Junkyard Treasure: 1986 Peugeot 505 Turbo Wagon
If you wanted a rear-wheel-drive station wagon with turbo power and a comfy French interior in 1986, this was your car.
Peugeot departed the United States in 1991, after few Americans showed much interest in the front-wheel-drive 405. During the 1980s, though, the rear-wheel-drive 505 sold well enough that it wasn’t considered a complete edge-case oddity on American highways. The 505 Turbo had more power and a smaller price tag than a BMW E30 3-Series, and a wagon version could be purchased for the 1986 through 1990 model years. Here’s an extremely rare example that I spotted in the Colorado Springs U-Pull-&-Pay yard just yesterday.
The turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine in this car made 150 horsepower when new, and that was serious power for a ton-and-a-half wagon of the era.
These cars weren’t known for their reliability in the United States (to put it mildly), but this one managed to rack up nearly 200,000 miles during its life. They should be proud of this car in the 16th arrondissement.
Peugeot USA didn’t face a lot of competition for the 505 Turbo wagon in North America; the Volkswagen Quantum Wagon had just 90 to 115 horsepower and came in either front- or all-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro wagon made 140 horsepower, but the 5000 took a massive sales hit due to the “Unintended Acceleration” debacle of 1986 (not to mention the fact that the 5000CS Turbo Quattro wagon cost 50% more than the 505 Turbo wagon). The rear-wheel-drive 1986 Toyota Cressida wagon sold for $16,190 versus the 505 Turbo wagon’s $20,435 and got 156 horses out of its Supra straight-six engine, but lacked European prestige. The turbocharged Volvo 740 wagon had rear-wheel-drive, 160 horsepower, a stodgy Swedish interior, and a price tag of $21,340… and outsold the 505 Turbo wagon by a big margin.