Any car can be reliable when ingenuity is vastly more abundant than resources. I.e. Cuba and Africa. I always thought the 505 was a handsome car and I owned one that I used for precisely one RallyX national tour stop. Bought it for $500, won my class in my first ever RallyX, sold it the next week.
I’m totally fascinated by how people perceive cars as reliable or not. The fact that some consider the 505 durable is just another example.
Its like the old MBs that you see in Africa. I would not want to own and maintain one, but maybe I’m spoiled by what I have access to. I wonder what would happen if you swapped a Camry for one. How would it be perceived?
I do like how the 505 looks. There were a million of them in Argentina when I lived there in the early 2000s.
I very much remember driving to college, must have been 96 or so, and being behind a 505 with SCCA stickers and a partial cage at a stop light. I have always thought they looked cool and would probably own one if the right circumstance presented its self.
Arlo Cota and Imported Car Center in Vermont had a 505 Turbo with over 80000 race miles on it. It did everything from IT to hillclimbs.
I think it has to do with many countries being smaller and having a population comfortable with public transportation. It’s a lot easier to lower your expectations when you’ve got options.
A lot of the Peugeot reputation overseas has to do with durability and not reliability, and was forged by the 504, not the 505. A durable car can be repaired and rebuilt endlessly with simple facilities and rudimentary skills (think VW Beetle and Model T Ford), without necessarily being anvil reliable.