Some cars begin life by fitting neatly into a certain category and then they remain in that pigeonhole perpetually. Others transcend their initial class to become something greater, and that is indeed the case with the Peugeot 205 GTI. A big player in the hot hatch battles of the 1980s the 205 GTI is considered to be one of the best of that bunch thanks to its perfect mix of scintillating handling, good looks and driver involvement. And rightly so, but it has become so much more than that. It is a bona fide classic now, as well as a sound investment, and the little French runabout has come up in the world with prices reaching the tens of thousands for good examples. Gone are the days of picking up a project GTI for less than a grand – the Peugeot 205 GTI has joined the ranks of the classic car big boys and it’s here to stay, so if you want in on the action then this 1.9 example could be for you.
Currently available on our auction platform this late, 1989 model has the 1.9-litre lump producing 130bhp, and being a pre-catalytic converter car makes it the pick of the bunch as far as outright performance is concerned. It’s not only the engine that differs from its 1.6 little brother though, with the larger displacement cars featuring disc brakes all round, half leather seats and bigger, 15 inch wheels. The car you see here has covered 127,395 miles but in 2016 the motor was fully rebuilt by 3D Motorsport so you can be safe in the knowledge that all 130bhp is still readily available at the behest of your right foot.
The motor has obviously enjoyed some well-earned refreshment but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the car has been neglected, far from it. The body was rebuilt in 2013 to the tune of £7,700 and remains in great condition having been attentively looked after ever since. The mechanicals were treated to an overhaul in 2012 as well with myriad new parts being fitted, including genuine Peugeot shocks, Eibach front springs, a new factory exhaust and ultra-rare Siem fog lights. To match the 30mm drop at the front due to the Eibach springs the rear torsion bar suspension was lowered as well to match and improve the already impressive handling, giving the car a better, more aggressive stance in the process.
As the pictures show the car is in great condition, both inside and out. The original Topaz Blue paint retains its lustre and the original Speedline alloy wheels have been refurbished, matching the quality of the rest of the car. This is a ‘Phase 1.5’ car which means the interior received a smoother dash and any visible, painted metal was covered up. With a mixture of Hurricane Grey upholstery and deep red carpets and trim panels the interior is 100% original and in superb, used condition for a 13 year old car. The half cloth and leather seats remain firm but comfortable and will fully support you as you’re rocketing around the highways and byways of the countryside in this Gallic guided missile.
Although this 1989 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 presents well throughout it isn’t a concours show pony, which is a good thing. Yes, it has been lovingly cared for and maintained but it has also seen regular use – it has been driven, which is exactly what we should be doing with our classics. It doesn’t deserve to be holed up in a garage for the rest of its life – it should be enjoyed, because it is such an enjoyable car to drive and you could be doing just that. If you’re passionate about driving, if you relish the pure pleasure of simply driving cars then you owe it to yourself to chuck in a bid for a chance to own and fully appreciate this iconic hot hatch, to fulfil its purpose and let it be what it is meant to be.