'Having just completed a comparison test on (the) 205 GTi and the Fiat Uno Turbo, let us say that the Peugeot is, quite simply, the finest-handling front-drive sports hatchback we have ever driven. It has exceptional manoeuvrability and response, a lovely steering and chassis sharpness, and, now that the dampers have been changed, a competent ride. Although lacking the overall engine flexibility of the 1.8-litre Golf GTi, it is not far behind and compensates for slightly inferior urge by being substantially lighter. Overall, the 205 GTi is probably the Golf's equal, but the fact that, in this country, the Peugeot sells for more than £1000 less, must make it a better buy.' - Car magazine, December 1985.
Although Volkswagen can claim to have created the 'Hot Hatch' category with the Golf GTi of 1975 - though there had been a few earlier variations on the theme - by the early 1980s almost every major European manufacturer had one in their range. Peugeot were relative latecomers to this emerging market sector, introducing the 205 GTi in 1984. At first the 1.6-litre made do with a relatively modest 105bhp, though this was increased to 115bhp in 1986 with 130 horsepower available in the 1.9-litre model, introduced at the same time. Top speed of the '1.6' was around 122mph, with 0-100km/h (62mph) achievable in 9.1 seconds.
Purchased new on 7th March 1987 by the current owner, this 1.6-litre 205 GTi has covered only 19,000 miles of summer use followed by light use only after three years. During the first winter of ownership, the vendor was offered a FIAT 500 for just £175, so bought the FIAT and used that instead, commencing the practice of storing the Peugeot and not using it as an everyday car. It was last taxed in 1993 and has not run for eight years because of a defective fuel pump.
Kept in storage for most of its life, 'D377 RWJ' is outstandingly original. It received a new cam belt, water pump, fuel pump and new batteries 25 years ago but otherwise is as it left the factory. The underside was coated with Waxoyl when new and the spare wheel - wrapped in plastic 28 years ago - has never been used. The interior has not been cleaned for 25 years but is almost dust and dirt free; it even has the original paper carpet protectors still in place. Dry stored and kept covered, the car is dusty and dirty externally, just as one would expect of a 'barn find'. Accompanying documentation consists of the original New Vehicle Order Form; sundry invoices; a quantity of expired MoT certificates and tax discs; the original V5 and subsequent V5C registration documents; and the vendor's personal logbook of mileage covered and fuel bought.
Surviving 'Hot Hatches' of the 1970s and 1980s are both rare and highly collectible; this remarkable Peugeot 205 GTi represents a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a low-mileage one-owner example preserved in outstandingly original condition.