Peugeot 304 Profile

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Peugeot 304 General Information

This car probably was one of the best cars that never really made it to international fame. This simply was down to Peugeot's program as Peugeot had a number of different rally cars and with all of them they concentrated on their main program: African and marathon rallies. We all know the 404 (GTI with KF Injection, the first car using an injection engine!) was a successful Africa car and so was the 504 TI later in that time period. Even what could be regarded as the 304's little sister, the 204 S, was taken to African rallies! So the 304 SLS was turned into a rally car as well, but it was time to have a car for a different purpose and that meant it didn't participate in Peugeot's main program.
(I may actually call for some bemusement for some Peugeot insiders calling this the 304 SLS rather than the 304 S. It was the traditional S for basically all of its works driver starts, but before the World Championship was launched and therefore before the database rally entries start, the 304 saw a facelift and with it some suffixes changed to move the car clearer above the 204. Technically the S and the SLS were 100% identical. See the model/evo descritpion.)

So instead the 304 SLS was developed with asphalt and ERC and national rallies in mind. It was as well built with privateer/amateur drivers in mind. And for privateer/amateur drivers this car certainly was an attractive option. In fact Peugeot couldn't hesitate to use it from time to time for their works drivers, especially Jean Guichet and Hannu Mikkola often got their hands on a 304. But by pure coincidence its last official event as a works car was barely 3months before the WRC started, the Tour de Corse 1972. Here the 304 driver line up was nothing less prestigeous than Hannu Mikkola/Atso Aho, Tony Fall/Mike Wood & Jean Guichet/Jean Todt. Still, this meant the names that get mostly linked to the 304 in the mid 1970s are lady drivers Christine Dacrement and Marianne Hoepfner, who had considerable success with the car in French and Belgium championship events. Actually the most famous name as a 304 driver seems Marianne Hoepfner, as interestingly Tony Fall was a few times invited to drive the Dacrement car in some French rallies still in the mid-1970s. Their cars looked unusual as well, although works loaned and works registered cars, they were private entries financed by the tooth cream manufacturer "Aseptogyl", which meant the cars were pink and burgundy!

But the 304 looked refreshingly different to Peugeot's other works cars - and this is not a pun at the tooth cream colours, but more the fact that it was meant to be an asphalt car rather than an "Africar". Admittedly the 304 had a conservative image, but this one looked really agressive, low with big, bulky, Escort MkI style wheel arches - and then we paint her pink! How much contradiction can you have in one car, conservative base, lady drivers, huge aggressive wheel arches, pink paint!

Given that the 304 was never available with an engine bigger than a 1.3 and Peugeot wanted to keep it in group 2, it was obviously never going to be a serious threat to the Alpine A110 or the Fulvia. But these are not the cars Peugeot and the public compared to the 304. The eyes were more on the group 2 competition and here especially the R12 Gordini and budget saloon cars in general. The R12 Gordini was another FWD car and had a good image and a well tuned engine. Yet the 304 SLS was shorter and lighter than the R12 Gordini and reported to handle better. The R12 was a good comparison as it shared a novelty with the 304: when their main opposition at this time were in fact the MkI Escort and early Opel Kadetts and Asconas, the 304 SLS was one of the very few FWD cars around, which gave it advantages in several circumstances. It was a little down on power compared to its RWD opposition that arrived with ever bigger engines, but surprisingly the 304 SLS's little 1.3 engine was only 30BHP short of the Ford Lotus Cortina and early MkI Escorts and the 304 was light and had superb traction especially in the wet.

It's end came a little early however. While the 304 SLS program was only carried on by privateers beyond 1972, it took until 1976 when the Peugeot 104 ZS was conceived, which should have been a little more efficient on the 304's playground simply for size and weight.

Peugeot 304 Related Content

Peugeot 304 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Peugeot 304 SLS (73-76) 110/6200 138/3750 4140.1585.1410 930 (7.2) FWD (2590)

Random Peugeot 304 Photos

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Peugeot 304 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
17th. 1977 WRC Rally of Finland K. Mäkelä R. Ranta #34 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
30th. 1975 WRC Rally of Finland K. Mäkelä J. Mietinen #28 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
73rd. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain G. Beever S. France #103 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
45th. 1974 WRC Rally of Finland K. Mäkelä J. Mietinen #46 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
22nd. 1973 WRC Rally of Finland K. Mäkelä J. Mietinen #51 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Peugeot 304 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1976 WRC Rally of Finland K. Mäkelä J. Mietinen #32 [UNKNOWN] SS44 crash
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco R. Touroul . UNKNOWN #20 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1973 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Taibi M. Mouton #153 [UNKNOWN] SS99 road blockage