Thursday 6th September 2012


SPOTTED: PEUGEOT 309 GTI

The 309 GTI isn't a looker, but who cares when its so good to drive?


Being honest, this didn't take a lot of searching. Sure, it's nice to have a Spotted that reminds everyone the Peugeot 208 GTI will soon arrive, continuing the French firm's hot hatch legacy, but 309s would have been looked at regardless.

Remember, you can't look at it from the driver's seat...
Remember, you can't look at it from the driver's seat...
The fondness for 309s comes simply from the fact that it's largely forgotten about in Peugeot's illustrious hot hatch back catalogue. Cars like the S1 106 Rallye and 306 GTI-6 remain coveted as a pair of the very best quick hatchbacks, and deservedly so. Prices for the 205 GTI are soaring. And yet the 309 GTI, which shares the components with the 205, rarely gets its due attention and values reflect this.

The reason is simple; compared to the pert and petite 205, the 309 was a bit of a munter. The shape was (and is) rather blocky and it lacks the cute cohesiveness of the smaller hatch. But in 2012 it looks refreshingly unpretentious to these eyes and the GTI touches (wheels, foglights, bumpers) lift the shape suitably. Alright, the 309 won't ever be one of Peugeot's great masterpieces but a GTI should be all about the driving, shouldn't it?

Cherry Red paint looks great
Cherry Red paint looks great
And speaking of driving, some argue the 309 is actually a more enjoyable steer than the 205 thanks to more favourable weight distribution. That boxier body allows the weight to be spread around more evenly, meaning greater neutrality and a reduced tendency for snap lift-off oversteer.

Either way, a 309 will still be great. I've wanted one for ages (I have a model in exactly the same colour!)and this Spotted is possibly the best example you could find. Not only is it hugely desirable in terms of spec (a three-door, first-gen car in Cherry Red), it also appears to have been meticulously owned throughout its 25-year life.

Grab a drink before you embark on the original ad, it's quite read. Dr Walker, who bought this GTI new in 1987, owned it for longer than I've been alive (!) and sold it on to the mechanic who had serviced it. The current proprietor has ensured the car has wanted for nothing. Though completely standard, this GTI has been treated to the best components; Ferodo pads, Helix oil, OEM suspension and exhaust parts. The advert makes for wonderful reading and there seems no reason to doubt the fastidious care seemingly lavished upon this little hatch. The vendor's enthusiasm is contagious, and it's only the Somerset location that is preventing me handing over the required cash and fulfilling my 309 GTI dream.

Nothing to distract you from driving in here!
Nothing to distract you from driving in here!
Ah yes, the cash. 309 GTI values simply can't hold a candle to those of the 205. This stunning GTI will cost you just £1,750. That makes it surely bargain of the century.

So there you have it. The drivetrain of the most celebrated hot hatch clothed in a less attractive body for under two grand. What more could you want? Somebody please buy this and enjoy it. Seriously, before I find myself on the way to Somerset...



PEUGEOT 309 GTI
Engine
:1,905cc, four-cylinder
Transmission:Five-speed manual
Power (hp): 132@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 119@4,750rpm
MPG:28
C02:N/A
First registered:29th September 1987
Recorded mileage:110,000
Price then:Dr Walker paid £9,695...
Yours for:£1,750

See the original ad here

 

Author: Matt Bird
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