1 million smiles for SA Pug owner
GENERATION GAP: Robert Hotz's 504 shown alongside the French automaker's current 508 flagship.
Drive the most far-flung parts of Africa and you’re bound to bump into vintage Peugeot 404 and 504 models on dusty tracks. This local Peugeot owner is only too happy to attest to his 504’s reliability...
Robert Hotz’s 1983, 1.8-litre Peugeot 504 station wagon, bought as a demo model for R5500, remains in perfect running condition almost three decades later.
The secret to his Pug’s longevity? It’s been regularly serviced by Peugeot technicians, even when the automaker wasn’t represented in South Africa.
Hotz recalls: “At one stage parts became a problem but I found somebody in Pretoria with a workshop full of Peugeot spares. He even found an indicator lever when the one in my car broke and the same chap also serviced the car during that time – every 10 000 km or so.”
THE EVIDENCE: Hotz's 1983 Peugeot 504 is poised to clock amillion kilometres.
“I’ve had lots of offers to buy the 504 but I would never sell it. There’s nothing like these old Peugeots – they just keep going on for ever,” Hotz says. His first Peugeot was a 1970 404 which was replaced by his first 504 in 1974.
Hotz recently drove his current 504 to the Peugeot South Africa head office to show it off to managing director Francis Harnie only days before the odometer was due to clock back to zero, achieving the magic million mark.
Hotz owns and manages his own business and still uses his 504 for business every day, although these days he has a chauffeur.