Car: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 LE
Currently own: Peugeot 306 GTI-6, Peugeot 106 GTI, Porsche 986 Boxster S and an ever changing modern Peugeot - currently a new 3008
Previously owned: Peugeot 306 1.9d (17.7 seconds to 62!), Peugeot 206CC, Peugeot 206 GTI 180, Peugeot 308CC, Peugeot 208 GTI, Peugeot RCZ 200 THP, Rover Cabriolet, Daihatsu Fourtrak, BMW E90 325d, Jaguar S-Type 2.7d plus many more Peugeots.
Why I bought it:
"My mother had a succession of six 205 GTIs (all 1.6s) when I was a child, so after spending my formative years swaying with the car through the Kent countryside it was inevitable that one day I would end up owning one. I specifically wanted a limited edition (only 299 in the UK identical to mine when new) as I wanted the leather seats, power steering and the sunroof. I could do without the electric windows. Ideally I wanted one finished in Miami Blue but as I'm an impatient type of chap after a week I pulled the trigger on one advertised on PistonHeads in Sorrento Green over in neighbouring Essex. Don't buy the first one you look at, go away and sleep on it, blah, blah blah..."
"We're Peugeot dealers ourselves down in sunny Margate, and being a child of the 80s I'd grown up in and around cars of that era so there wasn't much I wasn't clued up on. Our Master Tech served his apprenticeship working on 205s so I had a wealth of information to be called upon as and when needed."
Things I love:
"Firstly, the looks. I think as hatchbacks go, modern or historic, the 205 has just about nailed it. Four years later and I still find myself catching the reflection in shop windows and smiling. I won't get into the 1.6 vs 1.9 debate but for me, with the smaller engine, you can drive it as Peugeot intended and for a lot of the time not be at speeds that are going to be getting you into bother. A quiet country lane, a summer afternoon, windows down, sunroof open and the sound of the engine fizzing its way up the rev range is all I need - I'm in Peugeot nirvana then! It gets a positive reaction wherever you go, numerous times people have approached me just to talk about it. Being somewhat introverted, at times, I'm not always sure this is something that I 'love', but it is a positive nonetheless. Until recently it has been a cheap path into a true enthusiast's car and is a model that nearly all petrolheads take a keen interest in, a real leveller."
Things I hate:
"Aside from people who say "shame it's not a 1.9" and wildly overgrown hedges protruding into the road, absolutely nothing! I'm sure this is a love affair that is to go on and on. Oh yes, but there was this one kind individual who decided to take a key down one side..."
"Well, first and foremost these are incredibly cheap cars to keep in good order - compared to my 986 Boxster S, it's a dream. I have however had a few things changed over and above regular servicing, including a cambelt, a new exhaust, brakes, a refurbished rear beam, a clutch and a set of new tyres in my ownership. We have (sorry, now had) a surprising number of bits on our shelf left over from when they were current. Then there was the person who scratched it. After keeping it sporting scars for about 18 months I decided to bite the bullet and have it fully resprayed by our in-house body shop; the leather was cracked too so I had the seats recovered by a local upholsterer. I sourced new red strips from the Peugeot Museum in France as the previous ones were kinked in places. Although it's still not concourse it is incredibly presentable now and as such leads a semi-sheltered life indoors."
Where I've been:
"It gets about, certainly! There was a period where it was in fine mechanical fettle but looked a bit rough and this coincided with a 205 GTI 30th birthday celebration down in Sochaux. I read about it online on the Friday and boarded a ferry after work on the Saturday: just me, my 25-year-old car, no breakdown cover and 1000 or so kilometres for the weekend. What could possibly go wrong? Luckily nothing! I was, however, slightly embarrassed that out of all the beautiful 205s there they had mine park right outside the museum doors; I guess right-hand drive was a novelty but my then edgy 205 filled with crisp and chocolate wrappers looked a little out of place. I had a great time getting lost, arguing with my sat-nav and finding my way down close to the Swiss border. The statutory photo was taken at Reims on the way back, I found that F1 hotels can be surprisingly comfortable and I even managed to sample some nice bits of steak.
"It's been back to France a couple of times since, partook in last year's London to Brighton Classic Car Run and earlier this month went on PSCUK's Yorkshire Driving Weekend, which was superb; I can't recommend the club enough to anyone with a Peugeot. I've been to a few Sunday Services and the 'Hot Hatch' Breakfast Club at Goodwood too."
"The power steering fluid has been leaking a bit and the lacquer on the alloys is starting to peel from a refurb I had done from when I first got the car. Other than that just more adventures, please!"
"Owning the car has led me to do things and go on trips that I wouldn't have done with more modern machinery, whether a Peugeot or not, so I would encourage everyone to buy an older car and let it take you on an adventure. This car and I will never part ways."