1982 Peugeot 505 GR Estate

*** Interested parties please note, this vehicle is located in Republic of Ireland  ***

Guide Price: £9,000 - £12,000


﹒Recent barn find with little over 32,000 miles
﹒Modest specification but amazing condition
﹒Will probably go on forever if well looked after!

The background

If you believe French cars have a reputation for fragility, then perhaps you’re not familiar with the Peugeot 505. You won’t see many in the UK these days, nor even in their native France, but travel to a country where durability and ease of repair matters - Morocco, say, or Chile - and alongside the usual 1970s Mercedes, you’ll see an above-average number of old Peugeot saloons and estates too - particularly 504s and its replacement, the 505.

The 505’s longevity is at odds with its elegant styling, the work of both the company’s internal stylists and Pininfarina, and by the time production in Europe ended in 1992 it also had another unique aspect: it was the company’s last rear-wheel drive model. By then front-wheel drive had taken over in all the French brands but it gives particularly the sportier 505s (their number including turbos, GTIs and V6s) a different character to the front-drive 405 that replaced it.

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The history

Durable they may be but 505s are still rare in the UK, no doubt helped by relatively low numbers sold and something that will finish off most old cars eventually, corrosion. That makes this 1982 model, and particularly one in this condition, a real rarity - there are fewer than 50 left registered in the UK at the time of writing.

This particular car was first registered on December 3rd, 1982, an estate in modest GR trim with a 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a four-speed automatic gearbox. In such a specification it could have so easily led a hard life, first seeing family duty and then being driven into the ground by subsequent owners before ending up stacked on top of other unfortunate vehicles, but somehow, 39 years and just over 32,000 miles later, it must now be among the best in the country.

The seller bought the car in August 2020 from Stone Cold Classics in Kent, as a fan of the model and being impressed by this car’s condition. According to the original advert from the dealer, the car was discovered by a property developer purchasing properties from probate. The dealer recommissioned the car before putting it up for sale.

The current seller has had to do very little to the car, only putting in a pair of new Valeo headlamps, but otherwise describing the car as needing “nothing at all”.

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The paperwork

According to the seller there is very little paperwork with the car, beyond a few tax discs, a result of the car’s barn-find status. This is corroborated by the fact the car has been untaxed since 1991, suggesting the bulk of its 32,000 miles were completed in the first nine years, along with Stone Cold Classics stating in its advert that they needed to apply for a V5 themselves. The car does come MOTd until May 2021.

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The interior

As alluded to earlier, GR trim wasn’t at the top of the tree when the 505 was new. But nearly four decades down the line its combination of woven cloth trim, a simple two-spoke steering wheel and a basic instrument package has plenty of character - and having covered low mileage most of the trim hasn’t even had to test the theory that Peugeots of this vintage wear their miles well.

There’s little here to put off a buyer. Open each door and the door jambs are as tidy as the exterior paintwork, and all the seats are not just undamaged at the trim level but also look as plump as the day they left the factory. The door panels are also completely original and undamaged, and the carpet is showing no signs of distress, though is covered by new floor mats front and rear.

Potentially brittle parts like the seat adjustment levers or the centre console are all in exactly the shape they should be, as is the dashboard and all its switches and stalks. The steering wheel still retains its original texture, evidence of the low mileage, and the digital clock in the dash still appears to be working.

While the instrument cluster is basic with just a speedometer, coolant temperature gauge and fuel gauge, it does have a wonderful period touch in the form of the “Econoscope” - an early measure of economical driving much like we’re now used to in modern cars. The other area that matters - the boot - looks like it’s barely ever been used to haul anything significant.

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The exterior

Kudos to the original owner for choosing bright red for their 505 estate, as it still looks great to this day and really brings out the best in Peugeot and Pininfarina’s handsome lines. That might not have been the case of course had the car led a hard life, but as a true barn find and out of the elements for the last few decades, it’s done better than most.

The previous supplying dealer recommissioned the car but other than describing one or two marks the car’s bodywork was in excellent condition. That’s still the case a few months down the line, with straight panels, bright paintwork, no damage to glass or light fixtures (as previously mentioned, the front lights a recent replacement), and all four wheels are wrapped in Cooper tyres with plenty of remaining tread. The single underbody shot provided shows no cause for alarm either, and the full-size spare wheel is notably present.

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The mechanics

The seller says the 505 starts and drives perfectly, while the advert from the previous supplying dealer adds that the car ran like a dream with near-Citroen levels of ride quality! After the car was recovered from its slumber the dealer fully recommissioned the 505, giving it a fresh set of tyres, new brake lines, and a full set of filters and fluids (including transmission fluid for the automatic gearbox).

Underbonnet images show the 505 to be as tidy as its gentle history would suggest. Structural elements are all in great shape and unaffected by corrosion and the simple, four-cylinder engine sitting lengthways in the bay is predictably fresh given its low mileage. There appears to be a dusting of corrosion on the brake booster, but this is not uncommon and does not affect the operation of the brakes.

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The appeal

Peugeot’s sporty 1980s and 1990s hatchbacks are the cars making big money at the moment, but there’s a burgeoning market for well-kept examples of their humbler models too - particularly given the cooking cars are often hugely outnumbered by their performance counterparts. In this state of preservation, the 505 estate is a real treat, because you simply never see them any more, and those that remain tend to spend their time doing admirable duty as taxis in cities across the African continent. This one, we think, deserves a road trip to France once all the borders reopen - but would also be a shoo-in at classic car shows around the UK.

Please note: Photos provided by seller

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Peugeot
  • Model 505 GR Estate
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 32,576 Miles
  • Engine size 1971
  • Location NOT STATED
  • Country Ireland
Bidding history
72 bids
  • de•••• £20,250 11/02/21
  • Ke•••• £20,000 11/02/21
  • de•••• £19,750 11/02/21
  • Ke•••• £19,500 11/02/21
  • de•••• £19,250 11/02/21
  • Ke•••• £19,000 11/02/21
  • de•••• £18,750 11/02/21
  • Ke•••• £18,500 11/02/21
  • de•••• £18,250 11/02/21
  • Ke•••• £18,000 11/02/21

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