1938 Peugeot 202

In 1929 Peugeot introduced the nomenclature comprising a three-digit number with a central 0, rather than using a name when they launched the 201. In this trademark registered numbering system all numbers between 101 and 909 are covered with the first number representing the size of the car and the last number indicating its chronological position. You can imagine the red faces at Porsche when they applied to register their model 901 in 1963 and had to make a quick change and call it model 911.

Although the Peugeot 202 was first released in 1938 and on introduction was a roaring success, war caused a temporary cessation of production which was eventually resumed fully by 1946 with the return to peace. This was not an easy operation for Peugeot however, as their factories had been looted and their employees scattered, but with persistence they achieved it.

The Peugeot 202 was initially a four-door sedan. It was powered by an 1133 cc water-cooled 22 kW engine and was later joined by a two-door cabriolet and a light truck. It had a top speed of around 100 km/h. Its engine was front mounted and drove the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission which had synchromesh on both second and third gears.

Four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes were employed but the hand brake was mechanical on the rear wheels only.

An unusual feature of the 202 was the positioning of the front headlights which were fitted close together just behind the grille. Its front wheels featured independent suspension and at the rear inverted quarter elliptic leaf springs were used. One of the 202s competitors was the Citroen Traction Avant renowned for its excellent handling, however the 202 was considered easy to drive and gave reliable performance.

The 202 was very popular in developing nations as it was economical to run and was not an expensive car to acquire. In total 104,126 models were built in its model life.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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