Formerly producers of tools, coffee mills, umbrella spikes and corsetry, Peugeot commenced its long-standing connection with transport in 1885 when it added cycle manufacture to its portfolio. The second oldest motor manufacturer in the world, the company commenced car production in 1889 with a steam-powered tri-car but soon abandoned steam in favour of the internal combustion engine, building a succession of ever larger automobiles before introducing the first of its famous Bébé light cars in 1900. There were two separate firms run by competing members of the Peugeot family up to 1910, when Lion Peugeot merged with the main concern. Between the wars Peugeot concentrated on making solid, well engineered cars, which was just what those difficult times required, and continued in that vein after WW2.
Produced from 1948 to 1960, the Peugeot 203 was not offered for sale in the UK until 1954. Its relatively high price in the UK restricted sales, but the car was a familiar sight to British tourists in France where fleets of 203s saw service with the French police. The 203 was powered by a 1,290cc four-cylinder engine of advanced design – incorporating over-square dimensions, overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers and wet cylinder liners – that produced 42bhp and drove via a four-speed gearbox with column change. Solidly constructed and possessing exemplary reliability, the tough 203 proved durable enough to win the 1953 Redex 6,500-Mile Trial in Australia and take class wins in the Safari Rally in 1954 and 59.
We are pleased to be offering this lovely 203 Break which was used as a taxi at the Hotel Sporting in Rimini. The car underwent a restoration in 2014 at a cost of €24,000 and comes to the sale with Italian registration papers.