The Peugeot 205 is a compact hatchback produced by the French automaker. It enjoyed a 15-year production run from February 1983 to 1998. Among a myriad of accolades it justifiably received, the Peugeot 205 was declared ‘Car of the Decade’ by CAR Magazine in 1990. It also secured the 1984 ‘Car of the Year’ title from What Car? Magazine.
The French manufacturer quickly realised the 205’s sporting potential and the GTi was launched in 1984 (the same year that the three-door body style was introduced). Powered by a 105bhp 1.6-litre engine and tipping the scales at less than 900kg, it could shoot from 0-62mph in 8.7sec and had a top speed of 116mph – all impressive numbers at the time.
The quicker GTi 1.9 was launched at the end of 1986, boasting 130bhp. It was capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8sec and raced to a top speed of 127mph.
Outside of the engine bay, the main differences between the 1.6 GTi and the 1.9 GTi were half-leather seats on the 1.9 (tick) vs. cloth seats on the 1.6; disc brakes all-round on the 1.9 (tick) vs. front discs and rear drums for the 1.6; 14-inch Speedline alloys for the 1.6 vs. 15-inch Speedline alloys on the 1.9 (tick).
The car commenced its domestic life with its very first UK registration in December, 1989. In the intervening years, G175 DPR has been enjoyed by no less than five former keepers, with the current owner acquiring the car in January, 2004 – at which point its outlook became somewhat brighter.
In the intervening years, the current owner – an aircraft engineer – has used the car regularly, including trips overseas with the UK chapter of the Peugeot 205 GTi Owners Club.
As a late 1989 model, the car does not have power steering (which many say is the purest 205 GTi), nor does it have a catalytic converter which, by default, makes it the 130bhp version.
Along with the V5C and its MoT to July 2022, there is supporting paperwork for the body rebuild in September 2013 (£7,700), and the engine overhaul in December, 2016 (£2,200).
The owner is an automotive engineer and has regularly undertaken routine maintenance on the car. However, the above major works were undertaken by Ecosse Automotive in Bo’ness, Scotland, and 3D Motorsport in Northampton, respectively.
The MoT done with the mileage at 127,130 miles has an advisory regarding a drive shift gaiter being ‘severely deteriorated’. The owner advises that it is merely a ‘pinhole’, but that the MoT tech has little choice but to report it as being ‘severely deteriorated’ – according to Reg 6.1.7 (g) (i), which is categorised as ‘minor’.
While not in concours condition, the interior of this automotive gem presents in very good condition, to the extent that the writer frequently had to remind himself that this is a thirty-two-year-old hot hatch trailblazer and would last have looked this tidy when around five years old.
The interior is an original-spec leather and cloth upholstery in Phase 1.5 Hurricane grey, fitted with a dealer option sliding sunroof, which is near-identical to the factory-fitted option, but without leaky pneumatic sealing for which it was rather infamous.
There is a swathe of stunning red base carpet throughout the interior, over which are placed four individual carpets in conventional charcoal black. The dashboard and door cards present in exceptional condition for its age and mileage, as is the overall condition of the original furniture and roof liner.
It is quite evident that since the refurbishment of its body in 2013, the car has been garaged when not in use as the top of the dashboard and rear parcel shelf show no signs of sun-bleaching which would normally be the case when a car has spent much of its life outdoors.
Presented in original Topaz Blue (which, in 1989 was a factory option for just nine months), the condition of the exterior matches that of the inside and is indicative of the love and care afforded the car during the past few years.
The front and rear bumpers are in remarkable condition and are blemish-free. The refurbished but original 15-inch Speedline alloys show no scuffs or evidence of being ‘curbed’ and in ‘as-new’ condition.
A cursory glance down each flank of the car shows no evidence of damage and even the front number plate, for all its vulnerability, remains blemish free.
There is evidence of slight rust-bubbling just under the lower edge of the rear window, as pictured.
On the short journey to the photo location, the car drove and sounded in exceptionally good order.
Back in 2012, and with dicky valve stems at the time, the car was trailered to Bo’ness in Scotland to let renown Peugeot specialist engineers Ecosse Automotive work their magic. The work involved all the mechanicals being overhauled or replaced, with notable items including the all-round fitment of genuine Peugeot shocks.
A set of Eibach front springs were added which lowered the car by 30mm to further improve stance and handling. The rear torsion bar suspension was lowered a similar amount to match and a set of five refurbished 15-inch Speedline alloys were shod with modern Continental rubber.
A new and genuine Peugeot exhaust was also procured and fitted along with new and ultra-rare pair of Siem fog lights (as were originally fitted by the factory), together with Peugeot accessory acrylic protective covers.
Suspension mechanicals were all renewed, bushes, wishbones, drop links, bearings, etc. and the engine was refreshed with a top-end rebuild and all service items while the engine and sub-frame were separate from the body.
Later, in December 2016, the engine was again removed and fully rebuilt by 3D Motorsport (Peugeot challenge winners). It was balanced and blueprinted, head skimmed and ported, new pistons and cosmetically brought up to its present standard before being refitted with a new clutch at an indicated 124,000 miles, ensuring the original 130 horses are returned to their stable.
The Peugeot 205 GTi is considered by many automotive scribes to be one of the greatest hot hatchbacks and a marvel for its time. Sadly, Peugeot has never really captured the magic of that car since production ceased in 1994. It came close with the 1996 306 GTi-6, but still failed to secure that all-elusive cigar.
With G175 DPR, we have a genuine and original 205 GTi 1.9-litre petrol variant (the torquey one), which has been lovingly – and frequently – enjoyed by its current owner for the past 17 years and garaged away from the elements when not being used.
Being a reluctant sale, ‘Madam Topaz’ must now go to a new keeper who hopefully will care for this Gallic icon in the manner to which she has evidently become accustomed.
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1989 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9
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