Pin­in­fa­rina 404 Cabrio

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Nick Larkin

EN­GINE 1618cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 87bhp@5700rpm TORQUE 104lb ft@2800rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 104mph 0-60 MPH 12.5sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 26-28mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 36,055 miles

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The orig­i­nal 1618cc en­gine starts in­stantly and ticks over qui­etly. Don’t be fooled by the se­date looks – this fuel-in­jected Peu­geot is good for 100mph and could see off many a sports car in its day. The en­gine feels like a two-litre and the smooth, re­fined power de­liv­ery and low-down torque point to a healthy fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem. The brakes and low-geared steer­ing are set up ex­actly as they should be and the four­speed, all-syn­chro­mesh col­umn gearchange is free from slip and easy to use.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The metal­lic sil­ver/blue paint looks beau­ti­ful and has clearly been ap­plied to the high­est of stan­dards, but we un­der­stand that this car was orig­i­nally sil­ver. There are no no­tice­able blem­ishes or dents and not a hint of rot any­where. It’s the same story un­der­neath, which shows no sign of hav­ing been welded. The stain­less steel bumpers are pris­tine, as are the wheels, which were shod with new Miche­lin XAV tyres in 2013 at a cost of £657. The rest of the bright­work is close to im­mac­u­late, bar mi­nor pit­ting on the orig­i­nal door han­dles. The long doors open with­out sag­ging and close with a re­as­sur­ing ‘clunk’.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

This is vir­tu­ally as new. The seats have been fully re­trimmed in black leatherette and the car­pets and door cards are in great con­di­tion. The fas­cia is in super or­der and ev­ery­thing ap­pears to work, apart from the beau­ti­fully pe­riod Ra­diomo­bile ra­dio, which is cur­rently dis­con­nected. The mas­sive twin-spoke steer­ing wheel and in­te­gral horn ring are in pris­tine con­di­tion and all the glass is vir­tu­ally as it would have left the Peu­geot fac­tory. The car comes with its orig­i­nal hard­top as well as a high-qual­ity black mo­hair fold­ing hood.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The en­gine bay is ex­tremely clean – there’s not so much as a drop of oil or any other fluid where it shouldn’t be. The flu­ids all look clean and the car shows no signs of over­heat­ing. The Kugelfis­cher fuel in­jec­tion pump and ac­com­pa­ny­ing sys­tem have all re­cently been over­hauled, with bills to prove it. The ra­di­a­tor looks orig­i­nal. The gearbox seems as good as new and the sus­pen­sion set-up ap­pears to be ex­actly as it should be. A mas­sive his­tory file in­cludes all MoTs and bills, as well as let­ters be­tween own­ers.

THE CCW VIEW

This is a one-off op­por­tu­nity to own a piece of Pin­in­fa­rina magic in first class con­di­tion. It is no slug­gard and easy to drive, ex­ud­ing qual­ity from ev­ery pore. One of just 579 right-hand­drive ex­am­ples sold in the UK, it was new in 1968 de­spite the pre-suf­fix reg­is­tra­tion num­ber. The first owner kept the car un­til 1975, when it passed to a friend who kept the car for a fur­ther 30 years.

PROS Beau­ti­ful, rare, pretty much im­mac­u­late CONS Ra­dio has been dis­con­nected

EX­TE­RIOR No dam­age/rot Im­mac­u­late paint IN­TE­RIOR Re­trimmed seats Pris­tine through­out ME­CHAN­I­CALS Over­hauled fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem

In­te­rior is in fan­tas­tic con­di­tion, with re­trimmed seats.

Perky per­for­mance and im­pec­ca­bly pre­sented.

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