From 1948 to 1954 the Peugeot 203 was the sole model in the Peugeot lineup,
but what a beauty it was. Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October, the
new Peugeot represented the first totally new post-war car, and in the process
Peugeot adopted a unique model policy.
The 203 was built on a monocoque shell,
and featured quite an unusual engine design for a standardised production car,
4 cylinders with hemispherical Alpax cylinder heads and V-inclined valve heads,
with the spark plugs being fitted in a central well.
It may not have been the
most powerful or gracious car around, but few could rival its strength and
durability. Manufactured at the Peugeot facility in Sochaux, such was the popularity
of the car that some 685,828 would be manufactured until manufacture of the
203 finally came go a halt in February, 1960.
The 203 would make an indelible
mark on the Australian motoring history annals when Ken Tubman and John Marshell
drove one in the inaugural 1953 Redex Round Australia Trial
Few thought the
underpowered 1.3 liter Peugeot capable
of finishing the race, particularly as it was in “stock” condition,
but finish it did – in first place.
In total there were eleven 203’s
entered in the Redex Trial, the 203’s proving to be somewhat unbreakable,
and all eleven cars would finish without major incident.
In 1956 the Peugeot
404 would take out the event again, proving once and for all just how durable
the post war Peugeots were.