・Lots of recent work carried out, all fully documented
・A wonderful example with no to-do list
*The photos featured in this listing were provided directly from the seller*
For a great many enthusiasts, Peugeot’s 205 GTI is the ultimate hot hatch. You’ll undoubtedly have observed the way that values have engorged in recent years, and this isn’t simply investors posturing for retro cachet – these are cars that are so spectacularly entertaining to drive, they worm their way under your skin… these people who are shelling out the big bucks for GTIs today are folks who owned them back in the day and are keen to rekindle that magic. It’s an icon, plain and simple, and nothing else creates quite the same feeling of driver engagement and addictive tactility. Some preferred the 1.6’s shorter gearing, others favoured the 1.9 for its 130bhp grunt, but they all offered stellar acceleration thanks to wafer-thin, uber-lightweight construction, and otherworldly handling that got better the faster you went. The lion, as the adverts used to say, goes from strength to strength. As true today as it’s ever been.
The current owner is something of a GTI aficionado, and has owned this car for the last three years. The car was generally in very good condition as-bought, although it needed some attention to the boot floor and under the rear seats; nevertheless, going in with his eyes open and knowing what he was dealing with, he snapped it up. The first order of business was to strip the whole interior back to a bare cabin and remove the fuel tank to get full access for inspection, so he could forensically check for corrosion or any other potential issues; finding a patch of rusty metal under the rear seat and a little more in the rear corners of the boot floor, he had these professionally repaired. The shell was then painted, seam sealed and undersealed.
The Bosch air metering unit had been replaced with a new one before he bought it, and the owner opted to replace the aftermarket air filter it was running with the standard airbox and pipework. He replaced numerous ancillary items including the alternator, distributor, coil, plugs, and ignition amplifier. The GTI had remnants of old alarms and immobilisers scattered about, and these were all professionally removed. A new stainless exhaust had been installed just before he bought it, and he also had the carpets cleaned and new sound deadening installed in the cabin and boot. A comprehensive refresh by a true enthusiast. Since all this was carried out, the 205 has been enjoyed in dry weather for local trips and on a couple of weekends away; the reason for sale now is simply that he’s finished restoring another GTI and it doesn’t make sense to have two identical cars. And so, for one fortuitous bidder, this outstanding example of arguably the greatest hot hatch is now looking for its next loving home.
The V5 is present, along with the original handbook. A handful of MOTs are here to verify the mileage, and there’s a reassuringly comprehensive file of receipts for all the work that’s recently been undertaken. While there’s no history for the early life of the car, there’s plenty of documentation for all the recent work to prove that this fine example is just as good as it looks. The current MOT runs until November.
The interior of a 205 GTI is a fabulously evocative place to be. If you’re used to modern cars, it’s easy to forget how airy the glasshouse of a 1980s/90s hatchback is, thanks to those super-slim pillars and the deep window-line; in addition, the GTI has those legendary lipstick-red carpets to remind you that you’re somewhere special, along with a wonderfully supportive set of half-leather seats.
Marque experts will be painfully aware of how the seat stitching on some GTIs likes to separate as the leather shrinks, but there’s no evidence of that here – the seats are in excellent condition, with no rips, marks or undue wear, and they tilt forward correctly to allow access to the rear. It’s all remarkably tidy, with an amazingly fresh-looking dash, and the owner assures us that everything works. The carpets and doorcards are all in great condition, the headlining is spot-on, and this is a non-sunroof car so you don’t have to worry about the weird vacuum leaks from that odd factory sunroof so many examples were fitted with. The parcel shelf has no speaker holes, and it’s all very tidy inside the boot.
The metallic Graphite Grey paint is a superb colour choice for the GTI, it suits the lines so well – and it also highlights how straight and decent the bodywork of this car is; it’s an unforgiving shade when it comes to dents and ripples, but we can see quite clearly here that this 205’s body panels are extremely good throughout. It’s all original, and the owner describes it as ‘arrow-straight’; we also know, from his in-depth endeavours after buying the car, that it’s all solid and honest beneath as well. All of the correct trim and badging is in place, and the light lenses and window glass are all good (and everybody loves yellow fogs). The car is fitted with the correct 15” Speedline alloy wheels, wearing Toyo Proxes T1-R tyres with excellent tread. The wheels have been subject to an older refurb which has left them with some white marks under the lacquer, possibly as a result of overspray, and a perfectionist may wish to have the wheels refurbished again.
On the whole – no scratches, no dents, no blemishes to detract from the old-school majesty of the form; truly a joyous thing to behold.
The zingy engine is the GTI’s party piece, its rev-happy nature making the most of the low kerb weight and intuitive handling to make it an absolute riot in the twisties. At the time, the idea of shoehorning a high-performance 1.9-litre engine into a tiny hatchback seemed almost absurd, and the lunacy of it holds up today: 130bhp may not seem like a pub boast in modern terms, but trust us – it’s more than enough to make the 205 a proper handful.
The engine in this car is in fine fettle, and has been recently serviced. The gearbox – another essential element of the GTI legend – is similarly great, with a nice precise shift. The owner reports no issues with the steering or brakes, and the suspension has recently been treated to new drop-links. It drives just as a proper 205 GTI should.
If you’ve driven a 205 GTI, you’ll know what these cars are about. And if you haven’t, you’ll certainly have heard other people espousing their virtues and will no doubt be intrigued. Believe the hype, they really are that good.
And this example? This is the one you want. It’s in the right colour, it’s not wearing silly mileage, it’s in a pukka original spec with none of the ostentatious aftermarket mods so many were subject to – and crucially, it’s been owned by someone who really knows their stuff. This hasn’t just been maintained on a fix-it-if-it-breaks basis, it’s been analysed in detail to ensure that everything is tip-top, with anything that needed addressing being dealt with by professionals. It’s been welded where needed, painted, seam sealed and undersealed, fitted with all sorts of new parts, and is now presented in great condition with nothing for the new owner to do beyond simply living the retro hot hatch dream.
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