My brother and I have owned more Peugeot 205s than is healthy to do so; from 1 litre engines right through to the GTi and have quite a soft spot for the original and true French hot hatch. A 1.4 litre 205 XS was my first car after passing my test, shortly followed by my first crash, I was struck by the fate of a lot of 205 drivers and the lift off oversteer put the little pug on its roof.
So why are we circling back round to the cars of our youth? Well my Dad grew up on a diet of mk1 and mk2 Ford Escorts and now can’t afford to buy one to re-live those hazy days, so a 205 had to be purchased before the prices got too high.
Unfortunately for us the prices had already started to rocket, so we found the cheapest 1.9 GTi and purchased it unseen on Ebay, mistake number one right there. Mistake number two was not viewing it and just getting someone else to collect it for us. What we got was relatively rust free 1.9 Gti, good so far, in Miami blue, no problems here, but no MOT, no interior, no ignition key, no dash, non-runner and the paintwork had definitely seen better days.
We sourced some seats and door cards from a breaker, and between that and some spares left over from my 205 rally car we built a fairly tidy looking interior. At this point we halted progress on the car due to a lack of time and funds. Various other projects came and went and the Pug resided in an old wooden barn for 5 years, un-touched and unloved.
Finally the day arrived where driveway space and time aligned allowing the 205 to be reborn. Collection from its hibernation spot could have gone smoother; keys for the right 205 would definitely have helped. Unsurprisingly, after so many years, hot wiring didn’t get the 205 running and we resorted to breaking the steering lock and towing the car onto the trailer. Turns out that is easier said than done, a career as car thieves isn’t an option for us I fear. We got the steering working to the left, but not right. oh well. Towing the car onto the trailer with slight left steering was interesting, we only missed the edge of the ramp once and managed to achieve a good jaunty angle on a trailer that was only just big enough in the first place. A long happy drive back to the midlands with the little Pugsley peering in the back window of the Freelander and in depth discussion of the best way to approach what was clearly going to be an excellent project.
Now home the real work can begin soon.