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Group B rally trucks are often associated with rally racing in the 1980s. These extremely fast and powerful vehicles are unfortunately known to be fairly dangerous. However, this era of rally racing is often referred to as the golden era of rallying. And one brand that had legitimate success during this time was Peugeot, even racing its 504 pickup truck. 

What is the Peugeot 504?

The Peugeot 504 is a vehicle that the French automaker produced from 1968 to 1983, and during that time, it was only offered in a single generation. Although the 504 started as a car, a pickup truck version eventually hit the market. 

A Peugeot 504 Group B rally car sits on display.
Peugeot 504 | Thomas Vogt

For the 1980 model year, the Peugeot 404 truck was replaced by the 504 truck. And even after the car was discontinued in 1983, the truck stayed in production until 1993. 

A Peugeot 504 pickup was also a Group B rally truck.
Peugeot 504 | Gerhard Joren via Getty Images

It is worth noting that although production in Europe ended for this truck, it was still made in other parts of the world. But perhaps the coolest part about this Peugeot 504 is that it is a legitimate Group B rally truck. 

The 504 is a mysterious rally truck

Although the Peugeot 504 truck was never homologated in Group A, it did participate in Group B rallying. It did not use a V6 engine; instead, under the hood was a 1971 cc four-cylinder engine or a 1796 cc four-cylinder engine. 

According to Rally Group B Shrine, a common myth about the Peugeot 504 rally truck is that it is four-wheel drive. In reality, this pickup utilized RWD. Sending power to the rear wheels was seen as more reliable and also aided in better fuel economy. Both things are ideal for endurance rallying. 

Although the 504 rally truck is far from being the most powerful Group B rally racer, it is fairly rugged. After all, it is a pickup truck. So even though it didn’t have the same speed as some of its rivals, it was able to overcome some legitimate obstacles. In the 1983 Safari Rally, Johnny Hellier and John Hope took 8th place with the 504. 

A Peugeot 205 T16 with rally livery shows off.
Peugeot 205 T16 | Michael Cole via Getty Images

If you are familiar with Peugeot’s history in rally racing, you probably know about the Peugeot 205 T16. This truck might not be as legendary as that car, but it did hold its own while it was being raced. 

When did Group B end?

By 1991, Group B was coming to an end. GT championships moved to other classes, such as Group GT. The last cars homologated in Group B were in 1993, but the FIA did make provisions in later years. 

If you’re a rallying fan like myself, you likely look back on Group B racing with a certain level of respect and appreciation. Not only are the cars extremely cool, but some awesome races happened as well. Though, I have to mention just how dangerous the sport was at that time, even for folks spectating on the sidelines. 

The Peugeot 504 rally truck might not be the most successful vehicle to come out of the Group B era. But it is a reflection of automotive companies really pushing the limits with what they had available at the time.

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