1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo

Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. How about a turbocharged French sports sedan from the Reagan Era?

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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo


I used to own a Peugeot 504, and I've been scouring the island for one to photograph for this series. No dice in that department so far, but I did manage to find this 505 Turbo down by the beach. This is our fourth Alameda DOTS Peugeot; prior to today, we've had this '60 403, this '85 505, and this '91 405.

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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo


The 505 Turbo was a fast rear-wheel-drive machine that held its own against the German competition back in the 80s; we were very disappointed that the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys 505 Turbo 24 Hours Of LeMons team wrecked their trailer on the way to the Arse Freeze-A-Palooza race. We're hoping they'll be at the Reno race to show those BMWs a thing or two.

Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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I found this car parked down by the San Francisco Bay, at the beach favored by the wind- and kite-surfing crowd. The anti-shark surf-shop sticker on the back suggests that it's a surfer's daily driver (though the telltale roof racks seem to be missing).

Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
Illustration for article titled 1988 Peugeot 505 Turbo
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DISCUSSION

I've mentioned my Peugeot fixation before. Actually, I mentioned it yesterday for the QOTD. But Murilee has thrown down the gauntlet, so I'll repeat it: When I was born, my mother had a '71 504 and my dad had an '83 505. The 505, if you ask pretty much any member of my Peugeot-addicted extended family, was the point when Peugeot quality started going downhill. Dad's first Pug, a '63 404, lasted for 350,000 miles before he traded it in for the '83 505; Mom's 504 got sold when the odometer rolled over 250,000. The 505 lasted for around 20,000 miles before the engine failed so spectacularly that Peugeot offered to replace the car at a steep discount rather than repairing it under warranty. At this point, Dad decided it would be a good idea to upgrade to a 505 Turbo.

The turbo was a fast, competent car. Faster than Dad's friend's BMW 635, or his co-worker's Maserati Biturbo, or my grandfather's Audi 5000 turbo Quattro. But it spent all its time in the goddamn shop, and unlike the earlier Peugeots it couldn't be held together with baling wire and happy thoughts. Once the turbocharger failed. When I say "failed," I don't mean the oil lines broke and the compressor seized or the housing developed a leak. When I say "failed," I mean "exploded, sending shards of turbocharger all around the engine compartment."

Even if Peugeot had stayed in the American market, I'm pretty sure the 505 Turbo would have been our last French car.