Shed of the Week: Peugeot 306 GTI-6

Ah, the 306 GTI-6. It's the best part of four years since one of these gems last appeared on our unworthy Shedly screen. Like today's Shed, the 2013-advertised one was a W-plater in silvery-blue. Unlike today's £1,295 137,000-mile car, that one had done less than 50,000 miles and was under £1,000.

Which implies one of two things: today's Shed is overpriced, or values for these GTi-6s are on the way up. Let's look at the evidence and see what we think.

Original 306 launched in 1992...
Original 306 launched in 1992...
Four years on from its appearance here, that low-miles Pug has just failed its MoT, mainly on small lighting stuff but also on excessive emissions. Given that the car still only has 68,000 on the clock, which represents fewer than 5,000 miles a year, the CO2 thing could probably be at least partially sorted by giving the car a good seeing-to on the nearest fast road.

And beasting a GTI-6 along a fast road would be a very pleasurable activity. This car is from an age of pure chassis design. According to our Matt's report, the otherwise exciting-looking Hyundai i30 N has 1,944 different driving modes: proof, if any were needed, that the manufacturers really have lost the plot on chassis settings and are just handing the problem over to us punters to sort out.

The GTI-6 demonstrates that you actually only need one driving mode, as long as it's a good 'un. The one Peugeot gave to the 306 GTI-6 was most certainly that. Admittedly, car makers at the back end of the last century weren't as restricted by the suspension-confounding requirements of safety as they are today. Even so, there have always been (and always will be) exceptional cars that rise above the average in any era, and the 306 GTI-6 was one of them.

If the windows and air-con fail it's a Rallye, right?
If the windows and air-con fail it's a Rallye, right?
It weighed a little over 1,200kg, which seems not very much these days but was nowt special back them. The thing to remember though was that it was only 20kg or so heavier than the utterly sparkling 306 Rallye, which went without the GTI-6's air-con and half-leather trim.

The suspension was conventional enough, although the torsion beam/trailing-arm rear set-up did incorporate some passive rear steer. Mounted well back under the bonnet was PSA's lovely 2.0-litre 16-valve four putting out 167hp at 6,500rpm. This was hooked up to a Peugeot motorsport-developed six-speed trans described by Autocar as "so precise and smooth, you find yourself changing gear for the hell of it". Shed seems to recall it being the first six-speeder in the hot hatch class.

Blessed with the 306 S16's quick steering rack, it was a lovely thing to punt about, and surprisingly tail-happy for a front-driver too (are they ever - MB). Silverstone used to use them for ARDS race licence testing, which tells you something.

The PH ad gives the acceleration figures as 0-60 in 8.8sec. Nobody seems really sure about the truth, but the rumour is that contemporary Peugeot tests were carried out with a full load. Shed reckons something in the mid-sevens might be nearer to the mark.

If you want a GTI-6, this particular example is definitely worth a gander. Things to watch out for? Well, 306 interiors aren't Germanic in terms of quality. Seat mounts and adjusters are notoriously rubbish, the air-con is unlikely to be working at this stage, and you'll probably have electric window issues at some point.

15-inch Cyclones still great looking wheels
15-inch Cyclones still great looking wheels
Then you've got potential woes from crackly electrics, and rust, obviously, given the sheer age of the thing. Having said that, the 306 resists corrosion pretty well. At a distance at least, this one looks clean. It's had plenty of work done and plenty of bits added, plus the MoT history is very nice.

The parts that make the GTI-6 so good are also the parts that take a hammering and break. In that list you can put suspension parts generally, engine mounts and driveshafts, and rear axles. Trailing arm bearing failure can give the wheels a jaunty new angle of dangle.

In engines generally, cambelts do two things: whizz around or snap. The one on this engine is an interference type, and so needs careful examination (and preferably changing) every 36,000 miles.

Many of those who have tried both put the 306 GTI-6 above the 205 GTI, which is high praise indeed. The body style still looks fresh nearly 20 years on. Mrs Shed has been hinting about how much she would love something small and French. Shed has been trying to pluck up the courage to pop a snail on her pillow. So far he's had no trouble resisting the temptation to give her one, but maybe this 306 could change things.

Here's the ad.

2000 Peugeot 306 GTI - 6
137k miles
MOT until July 2018
2 previous owners
Some invoices/service history
Paperwork includes Original Certificate of Conformity along with original invoice and service book (2 stamps)

Bought a few years ago following snapped cambelt repairs included:

Full set of inlet and exhaust valves
Full set of exhaust guides
Valves seats machined
Hydraulic buckets stripped and re-primed
Head Skim
Cambelt and water pump

These repairs were done at approx 111k. And within a year after a new imaxle rear beam was fitted, along with rear wheel bearings, rear caliper and pads and discs all round.

Prior to it's MOT in July 17 it had:
New Pug Racing cat back exhaust (original cat still used)
2 new rear tyres
Handbrake cables
New Nissens radiator
Oil, air and fuel filter change.

The car passed with no advisories

Bodywork is in good condition a few marks in paintwork on passenger door but nothing major. Main damage is to the alloy wheels where paint is flaking off and to the front bumper where there is a scrape and the bottom of the bumper is cracked.

Interior is in nice condition although drivers and passengers seat is wearing thin and a few holes are starting.

Open to Offers

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (148) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Filibuster 29 Sep 2017

    Way to go!!

  • essayer 29 Sep 2017

    A good shed

  • dinkel 29 Sep 2017

    We miss cars like this...

  • SS2. 29 Sep 2017

    Happy memories - had two of those way back when.

    Pretty bland performance figures by today's standards but great fun at the time.

  • swanny71 29 Sep 2017

    Had one identical to that years ago (and a blaze yellow one before that), absolutely brilliant cars. Great shed.

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