Whilst VW may have invented the ‘hot hatch’, Peugeot completely nailed the genre in 1984 with the introduction of the 205 GTi. The motoring world was stunned by the fluid ride and fantastic handling and ensured that Peugeot stayed at the forefront of the market for more than 10 years, with the 306 continuing the high praise.
This lovely low mileage example is finished in the very rare Steel Grey with Green interior –some sources report this as a special edition but in reality, it was only available for a limited time during 1990/91 and shared the interior with Sorrento and Laser Green cars which is what makes it rare rather than a numbered production run. It is one of the last non-cat cars and also comes without PAS or electric windows, so you could say the pinnacle of the 1.6 driving experience.
Mechanically, the car is in fine fettle starting without issues and unusually for these, settles to a steady idle quite quickly. Moving off, the clutch bites well and the gearchange is slick and perfectly complements the free revving 1.6 engine, which itself pulls well and exhibits no untoward noises. You really fall in love with this car when you hit the back roads though – frankly, it has no right to be this good 27 years on. Sometimes, rose tinted glasses play a part with older cars but that isn’t the case here. It really is a delight to drive at pace, the steering is full of feeling, the ride compliant, the brakes are strong and the handling inspires confidence. It will also sit on the motorway at some speed without issue, no doubt in some part to the nearly new full set of Michelin tyres.
On the outside, the car gleams beautifully and attracts much admiration. It retains all of it’s original bronze tinted glass including some nice touches such as ‘AA Lioncare’ and ‘Clarion Security’ stickers as well as the supplying dealer sticker on the tailgate glass. The wheels are in excellent condition as is all the plastic trim.
The inside of the car is as close to immaculate as can be. The seat bolsters are in excellent condition and the carpets/fabric have no tears or excessive wear. Everything works (not that there is much to go wrong) including the vacuum sealing sunroof and all dash lights go out as expected.
All the original book packs are available with the service book showing early service history then a significant number of invoices over the years and some detailed diaries of parts/work carried out on the car. For peace of mind, the car will receive a full service and cambelt change prior to sale for which records will be provided. Naturally, the car is 100% HPI clear.
The debates of 1.6 vs 1.9 have largely become academic in recent years with prospective owners seeking the best condition, low mileage examples of either variant. Whilst it would be disingenuous to describe this car as mint, it surely is one of the best on the market and will represent a fantastic investment for any buyer.