1970s / French / Open mic / Peugeot

Open mic: What’s the most underrated classic coupe?

Generally speaking, coupes are more sought-after – and, consequently, more valuable – than their four-door sedan counterparts. They’re often more powerful, better equipped and rarer than sedans, and the general consensus is that they look and drive better.

Look at Alfa Romeos, for example, Bertone coupe (105-/115-Series) prices started going up way before collectors turned their attention to the sedans. Today, both are worth a small fortune but that’s a different story for a different time. The same applies to the Giulietta, the Alfetta, the Lancia Fulvia and the BMW CS, just to name a few.

Some coupes are less lucky and have seemingly been black-listed by collectors because they look a little awkward, they suffer from reliability problems and/or they’re simply not that good to drive. What do you think is the most underrated classic coupe, and why?

We feel we can make a damn strong case for the Peugeot 304 Coupe. It’s gorgeous (at least we think so), it got a practical hatchback, it’s relatively fuel-efficient (i.e. it doesn’t have a huge engine with an unquenchable thirst for fuel) and it’s pretty reliable because it uses proven components sourced directly from the Peugeot parts bin. You’d think collectors would be all over it but we can’t remember the last time we saw one out on the road and they’re few and far between at car shows.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Open mic: What’s the most underrated classic coupe?

  1. Sorry if I am a little out of line here, but it jas to be this: http://www.automobileromanesti.ro/Dacia/Dacia_Sport/
    The Dacia 1410 Sport, or, to some extent, a chopped Renault 12 with a little performance tweak. Of course, the Renault 15/17, another underdog of the coupe world, is far better in any possible way, but the Dacia is an interesting if somewhat Eastern Blockish attempt at conjuring up a nifty coupe for those more equal than others. Limited production, too (somewhere around 5000 built, ’83 to ’92). Apparently features in Practical Classics.
    If not, I’ll go for the R15.

    • Great choice. I really like the 1410, there’s a very clean red one in this area that the owner imported from Romania and restored a few years ago. It shows up at car shows on a regular basis, here’s a shot of it taken last year: https://ranwhenparked.net/2014/04/08/the-2014-avignon-motor-festival/2014-avignon-motor-festival-dacia-1410-sport-1/

      Which reminds me, I bought a 1/43-scale 1410 model in Rome last month, I keep meaning to write something about it but I haven’t had the time.

      • Good Lord! I’ve seen that particular Sport while surfing the net, but didn’t think it actually was in France. Nice to know the good old Dacias are finally getting some attention abroad. Seems the 1300 was popular in DDR too.
        Is it an IXO model? Can’t wait for it to be showcased. I’m into modeling myself (the scaled-down cutter and tweezers in hand kind of modeling, that is). Cheers!

      • Good Lord! I’ve seen that particular Sport while surfing the net, but didn’t think it actually was in France. Nice to know the good old Dacias are finally getting some attention abroad. Seems the 1300 was popular in DDR too.
        Is it an IXO model? Very nice! Can’t wait for it to be showcased. I’m into modeling myself (the scaled-down cutter and tweezers in hand kind of modeling, that is). Cheers!

      • Hey, I just checked, it’s not IXO. I don’t actually know who makes it, there’s nothing written on the base of it, I’ll look into it.

      • Interesting. Doesn’t it at least have DeAgostini marked on it, somewhere? Is it by any chance a grey-ish blue? There was a paperback collection here, Legendary Cars (that sadly is no more), that issued most of the locally produced fine automobiles (actually some of them were so), and the publisher was DeA. It included the aforementioned 1410.

      • It’s orange and nope, it doesn’t say DeAgostini anywhere on it. I also have an ARO 241, a Zastava 101, a Dacia 1309 and an Oltcit from the same collection. I bought them all at a flea market in Rome.

        I’ll do my best to take pics of the 1410 in the next few days – I’ve been incredibly busy as of late.

  2. I’d like to put in a good word for the Alfasud TI. Nimble, quick, great engine and all but forgotten, mainly because the tinworm liked them too.

    • Those TIs rusted pretty well, yeah. A guy who lives a few streets away drove one every day for a long time (original plates so probably the original owner) but I haven’t seen it in years – every time I drive past his house I tell myself it’s hidden away in his garage, though I’m guessing he simply got rid of it.

  3. Love the Pug Coupe – my lusting after all things FIAT however takes me direct to the FIAT 123/3P Coupe – a standard 128 saloon was nippy and handled well – putting some exotic rust prone tin on the chassis just increases its desirability for me.

    If you want classic high quality engineering though can I put in a mention for the Skoda Rapid Coupe ? A 911 for a fraction of the price. And I believe an aluminium block and a cast iron head just to be different?????

    • Both good ones. You occasionally 128 coupes at car shows here in France but the Rapid was rare when new and all but extinct today. Last time I saw one was in.. uhh.. somewhere near the border between England and UK, a small-ish town, and the car was rotting away in someone’s driveway.

  4. I’m a huge fan of Fiat 130 coupes, although I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Something about the way they were over designed and yet under engineered makes me wonder the all too often “what could have been”. Overall it’s the large coupes that I keep coming back to, and more power to them if they don’t have a roundel or a three pointed star on the hood!

    • Good call, though they’ve been slowly going up in value recently, haven’t they? I remember 6-7 years ago they were pretty cheap, you could get a cleanish, running example for $2,500.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s