Utterly mint Peugeot 205 GTI classic conceals bulletproof secret
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The Peugeot 205 GTI is classic car gold these days. This is thanks mainly to a flourishing reputation as the best hot hatch of all time, with a bit-part played by the rust and reliability gremlins that thinned the population of the diminutive French hatch.
Consider too that as modern cars grow more and more numb, cars like the 205 GTI — a machine as analogue as pumping water out of a well — will only become more of a novelty.
And, depicted here in grey with a spotless interior and exterior, is a prime example of the breed. It's currently for sale at Art & Revs; an automobile specialist in Luxemburg, Germany.
But, if you look carefully, there are some oddities.
The first of which is the asking price. These Pugs command healthy money these days, but most don't rival the €37,500 (NZ$63,500) that Art & Revs are asking for. That's plenty, especially given that this example has 14,700km on the clock — low kilometers, sure, but it's no 'never been driven' machine is it.
Then there's the seats, which have been finely upholstered in black leather ... that's not original. This Peugeot also weighs in at a startling 1400kg, almost twice the original 875kg that these things are meant to weigh.
The truth reveals itself when you crack open a window. Yep, it's fully armoured.
The hot hatch (most likely slightly less hot with that weight increase) was ordered new by a fellow named Bernard Arnault. If you thought to yourself that that name sounded like money, you'd be right — he's the fourth-richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine. Louis Vuitton ... need I say more.
Bernie wanted a car he could drive daily without a pesky chauffeur, hence this 205. The hatch comes with Level 2 armouring, which means thicker sheet-metal panels and windows, as well as revised suspension to handle all that extra heft. Plus of course the added luxuries inside.
"Mr Arnault used his lovely 205 GTI as a daily driver for some years before it was put into storage in his collection, he only sold it in 2009 to a collector," say the sellers.
"It was recently serviced and works perfectly, the driving is excellent despite its weight. The original milage is 14700km and the car’s condition could only be described as being immaculate."
They later describe this as "the most amazing" 205 GTI. Hard to argue, but given a twisty piece of road I'd take a stock-as-a-rock, rust-free example any day.