"Two Generations of 404 Father-Son Bonding!" Mac Worley's 1966 Cabriolet Legacy
My Dad purchased his new 1966 Peugeot 404C Cabriolet from European Automotive Distributors in Norfok, VA. I was born in 1962, so what I know of it's origin depends on what I can remember of his recollections in my youth, as he died in 2000.
Mac with his paternal grandfather in 1969 in front of parked 1966 Peugeot 404 Convertible
Maternal grandfather in 1969 inspecting Cabriolet in rare Georgia snow
I do know that he sold the 404C to his best friend Carl around 1969, who kept it through the 1970s, eventually leaving it parked outside long enough for the convertible top to begin leaking. The erosive snowball of time then began to roll, until we saw it on a visit to Carl's place in 1978, complete with weeds growing tall and proud through the floorboards. I was a high school sophomore at the time. Seeing a restoration as a worthwhile father-son project, my Dad persuaded Carl to sell it to me for the promise that we'd keep him updated on our progress. We loaded it onto a trailer and brought it into my Dad's basement shop.
We spent the next 2 years restoring the car -- or at least the best we could do on a fairly modest budget. Lots of fun and more than a few MacGyver Moments. My Dad must have recently become enamored with the myriad applications for acrylic & fiberglass resin (after repairing our ski boat perhaps), as he decided we would use that to close the floor boards.
1981 Receipt for Peugeot restoration supplies from Eastern Auto Distributors, Inc.
The engine, doors/trunk/hood/top were removed, all trim and interior stripped off. We managed to hoist the car up on it's side beneath my parents' screened porch, and after creating a tent out of numerous bedsheets, I proceeded to sandblast the rust away (albeit the rust I could find). Countless layers of fiberglass resin were used to replace the floorboards (and other voids), which where then sprayed with several coats of soundproofing material.
Images above from first renovation in 1980's. Mac's Dad above inspecting progress and Mac below adding oil!
I cannot recall exactly what issue(s) we had with the engine, but I know that we purchased a 504 (Peugeot) engine from a local Atlanta junk yard and switched it out for the original engine. As I recall it ran fine with this engine, but I don't believe we left it in for more than 6 months before Dad decided to rebuild the original engine and returned it to it's home.
Soon thereafter we finished the bodywork and had it painted (not the original white but a sortof creme color -- looking back I have no idea why we didn't pick an original color). I drove the car through 4 years of college, ultimately letting my youngest brother take it from storage for his college years. We never got tired of the fuel station conversations. "Is that an MG?" "I've never seen one of those!". "What sweet lines!".
Three generations of Worleys's in 1985 - 4 years after 1st 404 Convertible renovation
Peugeot 404 C at 20 year rest in tractor shed before relocation 12 months ago
The car was then parked in 1990 in a tractor shed. Though protected from rain and sun, the shed was not a dehumidified space, and moisture has taken it's toll over 25 years. My 16 year old son has pledged to restore it with me one last time, so it was rescued from the shed about 12 months ago and since then has lived in a kinder basement garage, seeing very slow progress. Lord willing, it will eventually be restored completely, a second time....