Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Peugeot 404 Fire Extinguisher

There was always going to be a Peugeot 404 Light Truck (better known as a Pickup) in my diecast cabinet, but the issue was 'which one?'. It could easily be a plain white one, as that was the colour of the one owned by a close mate of mine, and which I drove and rode in many times. But white ones weren't so plentiful, and so I decided that fate would decide which type of 404 Pickup would arrive first in the mail. And it turned out to be this one, a French 'Pompiers' (ie, Fire Brigade) 404, and so for my cheesy little Photoshop diorama, it just had to be parked outside a Pompiers Station.

This 1:43 model by Atlas is a bit on the rough side, with an ill-fitting windscreen, but I do like
the ladder and the benches for the lads to sit on, however precariously.
While researching the 404 Pickup for this blog I was struck by how many of the 2.0 litre diesel powered versions are still in good supply. Here in Australia all (or most of) the 404 Light Lorries (which is what they were called here, or Light Trucks) came with the 1.6 litre petrol engine, and you still see them running around town often enough. That important difference aside, this was (and in many places still is) a wonderful work vehicle. Even the plain Peugeot 404 sedans were tough, but the Pickups were even tougher. The Pickups aren't just a sedan with a different body. These things were beefed up Pugs. Tougher suspension and a hypoid drive diff to replace the sedan's worm drive diff. They still came with that excellent rack and pinion steering and they handled remarkably well for a workhorse, and weren't remotely bothered by heading off-road. 

As my usual mainstay, You Tube, has a paltry collection of boring 404 Pickup videos, I thought to finish off my posting on this great vehicle that I'd go and plunder Google Images for a sampling of the many uses of the Peugeot 404 Pickup.

Of course, Fire Brigade duties! Here's a real one, in camionette mode.
Off to the camel races somewhere in the Middle East.
Carrying light loads of timber fuel in one of the former French African colonies. Are the
owners puzzled by the unexplained engine overheating problem?

Community taxi somewhere in Mauretania.
If we ever had to go back to basics and could only
produce one work vehicle for the whole world to
carry their goods around in, this would be one of
the best choices you could possibly make.

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