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The Car That Started It All - Peugeot 205 GTI

The legendary Peugeot 205 GTI, revered by petrolheads as the greatest hot hatch of all time and the first car we funded on TheCarCrowd platform.

A Symbol of the Term 'Modern Classic'

Sometimes it's not the gorgeous curves of a classic Jaguar E-Type, the strakes in the side of a Ferrari Testarossa or even the intoxicating noise emitted from a hand-built Aston Martin V12 that puts a smile on a petrolheads face. It's a plucky little French hatchback from the 80's. Yes, you heard us right.

The Peugeot 205 GTI is the car in question. And there's no denying that it is quickly becoming a symbol of the term 'modern classic', and it is universally agreed that it is one of the greatest hot hatchbacks of all time. It's a cult classic, and its got the heritage and the motorsport pedigree to back that claim.

"Sometimes it's not the gorgeous curves of a classic Jaguar E-Type, the strakes in the side of a Ferrari Testarossa​ that puts a smile on a petrolheads face - It's a plucky little French hatchback from the 80's"

Born in the period when rallying was arguably at its finest, the 205 GTI first graced showroom floors in 1984. With a 1.6-litre heart producing 105bhp and a top speed of 116mph, on paper, the figures don't sound particularly thrilling, even in the mid 80's. But the French hatch tips the scales at just under 900kg giving it a 0-62 time of 8.7 seconds; that's better.

Showing the Germans How it's Done

Although Peugeot initially intended for the 205 GTI to be fitted with the 1.6-litre engine, to the north-east, Volkswagen had released its new Golf GTI boasting more horsepower and a quicker 0-62 time. Not wanting to let the Germans get the upper hand, Peugeot quickly beefed their GTI with a 1.9-litre, 130bhp engine, which reduced the 0-62 time to 7.8 seconds making it faster than its main rival. This inadvertently sparked an unresolved dispute between enthusiasts about which variant is better; guess which one we prefer.

It wasn't just the road-going car market that Peugeot wanted to dominate; in 1984, Peugeot Talbot unleashed the 205 T16. The T stands for Todt, as the project was led by now FIA president Jean Todt. The T16 came with four-wheel drive, a transverse, mid-engined layout and over 400bhp it came into the Group B rally series in 1984, won nearly every race it entered that season, won the championship in 1985 and again in 1986 before the category was disbanded.

Two hundred road-going versions were built but initially had half the power of their rally counterpart, but was quickly rectified in the T16 Evo 2, which had 450bhp and 3.3 second 0-62 time.

"Scarcity has meant the values of these cars have seen them go under the hammer for as high as £30K"

The Nostalgia Effect

So what made us choose the Peugeot 205 GTI as the first car to launch TheCarCrowd platform? Well, firstly it's what we like to call the nostalgia effect. As those who grew up in the era of these 80's/90's hot hatches start collecting the cars of their youth, demand starts to rise. Coupled with the fact that from their peak of 50,000 units in 1994, there are around 6,600 on the roads today. This scarcity has meant the values of these cars have seen them go under the hammer for as high as £30K, with websites like Car & Classic listing for as much as £26K, and there is stiff competition for original, solid examples. This brings us nicely onto...


Why We Chose This Particular 205 GTI

This 205 GTI is a fine example of the original, near-Concours level of condition, possibly one of the finest in Europe if we may be so bold. The car was supplied by Coleraine Cars in Northern Ireland and has had one lady owner from new who used it sparingly in the Norfolk countryside. When she finally decided to sell, the son of the dealer that originally sold the car (who remembered the car sitting pride of place in his father's showroom) purchased the car where it sat back in the same showroom it left nearly a decade ago. The vehicle was then sourced and purchased by us in 2019.

This car has led a pampered life, covering a mere 24,000 miles from new, using only original Peugeot parts for its required maintenance and is in entirely original condition.

This little Peugeot has 57 investors; for those of you who don't know how our platform works check out our 'How it works' section. Since the car was initially funded for £18,900, it is now estimated at around £22,000, which is a 20% ARR in just over two years.

Final Thoughts

The Peugeot 205 GTI will go down in history as a legend in the hot-hatch arena. It still looks good even after 40 years. Not many hatches can say the same. Also, the late Sir Stirling Moss owned one, which should tell you all you need to know.

Agile handling married to punchy performance; it only takes a few minutes behind the wheel on a twisty B road for the 205 to show you what it's capable of. That razor-sharp handling and an eager throttle response made its rivals of the era feel dull in comparison.

The 205 GTI is a reminder of what it truly means to be a proper hot hatch, and we think it rightly deserves the title of 'Greatest hot-hatch of all time'.


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