Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

| 10 Jan 2024
Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

Let’s get one thing straight: I never intended to own a classic car… never mind three.

I’m only 23 years old, but Peugeot 205s have been a part of my life from an early age.

I recall sitting in the front seat of my mum’s Miami Blue GTI when I was about four, trying to out-sing Bill Withers’ long final note from Lovely Day while on the way to school.

I distinctly remember the neon-red carpets and blue paintwork: it was a striking contrast, for sure.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

The Bagley family’s original Miami Blue Peugeot 205 GTI

If you had met my mum, you certainly wouldn’t have forgotten her personality.

She was a truly charismatic, ‘one life, live it’ kind of person who only wanted to help others.

Her career was in driving instruction, something she had been doing for 15 years, and she had a lifelong passion for the 205.

She eventually sold her original car, but was on the hunt for a new one a few years later.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

A Peugeot 205 CTI joined the 205 GTI in 2019

After months of painstaking searching, she found a non-sunroof Miami Blue example with a grey interior.

It was in Somerset, so she undertook the long trip there from our home in Leicestershire.

The car proved to be a great family investment, because we would regularly go on weekend getaways across the UK, at various rural campsites and bed-and-breakfasts, as well as the usual family gatherings.

Towards the end of 2019, the desire to own a second 205 got the better of Mum, and she embarked on a search for a red Pininfarina-designed 205 CTI – the cabriolet variant of the popular hot hatch.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

Joe’s mum added the white Peugeot 205 CTI 1.6 to the fleet not long after the red car

We all thought she was a bit barmy for buying two Peugeots, but she managed to shock us again by purchasing a third 205 just a few months after that.

This final piece of the puzzle was an off-white, 71,000-mile example, another convertible, that evidently had been loved from the very start.

The car had perfect wheels with no scuffs or marks, and the interior plastics were in immaculate condition.

The pre-catalyst 1.6 ran well and was super-responsive all the way through the gears.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

The red, white and blue Peugeot 205s were deliberately chosen in honour of the French Tricolore flag

The crazy thing was that I didn’t catch on to her idea of replicating The Italian Job until I sat down and watched the film with her – and then the penny dropped.

Mum had purchased the white variant on purpose to pay homage to the marque’s heritage by completing the colours of the French Tricolore flag.

When Mum suddenly, sadly passed away in 2021, the three ‘siblings’, as I call them, were put in my name.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

The Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 has ignited Joe’s love for classic cars

I must admit, I wasn’t much of a classic-car lover at the start, and I’m not a mechanic by any means – I only passed my engineering qualification at school because I showed up to the classes.

At first, I was shocked by the cost of keeping and running these cars.

Having driven an electric car since I was 18, I had become used to a considerably cheaper style of motoring.

I decided to take up a second job to ensure I could afford the upkeep of all three, all while still running the horticultural business that I had set up a few years earlier.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

Joe worked hard to keep the three Peugeot ‘siblings’ on the road

But I loved the cars as my own and slowly inherited the craze that once belonged to my late mother.

Becoming the custodian of the Peugeots has also strengthened my bond with my dad: he’s slowly teaching me how to diagnose certain issues with the cars (the red convertible is the one most likely to have a problem…).

Their boxy 1980s looks, their ability to spark conversations with total strangers in car parks or at petrol stations, and the sheer fun of driving them has really given me the bug for classic cars from that era.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9

The convertibles have since been sold, but the Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 is a keeper

I’ve decided to part ways with both the convertibles in order to save up for both a home and a business premises – aside from the fact that our driveway looked like a 1980s supermarket car park.

I do, however, plan on keeping the Miami Blue GTI and restoring it to its former glory.

Most of the car is very original, but there are imperfections on the dashboard and the red-striped bumpers need repairing, so they will be sorted.

The final – and much more difficult – project is to replace the non-factory solid roof for an original sunroof item, once I can find one.

It might not be cheap, but the sale of the two convertibles has allowed me to continue my mum’s love of the GTI for many years to come. Thanks, Mum!

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  • Owned by Joe Bagley
  • First classic This one
  • Dream classic Mercedes-Benz W03 F1 car

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