PCH, Who's Afraid Of Cheap French Cars Edition: Peugeot 504 or Renault 12?Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Yesterday we learned that 58% of Jalopnik readers prefer a Cadillac Allanté to a Chrysler TC By Maseratii, and we'd love to keep the run of crypto-Italian cars going. However, we're taking a break from PCH Superpower Italy to return to our old Hell Project friends, the French. You can talk all day about getting a Matra or an Alpine, but some of you seem to think your small project budget keeps you safe from a French invasion of your garage. Doesn't it? Au contraire! We've found a pair of French cars you can get for the price of an '86 Nissan Sentra with a blown head gasket and bullet holes!

Yesterday, we heard 24 Hours of LeMons official TheEastBayKid say that what they really want to see in the race is more French cars! That makes total sense, and so of course I started looking for such a car around here. You can often find cheap Peugeot 505s, but they're not crazy enough… but then how could anyone bear to trash this Peugeot 504 (go here if the ad disappears) on the racetrack? This car needs to be turned into a meticulously restored daily driver, we say! It's "rough all over," according to the seller, and the "engine has the head off but the head was just resurfaced," but you should see that as an opportunity! You see, it turns out the 505's engine bolts right into the 504, and that almost certainly doesn't mean must mean that the 505 Turbo engine bolts right in, too! Turbo 504! The owner doesn't know the year, which suggests that there's nothing in the way of registration paperwork for it, but you'll solve that along with all the other problems.
The 504 is a great car, all right- just ask any African mechanic- but wouldn't you like something a little more rare? Say, a Renault 12 wagon with the almost-unheard-of factory air-conditioning option? Man, if those AC parts are numbers-matching, you can pretty much name your price! That's what makes this $500 Renault 12 (go here if the ad disappears) such a sweet deal. The seller doesn't see fit to share the car's model year with prospective buyers, but the car does- or, more accurately, did- run and drive. It even comes with a spare transmission, because "it was said to have a transmission problem." It hasn't been started in "over a year" (probable translation: 19 years), and the front brakes "stick a little" (probable translation: you don't want to know), but the interior is "in good condition for age" and don't forget the factory AC!