I bought my 404 Cabriolet outside of Dijon, France in 1986 when I was working in the Annecy, Haute Savoie region. I restored the car as best I could on a young man's budget and drove it almost everyday and all over France and Italy. When I returned in 1990 to the US, I shipped the car back with me.
As life got busy, the cabriolet sat for long periods in my various home garages over the next 25 years, driven occasionally for beer, milk, and later ice cream runs with the kids. It sat as a nostalgic icon of the treasured experience I had driving with life-long friends in the alps.
On a trip to France in 2013, I decided it was time to really get back in touch with my francophile roots and learn more about my french 404 and its related cultural significance. I vowed to completely restore her to her glory. I didn't know much about 404's mechanically, so I joined le Club 404 in France and attended their annual driving get together, the Assemblee Generale (AG) in Auvergne. From that moment on, I was hooked. I became a 404ist and learned about all the 404 models, their history and about every part on my cabriolet (in french and english) during my complete restoration.
I learned how to reliably maintain my cab and the need to drive it as much as I can to keep it healthy vs a rusting garage anchor (much to my wife and kids dismay at times)!
What I have learned in speaking to other rare North American 404 owners, is that we all have meaningful histories with our cars. It's not just the stylish 404 Pinninfarina lines that attract us, but the shared memories with our dads, a family member, a special connection to France, or just the appeal of owning a beautiful, esoteric car far from its home.
Hope to hear your 404 story and your connection. Upload your pics, video and story below and we will post it with or without as much personal information as you wish.