Peugeot 205 record? - Jim Mackay
A happy motoring tale with a happy ending.

After a little over 284,000 miles, we've decided to 'let go' of our red Peugeot 205GLD. We bought her new in September 1989 and she's never missed a beat since. When she first arrived we lived by the edge of the sea at Cullen on the shores of the Moray Firth in North East Scotland. When I say by the edge, I mean all of 30 feet away. The first job on starting in the morning was to wash the salt off the windows so you could see out! Despite this, there is virtually no rust evident on the car. She has never had the luxury of a garage and has undergone the full unprotected ferocity of Scottish winters.

For the first number of years I used her to commute daily to Inverness, a round trip of 120 miles. Often my job would take me to the west coast so a daily 300+ miles was not unusual. She regularly returns 55+ miles per gallon of diesel despite being driven hard. A friend talked me into joining Highland Car Club and entering their Novice series of road rallies. To our, and probably everyone else's, surprise, we won our class first time out and ended up winning the novice Championship. We went on the following year and won the intermediate Championship. Regretably a house move precluded further nocturnal nonsense and I retired gracefully. (I still miss the excitement!) I made only three modifications for the road rallies: a jackplug socket for the navigator's map light, 100 watt headlights, and harder front disc pads. The latter was necessary after the originals nearly caught fire on the first event. Smoke and smell everywhere and no brakes: quite exciting really!

Oil and filters have been changed every 6,000 miles and it certainly paid dividends. I stripped down the engine after 230,000 miles and the machine shop refused to believe me! There was minimal wear in either the bore or the valves. In truth, this was the first time the rocker cover had ever been removed. The clutch (the original clutch) still had considerable life left in it but I changed it anyway. Apart from routine renewables such as timing belt, brakes, exhaust, etc there have been no major breakages or failures at all. I've carried out nearly all servicing and repairs myself.

Naturally after all this time and miles, the family has become more than a little attached to the car. Both children grew up with her and learned to drive in her. We fondly remember the many long holidays with luggage stuffed into every nook and cranny. We remember also all the hard work she has done hauling loads of soil and gravel and manure for our garden in the trailer.

I very reluctantly decided not to even try the MOT this year as the back suspension (which is totally original) is showing its age: there are also ominous creaks and groans from the front suspension, there is a small fuel leak and the handbrake needs new cables. She also jumps out of reverse gear fairly regularly. I simply haven't had the time over the summer to do the necessary and of course it is no longer cost effective to spend much money on her.

I began by saying that there was a happy ending, and there is. I'm delighted that the car is now ready to begin a new life towing gliders on Highland Glider Club's grass airfield. She will easily take this new role in her stride and I'm sure that she will be able to do this for very many years to come.

We still have a 306 diesel turbo which is a wonderful car and I'm about to take delivery of a Rover 216 coupe. However nothing could ever replicate the incredible service of 205 G667 SST. May she long enjoy her well-earned semi-retirement.
 

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