 70 litres|
HOMOLOGATION / PRODUCTION VERSION
The 504 has been produced from 1968 to 2005 with a total of 3.7 million units and continues to be a familiar sight in many African countries to this very day. The model lineup included; sedan, coupe, convertible, wagon, and utility “pickup”. As such, this model had various specifications over its production history. Please CLICK HERE to see them.
The 504 pickup can be seen in action at the 6:50 mark in the following video:
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(C) Article by Jay Auger – website owner & author
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- All homologation papers are the property of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA): SOURCE
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