• One of under 1,000 UK S1 Rallyes, of which few still survive
• Recent no expense spared restoration to original specifications
• Excellent mechanical condition
• Enthusiast owned and maintained
Peugeot has created some of the best hot hatchbacks over the last 35 years, and while its “GTI” badged cars have stolen most of the limelight, the 106 Rallye is right up there with the greatest.
First created in 1994 as a homologation model for the 1300cc class, the S1 Rallye was a lighter and more powerful version of the XSi, with a close-ratio gearbox suited to the tarmac rally stages. Barely 1,000 came to the UK.
Like its siblings, this S1 hit the UK's roads in 1994, and with nearly 150,000 miles on the clock since – an average of 5,500 a year – it's clearly had a life! In fact the mileage seems pretty consistent throughout the years, only slowing down recently as it's been brought back to its best.
Although we don't have many records on the car before the last decade, in more recent years it's passed through the hands of enthusiasts before ending up as a restoration project with the current owner – accounting for the barely 500 miles it's covered in the last two years.
With the work completed, the car is now ready for a new owner to enjoy this rare classic.
There's a decent-sized binder with the 106, predominantly detailing recent work and bills. That includes work carried out by previous owners to recondition the engine.
Along with the invoices, there's old MOTs and tax discs, and even a collection of photographs of the car from a previous owner.
There's also a Haynes manual for the 106 model range, as well as a Haynes Max Power guide to modifying 106s – though given the effort to return the car to almost factory condition, this latter book is more for reference than instruction.
The 106 has a pretty small interior, but it packs rather a lot in. That starts with the pretty distinctive red carpet throughout, which is in great condition and protected by 106 Rallye-branded floor mats.
There's only four seats in the cabin, each with red seatbelts – except the driver's seat. These are generally in good condition, with a few areas of pulled stitching, and a larger area of marking on the front passenger seat.
The rest of the cabin is in excellent condition, from the door cards to the dashboard. As far as we can tell, all of the controls function as they should. There's an aftermarket JVC headunit with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
There's sound deadening mats in the boot – a wise precaution, as the 106 Rallye runs at 4,000rpm at 70mph – hidden under the floor carpet, which is also in good condition.
The 106 S1 Rallye only came in three colours – white, red, and black – and this car is quite clearly the Cherry Red. We can't find fault with it anywhere, with no fading, chips or scratches; it hardly looks like 27-year old, 150,000-mile paint.
Of course an obvious feature of the Rallye is the “Peugeot Talbot Sport” decals, and these are present and correct down both sides and above the offside headlight and tail-light. This car also sports some additional Hella spot lights.
The Rallye's other signature external feature is the Michelin Sport steel wheels. These are 5.5x14” items painted in white, and again are the standard item for the cars, and in great condition.
It's just as clean underneath. There's so few signs of wear you'd swear the odometer is off by orders of magnitude – even on the fifth white steel wheel slung underneath.
The Rallye is in great mechanical condition, also belying its age and mileage. There's an aftermarket intake, exhaust from the manifold back, and radiator, but otherwise it's in standard trim.
That important 1.3-litre engine fires up on the turn of the key, without smoke or fuss, and settles down to a satisfyingly loud idle right away. It revs without issue, and forward and reverse gears engage as they ought.
There's no issues that we can spot with the brakes and suspension, and the rear dampers are upgraded Bilstein items often used as a modification for track cars. We've not had the chance to try that particular quality, but we'd expect it to be as good as it looks.
A pretty special and rare hot hatch, the 106 S1 Rallye is as much a collector's item as it is a thrilling driver's car. This example has been returned to almost factory specifications after 25 years on the road, and is a must have for hot hatch enthusiasts.
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