1938 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable
ONE OF TWO UNRESTORED EXAMPLES, WITH ONLY 27,000 KM FROM NEW
UNVEILED AT THE 1935 PARIS AUTO SALON, the Peugeot 402 was a revolutionary automobile produced in Sochaux, France from 1935 to 1942. The 402 front end became the signature of the 1930’s Peugeot, and the car’s streamlined styling earned it the soubriquet “fuseau Sochaux” or, the “Sochaux rocket”. Peugeot was among the first high-volume manufacturers to produce such stylistically progressive automobiles.
If the styling of the 402 standard sedan was radical, this Cabriolet Métallique Découvrable, or “Éclipse Décapotable” as it was commonly known, was an ultra-modern - almost futuristic - realization. Recessed “safety” door handles highlighted the car’s innovative aspirations, as did the options of an automatic transmission and diesel engine. Beyond these options, the basic underpinnings of the 402 were conventional. Peugeot’s continued utilization of the traditional “body on frame” construction, in three different chassis lengths, made it possible for Peugeot to offer 16 different body types; incredible, even by 1930s standards.
Designed by Georges Paulin at Pourtout, the exclusive 402 Éclipse Décapotable featured the first retractable hardtop, patented in 1931. Peugeot stopped producing cabriolets and convertibles with the outbreak of war in 1939. Peter Mullin purchased this exceptionally rare and original car in March 2007 from Christoph Grohe of Switzerland.
Coachbuilder: Carrosserie Pourtout
Chassis No. 616787
Production No.: 1 of 500
Engine No. 333787
Inline Four-Cylinder Engine, 8 Valves
55 BHP At 4,000 RPM
3-Speed Manual Gearbox
Independent front suspension with lower links, transverse leaf springs and hydraulic dampers. Live rear axle with links, cantilever semi-elliptical leaf springs, links and friction shock absorbers
4-Wheel Cable-Operated Drum Brakes