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1934 Peugeot 401


• 12v electrics, alternator conversion fitted
• Extensive history
• Award winning example
• Only four owners!

The Background

Produced for only one year between 1934 and 1935, the Peugeot 401 was introduced at the 28th Paris Motor Show as a mid-size, coach built family car sat between the entry-level 301 and below the range-topping 601 models.

Powered by a 1.7-litre side-valve inline-four engine producing 44bhp, the engine was actually largely taken from the 301, but was enlarged and lightly fettled to produce a more fitting power figure. Bodywork was hand-crafted by Carrosserie Pourtout, and the 401 also holds the accolade for being the first car to be offered as a coupé-cabriolet with a retractable hardtop, on the ‘transformable Eclipse’ model.

The History

This particular 401 was produced as a family coupé with four doors, and first registered in 1934 by the French Ministry of Defence (Ministère de la Guerre à Paris) before passing through the care of a painter in Saone et Loire, and another private collector in Jura, before coming into the care of the current registered keeper - a known car collector in Belgium.

Whilst it has been kept in its original specification of blue/black bodywork over a brown velour interior, a few considerate and careful upgrades have been fitted to this 401, with the intention of improving the driving experience without losing any of the pre-war character.

Specifically, the troublesome dynamo has been removed and an alternator conversion has been fitted, and 12v DC electrical systems installed. 

In addition to this, whilst I the care of the third owner (between 1955 and 2020) the car was completely restored and benefitted from a full engine rebuild, meaning that despite the older restoration, this example is in excellent condition throughout.

Now, in the care of only the fourth registered keeper since 1934, the car has been taken to numerous shows and events, picking up several prizes along the way, along with becoming immersed in the Peugeot-01 enthusiast community.

The Paperwork

Included with the vehicle is an extensive file from the aforementioned restoration, containing invoices for parts and work, along with a photographic record of the restoration being carried out.

Alongside this, the user manual is present, a copy of the sales brochure, old registration documents, and other miscellaneous documentation.

The car currently has a valid BE-MOT certificate until 2025.

The Interior

Inside, the brown velour interior has been kept in outstanding condition following the restoration, and oozes pre-war class and comfort, despite the 401 not being marketed as a luxury vehicle.

As far as we can see, there are no signs of any damage to the front or rear seats, with the covers only creased as you’d expect to see in an older restoration. The door cards are also in excellent condition with no visible signs of wear to the covers, and the headliner is taut throughout.

The third owner evidently placed an emphasis on originality when restoring the vehicle, as a number of original fittings, fixtures and the original Jaeger gauges have been retained, which we’ve been told are in full working order, and display a lovely well-earned patina.

The Exterior

On the outside, the rich blue coach-built bodywork is in a similarly fantastic condition, having evidently been cherished and cosseted throughout its lifetime.

From what we’ve seen, there are no signs of any indentations, impact damage or mis-aligned panels on the vehicle, having evidently been screwed together very well indeed by the standards of these old pre-war cars.

The paintwork also looks to present wonderfully, with no visible signs of scuffs, scrapes or damage beyond the odd stone chip or minor usage mark, which won’t have been picked up on the photographs.

The chrome bumpers and details are all present and correct, though the front bumper and rear bumper show some signs of wear and surface corrosion, likely due simply to their age. The various badges and trims also wear a lovely age-related patina, which sits well with the character of the car.

The Mechanics

Under the bi-folding bonnet, the 1.7-litre inline-four engine looks to be in excellent condition, with no signs of any oil leaks that we can see (nor that have been reported to us) and only a general layer of dirt and grime that you’d expect from a car of this era,

The vendor reports that the car starts and drives well, with no known issues with the engine, three-speed manual transmission or brakes.

All four tyres have recently been replaced with period-look Michelin items.

The Appeal

Offering effortless style and plenty of head-turning ability, this 1934 Peugeot 401 presents in fantastic condition throughout, and has benefitted not only from an older restoration, but also recent work to improve the everyday drivability and reliability of the vehicle.

An enthusiast owned, low-ownership car that’s well-known in Peugeot-01 circles and a multiple award-winner, this is an opportunity not to be missed!

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1934
  • Make Peugeot
  • Model 401
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 10,057 Kilometers
  • Engine size 1720
  • Town Erpe Mere
  • Location International
  • Country Belgium
Bidding history
4 bids from 3 bidders
  • gonow_a•••• €5,200 22/01/22
  • panhard•••• €4,000 21/01/22
  • CMD €2,600 21/01/22
  • gonow_a•••• €2,500 19/01/22

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