Peugeot – One in a million!
Peugeot’s reputation for reliability is legendary across much of the African continent, where vintage 404 and 504 models are still regularly seen on roads that are often little more than dusty tracks.
One Peugeot owner who will attest to the brand’s never-say-die reputation is Robert Hotz, who is the proud owner of a Peugeot 504 in perfect running condition. But what makes this 1983 1,8-litre model so special that it is about to clock a million kilometres – yes, that’s
1 000 000 km!
The car was a demonstration model, and was bought for the princely some of R5 500. It’s been regularly serviced by trained Peugeot technicians ever since – even during the period that the French marque wasn’t represented in South Africa.
“At one stage, parts became a problem, but I found someone in Pretoria who had a workshop full of Peugeot spares – he even found me an indicator lever when the one in my car broke. The same chap also serviced the car during that time – every 10 000 km or so,” Hotz says.
“I’ve loved every minute on the road in my 504. It has given me fantastic value over the years. It’s extremely good on the open road, and I still use it as a business tool every day,”
He owns and manages his own business, and these days has a chauffeur to drive him around in the Peugeot. Richard Moyo is as fastidious about the venerable 504 as its owner, and checks everything from the tyre pressures to the water and oil levels every morning before departing.
“I’ve had lots of offers to buy the 504, but I would never sell it. There’s nothing like these old Peugeots – they just keep going on forever,” Hotz says. His first Peugeot purchase was a 1970 404, which was replaced by his first 504 in 1974.
He drove the 504 to the Peugeot South Africa head office in Linbro Park recently to show it to Peugeot SA managing director, Francis Harnie, only days before the odometer was due to clock back to zero, thus achieving the magic million.
“It’s quite astonishing to see a car that’s almost 30 years old, and has covered a million kilometres, and that is still in such good running condition,” commented Harnie. “But then, it is a Peugeot, after all! Cars like this 504 remind us just how strong the Peugeot heritage in Africa, and in this country, really is.”