Columbus mythical car

Columbus mythical car


As rival Citroen prepares to launch a revolutionary DS, Peugeot opts for cultural solutions. A technique that will define what will be the next decades of Peugeot, stable and common cars.

It is out of the question for Peugeot to introduce uncertain and innovative technologies. Engineers choose traditional and certified methods. Citroën uses a front wheel drive, the Peugeot remains reliable for operation.

Chevrons are similar to hydraulic suspension, Peugeot uses classic suspension. But to replace 203, Peugeot is not disappointed. The 403 will be bigger, it will be 8CV versus 7CV for its predecessor and the new sedan will also place a bet on its style.



Bigger than 203, it becomes a road car of the 1950s

Successful style

The Peugeot style office, headed by Paul Bouvot, will receive support from Italian coach builder PininFarina. They define what Peugeot should be. Modern remains classic, elegant and reassuring.

The Peugeot 403 was launched in the spring of 1955, just a few months before the catastrophic arrival of the Citroën DS.

With Peugeot, no one knows about the arrival of DS to be talked about. These first few months will enable you to establish yourself in the market.


Classic, 403 is still propulsion
Classic, 403 is still propulsion

Practical and classic

The welcome is warm. The 403 is the first car of the brand to have a rear-view mirror with doors that open at right angles.

Survival capabilities are better than 203. But in mechanical terms, there is nothing new under the hood. We get a standard four-cylinder engine with a 203 side camshaft. It is still increased to 1468 cm3 to 45 to 58 horsepower.

In some family and commercial versions, a short box will make it easier to handle heavy loads. But it will be worth waiting a year, at the 1956 Paris Car Exhibition, to see the replacement ones arrive.

Full range

The adjustable version, intended to be more elegant, provides a more compact interior with a slightly increased strength to withstand the weight of the body’s workmanship. Longer versions, for use and station carts also replace 203 station carts in the catalog.

On top of these versions, everything is done to provide maximum loading. The wheelbase is extended by 24 cm to 290 cm.

The rear suspension receives leaf springs. The specialty that makes this brake device an excellent and unbreakable machine, no matter where the ground is. A character that will make its success on the African continent.


Bigger than 203, it becomes a road car of the 1950s
Bigger than 203, it becomes a road car of the 1950s

International work

403 will succeed and 1,214,126 units will be produced. In February 1968, Columbo’s first show was broadcast on NBC in the United States. The police and its mount, the Peugeot 403 cabriolet, are inseparable.

A car that would appear in the garages of a film studio, by the actor himself. Peter Falk will remain faithful for example in the Columbo series.

Finally, three different Peugeot 403 converters will be used throughout the duration of the police operation. An example that has become a story today.

Peugeot 403 family technical paper

Engine: four cylinders in a row

Transfer: 1468 cm3

Power: 56 hp to 4900 rpm

Power supply: Solex carburettor

Transmission: for rear wheels

Height: 461 cm

Width: 168 cm

Height: 165 cm

Weight: 1170 kg

Top speed: 125 km / h



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