Peugeot 205 GTI MI16 | Spotted


That a good Peugeot 205 GTI is worth quite a bit of money isn't new news - that's been the case for a good few years now. Forlorn tales are told of good cars being flogged for buttons, even of GTIs struggling to sell in the really lean times. Imagine, if you will, a 1.6 GTI in more than presentable condition for £800 in this decade; it really did happen - see here if you dare.

Anyway, back to the point. Like so many iconic classic cars, the 205 GTI attracted attention for being pretty, plentiful, and excellent to drive. It seems more of a shame than usual, therefore, that with the model as highly prized as they are (and look to remain) that such a central tenet of their appeal is being denied. Could you drive a £30k 205 GTI without always worrying about it? Exactly.

But one at £4k? Not exactly standard and with a spec geared towards track days? Now we're talking. Hot hatches are meant to be driven, after all, and especially those like the 205. Hence so many being modified when the cars were more readily available, the tiny chassis responding beautifully to some choice changes.


Confession time: this 205 isn't perfect. There's a bit of rust, the paint is flat and the mileage is described only as "around 145k" because the clocks were changed. And it's been off the road for a serious chunk of time in this owner's 12 years with it. Not ideal, but also not ruinous, because there's a tonne of good stuff as well. In fact, the owner puts it pretty well: "Whilst the car is not show spec, it has had a lot of money spent on it. It is a fun, fast, reliable 31-year-old classic."

So there's an MI16 engine - remember when they were both cheap enough cars to do the swap? - fully rebuilt 1,000 miles ago with Jenvey throttle bodies, a Scorpion exhaust and uprated head, sufficient for 175hp and 143lb ft. A good start. There's also Bilstein suspension, a reconditioned rear axle (which is important on these), bucket seats and some new tyres.


So that's a 205 GTI lighter, faster and more focussed than standard - which sounds pretty good, right? Given the age and condition of this car, it's probably best considered a rolling project, one to tinker with as the miles continue to pass rather than endlessly beat on like something newer. But what joyous miles they should be, driving a 205 GTI around how it's meant to be driven with nary a concern for mileage, scuffs and scrapes. Probably quite liberating. All the Clio track day drivers won't know what has happened.

Should the worst happen on track or on road, the market is such for 205s now that bits can surely be sourced - there's money in restoring and repairing these that there wasn't a little while ago. And however hard it's used, it's easy to imagine someone wanting a 205 GTI like this again in another few years. The mystique surrounding the model isn't going to die down anytime soon.

The hype is sufficient, in fact, for cars to be advertised at 10 times this 205's asking price. They're not really comparable GTIs, though the point is interesting nonetheless. Best thing with this little Pug, surely, is to get another MOT on it - or negotiate that into the price - sort the rust and get on with enjoying it. By driving it. As much as possible. Immediately. What are you waiting for?


SPECIFICATION - PEUGEOT 205 GTI 1.9
Engine:
1,905cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 132@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 119@4,750rpm
MPG: 28
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1987
Recorded mileage: 145,000
Price new: £9,295
Yours for: £4,500

(Spec for standard car)

See the original advert here

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (22) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Ryvita 23 Jul 2019

    Here here! smile *applause*

    Someone, probably someone in their 40's, is going to have a lot of fun with that. There would be cheaper ways of doing the same basic things (track day and B-road blasting) but other more modern cars would never have that certain 80's gallic charm. I can see it being an irresistible prospect to someone who either had one back in the day, or lusted after one. I had a humble 1.1 GL 205 as my first car, and always looked up to the GTI. smile

    I'm currently doing a similar exercise with a 944. Bought cheap, and with issues, with the plan to get it up to a moderate track-capable specification without spending too much. For reference, this is what an ongoing mid-life crisis looks like. tongue out



    Edited by Ryvita on Tuesday 23 July 08:14

  • sjabrown 23 Jul 2019

    Those were the days. My 205 ownership history:
    1987 1.6 stage rally car bought 2008 for just over £4k, used for sold needing a lot of welding 2017 £1k
    1991 1.6 road car bought 2009 £950, met its end against a stag (deer, not Triumph), insurance paid out £1550
    1990 1.9 road car bought 2011 £1300, split for parts as it was rusty (split bulkhead, rear sills) and the engine was smoking badly
    1989 1.6 road car bought 2010 £1700, sold briefly then bought back again. Probably needs restored now but completely original other than a front wing.

    Like many I'm sure I'm sitting here wishing I'd bought many more a decade ago when rough ones were in the hundreds and good ones were £2k tops.

  • LennyM1984 23 Jul 2019

    I'm pretty sure I saw this at a trackday. It looked fantastic in the flesh and went really well. Whoever buys it will have a lot of fun

  • Cambs_Stuart 23 Jul 2019

    Ryvita said:
    Here here! smile *applause*

    Someone, probably someone in their 40's, is going to have a lot of fun with that. There would be cheaper ways of doing the same basic things (track day and B-road blasting) but other more modern cars would never have that certain 80's gallic charm. I can see it being an irresistible prospect to someone who either had one back in the day, or lusted after one. I had a humble 1.1 GL 205 as my first car, and always looked up to the GTI. smile

    I'm currently doing a similar exercise with a 944. Bought cheap, and with issues, with the plan to get it up to a moderate track-capable specification without spending too much. For reference, this is what an ongoing mid-life crisis looks like. tongue out



    Edited by Ryvita on Tuesday 23 July 08:14
    I'm very jealous of your gulf colour'd mid life crisis. Good work!

  • ZX10R NIN 23 Jul 2019

    That does seem to be a peach of a 205, with all the big work already done.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment