Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi. R.H.D - Original Japanese Market Supplied. Low Mileage.
Zero Corrosion since new & In Stunning Concours Condition.
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The 205 1.9 GTi needs no introduction to anybody in the U.K. who was a hot-hatch enthusiast in the ‘80s & '90s. Back then, all magazines held this little Peugeot in the highest regard for its immensely entertaining handling abilities & abilities to provide sheer driving enjoyment... There was never a dull journey. Despite being small, its lightweight design meant it was fun & practical to use, whilst being attractive to look at.
In hot hatch terms, this was the truest Peugeot legend which some will argue has never since been bettered by this marque, despite subsequent attempts that cannot be counted on just the digits of one hand...
Weighing just 880kg & being of small design with a well-developed chassis meant the 205 1.9 GTi was and still remains one of the best-handling hot hatches ever built.
Having been keen enthusiasts for hot hatches ourselves, back in the '80s & '90s, we've always taken a keen interest during the few occasions when top condition examples of these iconic 205 GTi 1.9’s have come up in Japan.
Finding a good 205 GTi 1.9 in Japan is very rare as so few of such cars were actually supplied new in here, where the majority were supplied in LHD. We’ve only come across 2 RHD examples in 5 years, despite always being on the lookout and bought both, the first time being in 2015.
Being prepared to invest what it takes to secure the very best low mileage rust-free examples, to then perfect thoroughly is what we are known for in all the work we do.
This one is a unique gem. Read on to find out exactly why.
The interior is standard and original aside from a a period correct Alpine CD/Radio.
The lack of wear and U.V. ageing is a testament of how well this car has been cared for during its life in Japan.
Being a JDM supplied model, this 205 GTi 1.9 has very rare factory fitted air-conditioning, which has been entirely serviced by us and renewed, complete with a new compressor, seals and R134a adaptor. It blows ice-cold.
The original fitted mats that came with this car were aged, so this example comes with a brand new custom-fitted set, complete with "205 GTi" inscribed on the front mats.
Despite having been lovingly maintained, garaged and kept out of the sun when stored, when found, we could see the original paint on this car had aged from a long life.
After nearly 30 years of washing and polishing, general wear & tear in Japan had taken a toll on the paint’s original depth & shine.
In truth, the original Peugeot factory paint was never of great quality nor depth to begin with!
Most importantly to us though, being a JDM supplied example, this example has never had rust on the bodywork. A diamond in the rough, in our eyes.
So after purchasing this 205 in Japan, we imported to the U.K. and the body then underwent the best-quality bodywork restoration we could commission.
First, it was completely stripped bare by ourselves. A well-known specialist used to working on supercars removed all pin dents and panels were perfected for straightness, to avoid using filler repairs.
Then as a bare shell with all glass, doors, boot & bonnet removed, it was transported using our purpose made trailer to MW Bodyshop, who are known for their fine work on classic cars. They’re not shy of being commissioned to restore the bodywork of highly-prized vintage Rolls Royce and other fine marques. Having a long relationship, this little 205 was entrusted to them, with no rush at all. We wanted perfection.
The 205 was stripped to bare metal, before being repainted with best quality paint - in original Flint Grey metallic. It was then collected and returned to our UK partner JT Auto Classic’s workshop, where it spent months. Trim, lights and other parts were replaced and perfected, including restoring the vacuum system to seal the sunroof. The concluded result speaks for itself. The finish is of far better quality than any 205 ever rolled off the production line.
If you’re after the very best possible quality, you’re looking at it.
The interior has been beautiful & stunningly well kept. The half leather & cloth interior has no fading or holes and bolsters are also in good condition. And the leather remains soft & supple. It’s rare to find such an original interior and a testament to the care this car has had during its lifetime. Interior condition is amongst the very best of what we have typically seen in 205's in Japan, let alone Europe, where mileages tend to be a lot higher. Carpets are all original and without staining too.
It has been a non-smoker's car and it would appear the cigar lighter has never been used either.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Following our usual attention to detail with every aspect, this example is not only in perfect mechanical health, starting instantly and settling down to a steady idle after it's warm-up, but has a good tight gearbox with no synchromesh also wear problems.
All engine service items (ignition included) have been changed as part of our preparation. For good measure, the fuel system has also been overhauled, with a new fuel pump.
Over the years, it’s not uncommon for muck to accumulate in the fuel system. None present on this example. It runs perfectly.
WHEELS, BRAKES & SUSPENSION
Having only been driven since new on Japan's smooth & impeccably maintained roads combined with low genuine mileage, this example has received much less wear to chassis and other mechanical components than a car that’s lived its life on European roads. It has recently been treated to full service inclusive of brakes & fluid.
The original wheels, although corrosion-free, came to us with aged paint. So they were professionally refurbished by Perfection in the U.K. before being fitted with new Michelin tyres of the original size (185/55R15), as photographed.
It has still got the space-saver rather than a full-sized wheel (JDM models were fitted with the smaller option). It’s easy to replace with an original full-sized wheel, if preferred though.
To explain this original 205's total rust-free condition it's important to understand that in Japan, all roads are drained of water through the use of efficient concrete storm ditches (there are heavy rains at times from typhoons and Japan is 70% mountain terrain with forest, so safety is paramount). This means there is no mud & debris washed onto roads during storms, unlike what is commonly seen in Europe. Roads in Japan are also probably the best maintained worldwide, without potholes, mostly smooth surfaces with good grip, etc. Japan is also the country with the largest network of roads in the world for a given area.
No salt, grit or sand is laid on surfaces during cols winter weather in the most populated areas, as urban towns & cities are invariably built on lower plains, due to the risk of earthquakes and consequential landslides that would be problematic if building on mountain areas. Because roads are well designed and maintained in Japan, this means undersides of Japan’s cars don't get covered in electrolytic dirt and so when the underside gets wet in rain corrosion is much less likely to develop. Essentially the cars are washed by clean rain in Japan if they get wet and explains why cars used in Japan are typically completely rust-free, including their clean undersides and all components inclusive of exhausts! By contrast, if you feel the inner arch of a car that's been on British roads for a decade or more, it will have corrugated dirt built up inside, which is electrolytic when wet and therefore corrosive. Corrosion to the undersides of these Peugeots was common in much of Europe, which is why JDM examples are something special indeed.
Thinking this to be of the same quality as a 205 GTi 1.9 that's been on European roads all of its life would be a mistake (See underside pictures, which show an unrestored factory original finish – with no corrosion).
Having been gone over with a fine-toothed comb and restored cosmetically and mechanically, all minor faults found have now been corrected. This 205 is in perfect running order and ready to provide excellent service to its new owner.
It feels small because it is, yet the interior isn't cramped at all. The factory slidable sunroof's pneumatic seal works perfectly of course. In essence, this car has a tight original feel, that confirms it's low mileage and well cared for life.
The engine starts perfectly and settles down to a steady idle from cold, with good strong oil pressure. With typically frequent Japanese oil change intervals, it has no mechanical wear. Gearbox shows no wear to synchromesh, as to be expected of a car of this low original mileage.
Performance is brisk, as to be expected from a car this light, but most notable is the enthusiasm with which this car can be thrown into corners and the distinct tight feel of it, when directly compared to how a 205 shell that’s been flexed over infinite European pot-holed & bumpy roads and driven hard feels (& squeaks/rattles) by comparison.
Most 205 1.9 GTi's supplied in Japan were LHD. This is because since WW2 (Until the late '70s Japan wasn't known for manufacturing high-quality prestige or Sportscars) LHD cars in Japan have been considered status symbols. This also explains why virtually all the imported sports & prestige cars in Japan remain LHD today. This is a super rare JDM supplied RHD example and as such, this 205 GTi 1.9 represents a very rare & unique opportunity for a discerning collector in the UK (Or other RHD countries).
A comprehensive service history is included with all the paperwork. This particular example has had just two owners since new. There is further proof of original mileage from the shaken certificate, we will supply a scan of the original with the car on completion, so that paperwork can continue to tie in with onward ownership & care with this car's new owner in the U.K. to provide providence and maintain collectability & desirability, where the very best quality is being sought after.
Currently safely stored at our partners' facilities in Leicestershire, JT Auto classics, the car will be supplied with a no-advisory new MOT & our own comprehensive warranty for peace of mind.
For the discerning collector who can truly understand the difference between the examples for sale in the UK & on the continent & the rare truly first class, such as this example - the destined owner for this limited edition 2.5 GTi 1.9 will know this is something absolutely unique and therefore not to be missed.
Being sought-after cars invoking a lot of nostalgia in those who first started driving in the ‘80s, we are under no illusion that the best 205 GTi 1.9’s will continue to appreciate, with the top examples commanding the strongest values now and in future.
Note: We are able to arrange safe & fully insured professional delivery to Europe & worldwide.