The car that I bought after I decided to take a break from classical Minis was a Peugeot 205 1.6 GTI in a Gutmann special edition. Virtually no space was left in the engine bay that was dominated by an impressive intake system. It produced up to 105 hp, what allowed to sprint from 0-100 kph within 8.5 seconds . The Gutmann special edition flavored this figures with proper sport seats and belts, improved stance due to custom over fenders, bumpers and rims, as well as a sport exhaust system.
Sounds like a must-have? Wait for the complete story!
The car saw two engines and three gearboxes. In addition I experienced one head-gasket failure and countless minor part failures. Not to mention regular wear-parts that had to be exchanged, everything within two years or so. Am I talking about a single car? Yes! A single Peugeot 205 1.6 GTI in a rare Gutmann special edition.
There is not enough space to tell all stories, but let me pick out the best ones. For example, I was on the way back home from a trip to the south of Germany. A trip of about 400 km, and still 300 of them to go. It’s was a cold winter night. The first thing I noticed was bad fog that blocked the view, the next thing was wet shoes, and the fog wasn’t actually fog but a steamy windshield. Hot water leaked from the heater in large amounts. I did the rest of the trip with the windows open, recall it’s still deadly cold outside, refilling the water of the cooling-system every few dozen kilometers. You like this story? Lets go the other way round. It’s summer and I am on a trip to the south of Germany again. After a few kilometers, the engine is overheated. After some troubleshooting next to the road it was clear that the thermostat was stuck at a near to close position. Well, it’s not an uncommon problem, sure, but to remove the thermostat in this situation is not the kind of experience you really like to have.
A lion’s share of trouble
Space is limited, so lets move on to some serious incidents. There was that day I picked up my girlfriend at a gas station and she has been on a ride for hours already. We hadn’t left the site as the engine collapsed. This was critical, not only because my girlfriend’s mood immediately dropped to zero, but also because the noise told me that it was a really critical engine problem. After the car arrived back home with the help of a recovery vehicle, I could analyze the problem and found the cam wheel sheared off. The first engine was gone for good.
Then it was time for the first gearbox to die. It was some late evening and I was on the way back home from a friend who lived in the suburbs. I left the urban area and decided to enjoy the car’s acceleration. I pushed the gas pedal down to the floor and – bang!!! – the first gear was gone. Fortunately, the Peugeot made the rest of the way back home, but to hear small parts shaking through the gearbox all the way back was the ultimate torture.
I was finally tired of the car and bought a Ford Escort RS2000 Mk5 from 1992. It was much less worn, but at least from the outside it did look a bit boring. Basically it was an ordinary family car equipped with the best engine I had so far: a 2.0 liter 16-valves beast with displacement-made 150hp ventilated through factory-equipped headers. The body was scrap, the engine was awesome. However, my story on the RS2000 is quite short. I fitted only new rocker panels to replace the rusty stock ones, but this was the very last thing I did for a few years on cars. I sold the Ford because I decided to go to University again, which means that there wouldn’t be a budget to keep such a car. For more than four years I hadn’t any car project, but I met Johannes in this time, and he did his bit to reignite the passion again.
Stay tuned and read about the new flame soon!