Peugeot 205 Profile

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Peugeot 205 General Information

This car in groupN was available in 3 different classes, as a 1300cc in the N1 class, as a 1580cc in N2 and as a 1905cc in N3. Such it formed an interesting base for amateur drivers in several leagues. It soon also formed the base of an ultra successful one-makes-series that keeps producing too many stars to name them here (Burns, Delecour, Panizzi, many many more – and in successor series with 106 & 207 models Loeb, Ogier, Fisher, Meeke, while there still are a few 205 Cups even today, see links to this in the groupA chapter). All this meant that the car was cheap, reliable, many parts available and on top of it, it had a superb fun handling.

In the handling department Peugeot created a torsion bar rear axle that was so simple, that it is nearly surprising many Peugeot hot hatch owners and rally drivers that tried a Peugeot 205, 309, 106 or similar agreed that it was genius in handling, really nippy and fun without becoming dangerous. We explain the secrets of the 205's handling already in the 205 GTI groupA chapter, so please again dare I refer you to this to better understand the mystery of this car.

Most of the 205 groupA applies just as much to the groupN version. Only one bit we should change: When we tell you about the successes of the groupA 205, here should be more fitting the success story of the groupN version. It was a shocking car in groupN overall results. One highlight that jumps to mind was Andrea Aghini winning groupN outright and finishing an amazing 12th overall on the 1988 Rally San Remo. This however was in a 309 GTI 1.9 (not even a 16v), which is technically identical to the 205 GTI 1.9.

Results that I am personally proud of are those of Charly Beck in Germany. Strangely the 1.9 was in gA as well as gN only homologated 1st February 1987, so it missed Monte Carlo that year. The gA debuted on the BRC Natl. Breakedown Rally 1987 with Per Eklund. But here now groupN: On the international competition debut of the groupN 205 GTI 1.9, the German Championship Sachs Winter Rally 1987, the car had an event long scrap for split seconds with Susi Kottulinski's N4 Audi 200 Turbo Quattro and although beaten by the 200 Turbo Quattro (by less than a minute!) Charly Beck and the FWD groupN 205 eventually finished 7th overall - on snow! On the ERC Hunsrück Rally the same year, on the Baumholder/Panzerplatte stages that are now famous for Rallye Deutschland, Beck and his gN 205 GTI 1.9 finished 10th overall and in groupN they beat none less than Pascal Gaban and Gregoire de Mevius, both in Mazda 323 4WD Turbo - both were not much later to become groupN World Champions in their Mazda!

These results make me so proud as I was the one ending up buying exactly this car! SB-V 205 turn BL-DC 977 turn MZG-CA 11 (me) turn D318 BGM (still me). The car was first registered only two days before the start of her first rally and when I sold her she was 14 years old and still on the very first gearbox! The shell also was still in good knick. And before this Peugeot, I had so many reliability problems with previous cars that there were serious worries there was something wrong with my driving and my treatment – but whatever it was, the 205 could take it! And she was mega fun. And she could deliver results. I so often wish she would have been my first rally car, my life would have been very different!

My 205, ex-works car, bought her 3 years old, sold her 14 years old with still the original gearbox in it? Well, Subaru Germany and STI Tokyo blamed me for my 6 blown Subaru gearboxes in only 1 year of 10 small national rallies. On the gN 205 I failed to destroy the gearbox for 11 years! And the gearbox was only one item on a huge list of failing Subaru parts (at triple the prices of the reliable 205 parts, too!). But it was all my fault, according to Subaru - if Subaru Germany or Noriyuki Koseki/STI "Subaru is the best car in the world, you are a stupid driver making everything kaputt, so no, you pay all bills fully". The 205 I think the biggest problem I had was when the rear axle was unreliable against a tree stump – now that was my fault! And I remember in the UK Peugeot Cup I helped Justin Dale. He threw a party celebrating to finish his 50th rally in a row (aka without retirement) with his 205 (though that was a challenge spec car) and I remember Justin saying when he moved up to the more powerful 306: “I feel sad seeing the 205 go, all we ever did on her was changing oil and spark plugs”.
LOL, my 205 was really unreliable compared to that. And even problems could show how good the car was: When the fuel pump packed in it just showed how much attention to detail Peugeot Sport has. My car had a fuel pressure gauge and a 2nd fuel pump already fitted (it also had a 2nd coil come to think of it, but we never needed that). So what is a common retirement reason even today, my car suddenly stopped pulling, check the gauges, flick a switch, carry on, time loss not even 5 seconds! We changed the front wheel bearings once between events, but that probably is normal wear on a rally car every few years? I once rolled, but that resulted in surprisingly little cosmetical damage, maybe lucky here to manage to roll into moorland, still finished the rally. I ripped the exhaust off - you already get the hint, a ripped off exhaust on a rally, if that is all the problems sticking to my mind. And then there was that rear axle incident, now that was a retirement. There was the odd electrical problem. Not sure what was worse, the “unreliable” rear axle or the mind of her own come electrics. Mostly this was really minor stuff, like something with the lights or the air flow meter, easy and cheap to repair. I wouldn’t want the electrics of a modern car! Not surprisingly this car grew on me like a really good girlfriend, the loyal and reliable type that you would love even more for her odd mistakes! So I say fully on purpose: Only once we really struggled with her electrical PMT: once a faulty rev counter dial caused the engine to cut off every 10minutes and not starting up again for a while. Get this? A seemingly perfectly working rev counter dial as the cause for total engine cut offs? My 205 GTI definitely was a girl! We only found it because the same happened on Richard’s car before. Well, here we go, this honestly is the complete list, a very small list considering this is 11 years of owning a rally car, that by the way often served me as a road car too, often travelled to and from events on her own wheels! And that includes the time when I started rallying in UK but still lived in Germany. Everybody knows a 504 is a Safari and bullet prove car loved throughout Africa and Latin-America for exactly that reason. The deal was drive the rally car from Germany via the E411, Bruxelles Ring, car ferry, M20, M25, M4 to the Burns' place to make her ready for the rally. Making her ready for the rally then ususally meant washing her. Then do the rally and if anything big happens, I take the 504 Estate service car back home to Germany. I never took the 504 home to Germany! Finish the rally on Sunday, drive down the M4, M25, etc on Monday, go back to work on Tuesday, all with the same, old 205! It sounds crazy today, but there simply was no reason to worry. In contrast to the Subaru, which after each rally was off the road for 3 weeks again, and apparently all my driving to blame for. I owned two Mitsubishi road cars and briefly (borrowed) a Mazda and a Toyota and all of them were far less dependent than that 205 for just getting to work, never mind if I did a rally with the 205 the last weekend. It's not without reason I hate Asian engineering!

I think all this is important for a young guy starting out in rallying. The 205 with its sometimes hectic attempts to oversteer may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at least you know what the car is doing, get used to her attitudes easier than to some girlfriends, and she is reliable and spare parts don't come in diamonds as a currency. This all was not the case on my first rally car in 1990, the very much new N4 4x4 turbo Subaru. Maybe I started too high. I didn’t often have the chance to compare stage times, but when the Kansas stage of the German championship Saarland Rallye was 100% identical between 1990 & 1991, my Subaru time was 7m53, my 205 time was 6m59 – near a minute faster on a 7min stage! And that even though with the 205 I was only course opening car. Surprisingly the cornering grip of the 205 was at least as good as that of the 4x4 Subaru, but in contrast to the Subaru with the Peugeot you knew what the car would be doing on the limit and you knew the brakes were absolutely brilliant and would never fade and all that gives confidence. I don't think I ever finished a single stage with that Subaru without brake problems from fading to broken discs, not that this was my biggest problem and not that I finished many stages with the Subaru. But most worryingly with the Subaru I never got faster, I had ever less confidence the more rallies I did. I couldn't drive the Subaru more and more to the limit to improve my driving, because you never knew if the car was understeering or oversteering in the next corner, all you did know was that at some point in every single stage the brake pedal would be on the floor if lucky. I rarely used the Subaru on the road (I only sold the Mitsubishi road car later to pay Subaru bills) but belive me or not at times I liked its power and I did the big mistake to have a girlfriend living very far away from my home, to be accurate some 10km! Believe it or not, bringing her home, on a normal road with normal driving once the cambelt snapped and - actualy very very dangerously - once the steering failed completely and both happened within a couple of months within a 100yards of the very same corner between Besseringen and Mettlach trying to drive my girlfriend home! On a normal, public road with the beloved girl on board! But it's the best car in the world, only my driving is to blame....

Maybe this is my personal attitude problem, but maybe some rally drivers understand me or are the same: When the car lets me down I get really wound up, so much so that you don't hear the overhyping stage end reporter any more. And I try to avoid this problem in future. Like never brake too hard from the start because the brakes will fade from corner to corner, hit the clutch while air born because maybe that was why my last bloody expensive gearbox exploded…. But when I go off or crash it doesn’t seem to bother me, at least not to such extend. This is competition, I know what I did wrong and this is the result I bloody deserve. But when the car fails, or even just a puncture and there is no apparent reason for it, it just seems so, so unfair. Always anything can happen on a rally, but if mechanical problems outside of your control happen rally after rally after rally, you are not a millionaire and you constantly get dumb answers from the very people whose product you display and such advertise in public.... I don't know, I got used to girlfriends cheating on me, but Asian manufacturers blaming me for their useless shit cars, destroying my career and sending me the bills on top of it because it was all my fault, when the next European car I had served me perfectly loyally for more than a decade, then it is not me who is the ripp off cheating idiot, is it? And therefore people should be warned of manufacturers as these!

Sorry, hard to not get emotional. One privilege in my life was to get to know Richard Burns quite well, thanks to the Peugeot Cup. Yes, Richard was in a Subaru too, but he started with the Peugeot 205 (and briefly a Talbot Sunbeam Ti) and that seemed the right way round. I did it the wrong way round. When I report above that on the German championship round I was much faster with the 205, thanks to confidence, the reason I did this course opening car rather than trying to prove something with an official result was because thanks to the Subaru I had not even the money left for the entry fee! And believe it or not, I talked to Peugeot Germany about my "Subaru legacy" financial problems and it was them suggesting me to the ADAC as course opening car driver. What a brilliant idea, and the organisers even paid towards tyres and fuel, now that is what I call support and friendship, of those Asian wankers I got nothing but blame and huge bills! Please don’t you do this same mistake! My Subaru was a Legacy in its true sense, because the only result after my first year’s rallying: I had a legacy of Subaru bills leading to a heavily overdrawn bank account seemingly forever and that indeed was the biggest thing that slowed my career in the 205! The 205 was like a good friend to me, I felt confident driving her even though thanks to my Subaru legacy I only had money to rally 2, max 3 rallies per year. It may sound great that someone was sitting in a 4x4 turbo Subaru so early in his career. But without wishing to sound arrogant, I don’t believe I was world champion material, but several 2nd & 3rd places in the gN up to 2000cc class with an 8-9-10 years old car that was 40BHP down on the 16v class opposition, this doesn’t make me exactly a crap driver, either. Therefore I mean it when I say “I so often wish she (205) would have been my first rally car, my life would have been very different!”

As a final surprise for you, especially if you may sometimes feel I am biased: When I got my Peugeot, I wasn’t even a Peugeot fan! And even on the 205 I hated the tiny rear lights and black, cheap plastik strip between them, so no, not a particular fan! It actually only came from genuine customer satisfaction from several mates and my navigator. Not to mention only the Subaru, even other experiences, working briefly for Volkswagen Motorsport UK, driving a Golf 3 GTI 16v presenter car (even with a famous reg plate, N8 SBG) that felt like driving lard compared to the crisp, responsive, sharp 205…. If you wondered why I am such an extreme Peugeot fan, it all started with my 205 GTI 1.9 rally car and with the comparison I had of my previous cars. The willingness of Peugeot to treat a no-name amateur as if he was part of the family since years, again in total contrast to experiences with how other brands treat their rally driving customers, contributed to it from then on.
To be honest, I never was that much of a Peugeot fan. I liked them, but... I struggled to make up my mind between a BMW 325iX and an ex-Holderied works Opel Kadett (E) GSI 16v with a cheap little 205 thingy as a distant 3rd option. Honestly, I was talked into buying this 205 for ages! Look at me now!!!!

Peugeot 205 Related Content

Peugeot 205 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 (84-96) 115/6250 132/4000 3705.1589.1355 850 (7.4) FWD (2420)
Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 (87-00) 130/6000 163/3000 3705.1589.1355 880 (6.7) FWD (2420)
Peugeot 205 Rallye 1.3 (87-00) 100/7500 110/4000 3705.1589.1355 780 (7.8) FWD (2420)

Random Peugeot 205 Photos

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Peugeot 205 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
20th. 1992 WRC Rallye Catalunya J. Azcona J. Billmaier #40 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1991 WRC Rallye Catalunya J. Azcona C. del Barrio #59 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
23rd. 1990 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo S. Cornu . UNKNOWN #35 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
23rd. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse S. Cornu F. Delorme #99 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
28th. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse P. Gardère J. Bufferne #91 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
24th. 1989 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo S. Cornu . UNKNOWN #136 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
26th. 1989 WRC Rallye de Portugal B. Antoine . UNKNOWN #103 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
13th. 1989 WRC Tour de Corse J. Santoni . UNKNOWN #70 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
7th. 1989 WRC Bandama Rallye B. Antoine C. Raymond #57 [UNKNOWN] 16:01:52
73rd. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain I. Arden P. Stone #194 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
47th. 1988 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo R. Bourcier . UNKNOWN #131 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
15th. 1988 WRC Rallye San Remo P. Fabbri P. Cecchini #30 [UNKNOWN] 6:48:43
27th. 1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Couloumies C. Causse #81 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
20th. 1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo F. Delecour A. Pauwels #155 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
17th. 1987 WRC Tour de Corse J. Santoni . UNKNOWN #81 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
25th. 1987 WRC Rallye San Remo S. Speranza N. Gullino #115 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
6th. 1986 WRC Rallye de Portugal J. Couloumies C. Causse #61 [UNKNOWN] 8:36:27
17th. 1986 WRC Tour de Corse J. Santoni . UNKNOWN #116 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
33rd. 1985 WRC Swedish Rally B. Hauser . UNKNOWN #99 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
18th. 1985 WRC Tour de Corse B. Hauser . UNKNOWN #133 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
37th. 1985 WRC Rally of Finland J. Markkula J. Hakanen #63 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
68th. 1985 WRC Rally of Finland B. Hauser . UNKNOWN #98 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
41st. 1984 WRC Rally of Finland B. Hauser . UNKNOWN #125 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Peugeot 205 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 2000 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo S. Cornu . UNKNOWN #80 [UNKNOWN] SS7 crash
Ret. 1996 WRC Rallye Catalunya M. Blasquez X. Amigo #94 [UNKNOWN] SS8 crash
Ret. 1990 WRC Bandama Rallye B. Antoine C. Raymond #15 [UNKNOWN] SS54 radiator
Ret. 1990 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo P. Gardère J. Bufferne #31 [UNKNOWN] SS7 ?
Ret. 1989 WRC Acropolis Rally . "Iavaris" . "EL-EM" #40 [UNKNOWN] SS13 suspension
Ret. 1988 WRC Tour de Corse G. Casanova C. Leca #35 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Aghini S. Farnocchia #113 [UNKNOWN] SS99 oil pipe
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo F. Delecour A. Pauwels #132 [UNKNOWN] SS9 electrics
Ret. 1985 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo F. Delecour A. Pauwels #125 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine