We Spotted This Peugeot 505 S V6 on the Street

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read

By 1989 the Peugeot 505 had been on sale for some time. The model debuted for 1980, and this made it one of the oldest European sedans on sale by 1989, upstaged largely by the Volvo 240. And it still had a couple more years to go.

So it was being asked to do quite a lot even by the standards of the late 1980s.

It helped that the smaller Peugeot 405 arrived the same year to solid reviews from the automotive press, if not dealers poring over sales figures. But the 505 was still the marque’s main offering after the 504 and the 604 left earlier in the decade, and new models like the 205 and the 305 never made it across the Atlantic.

By 1989 the 505 had already seen a few stylistic tweaks. But the main event was the sudden appearance of European-spec taillights and rear bumpers on the 505 sedan. The US-market 505 had featured quite different taillights compared to the European model, but for one model year the sedan inexplicably received the Euro-spec glass.

This made the 505 look vaguely like an Audi from the back, while also giving owners a generous Euro-spec plate niche. It also acted as an inexpensive facelift that didn’t require designing new parts.

These details made the 1989 model year for 505 sedans a famous one in Peugeot circles, and something of a rarity.

But sales were certainly slowing down by this point, mostly for the reason that the model had been on sale for a while and remained quite pricey, especially compared to Japanese competitors of the time.

When 505 production ended in Europe, so did Peugeot’s long tenure stateside.

Incidentally, 1989 was also the year that Peugeot could have brought a newer and larger sedan stateside.

The 605 flagship debuted the very same year, featuring the exterior design of a scaled-up 405 sedan, but it was also destined to be expensive and not particularly sporting. The top engine in the 605 was a 3.0-liter V6, while the German and Japanese competition was offering V8 and V12 engines in their flagships. And the 605 itself was never really considered a direct challenger to the big German sedans even in Europe.

To be sure, the 605 would not have been a direct replacement for the 505, which was one of the reasons it never made it here, and it would also have been eye-wateringly expensive for a brand that was, on its best days, a Volvo and Saab competitor.

So when 505 production ended in Europe, so did Peugeot’s long tenure stateside.

The direct replacement for the 505 in Europe, complete with a wagon variant, was the 406, perhaps best known in the US (if at all) for its appearance in Ronin. But the 406 wouldn’t arrive until quite a bit later in 1996, which was half a decade after Peugeot importation effectively ended.

It turns out that Peugeot was indeed thinking about bringing the 406 stateside.

The dealership whose sticker is on this 505 sedan is that of Reynolds Peugeot of Old Lyme, Connecticut. And it brought a couple of 406 sedans to its showroom in 1996, by which time the dealership had switched to a Subaru franchise but offered its Peugeot fans in the area test drives in the new sedan.

Additionally, Peugeot kept an office in New Jersey for years thereafter and kept other employees in New York, with modern Peugeots regularly spotted on manufacturer plates in the area.

The 406 never made it here, and we’re not sure it would have generated enough sales for the automaker to relaunch a dealership network stateside without other very competitive models aimed at US buyers, especially after several years of absence.

With the 505 customer base having moved on to other brands, once the tenure of the 505 ended so did Peugeot’s hope of maintaining a sales presence stateside.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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