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John Cooney’s 1st encounter

My first Peugeot came long after I was introduced to the brand. The first Peugeot I became aware of was a pale blue and white 403 which our local parish priest drove. My Dad drove an Austin A50 Cambridge, which was pretty cool for a young boy, but the 403 was something else again -so cool and so flash.
My next introduction to the Peugeot brand was a friend buying a white 404. How flash! I had the chance to drive from Melbourne to Sydney return with him and I had the chance to take the wheel. What a car!
I fell in love with it but unfortunately my budget didn’t extend to such an exotic
machine.
So quite some years later as a married man with a baby, the need came to sell my Honda Accord hatchback, (a Japanese version of the car I really wanted—a VW Scirocco) and the requirements, as laid down by my wife, were that the new car had to have a boot large enough for a folding pram, a baby bath come change table and a bag filled with all the needs of a young baby! I checked Holdens, Falcons and some others until one day my latent Francophile obsession came to the surface and I checked out a 505.
Wow, everything fitted as required with room to spare and so my first Peugeot became a manual 505GR, one of the very first of that particular model which did not have power steering and certainly did not have much power, but it was great to drive, was super comfortable for trips and felt unbreakable.
I loved the uncomplicated dash, the big comfy seats, the room in the back for my parents to spread out in comfort and the fact that I was driving a car which in an era of Holdens and Falcons, was different. I did quite a lot of miles in that car. It wasn’t the most economical car I had ever owned, but that was at a time when petrol was cheap, so economy was never an issue. Best part about it was that my wife enjoyed the car because of the space, but never drove it as she could not handle the lack of power steering even with the huge number of turns lock to lock which was meant to compensate for the strength required.
Eventually that car was sold and it was replaced by an automatic 505 Executive, a major step up in so many ways. It in turn was replaced by a string of Peugeots which have continued to this day- but those are stories for another time!




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