There’s just something cool about European sedans from the fifties. Without the pomp, circumstance, and pure real estate of their American counterparts, little sedans like this Peugeot make for excellent modern daily drivers by offering decent fuel economy and a small, city-friendly package… especially in bike lane-laden Vancouver.
And when it comes to small European sedans, you can do worse than the Peugeot 403. With a reasonably healthy 65 horsepower courtesy of it’s 1,468 cubic centimetre hemi-headed four cylinder, the 403 would leap into fame on the small screen thanks to none other than the ’70’s detective hit “Columbo,” in which the show’s protagonist is often seen tooling around town in his 403 convertible.
Not a vehicle that’s often seen on this continent, their popularity overseas ensures a solid supply of parts, albeit more than likely saddled by expensive shipping rates. However, the 403 was lauded in its day for outstanding reliability, and a buyer can expect a used example to carry on that reputation surprisingly well. As with any old car indigenous to the wet climate “enjoyed” here in British Columbia, a careful inspection of all the standard rust-prone areas would be an exceptionally good idea.