Meet your Hero! The Peugeot 205 GTI
People say never meet your heroes, you’ll only be disappointed. Well I disagree with this. Whilst out shooting a feature car for Rattanak Kiri recently, I bumped into one of my heroes, The Peugeot 205 GTI and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Now, there are a lot of people out there who will be looking at these pictures and thinking ‘what a piece of old junk’ and then there are the ‘proper’ people out there who are drooling over their keyboards full of adolescent passion as this little baby is one of the cars of their dreams!
Back to the evening in question though and we were on the lookout for a nice, trendy, urban location, and buried in the heart of Birmingham’s creative area, Digbeth, is the Custard Factory. The former home of Bird’s Custard, it is a hodge-podge of factory spaces converted into cool studio spaces, bars, cafes and ultra-cool shops. A perfect space to shoot a little city car that would be devoured by spectacle wearing, bearded hipster types.
Mint Peugeot 205 GTI In White At Night
Well, maybe not as it turns out. As we drove past a blind corner, editor Paul smirked ‘there’s one from your era’ expecting to see an unattractive lady of of advancing years, I was amazed to see one of my boyhood hot hatch heroes in pretty decent shape. Needless to say, I pretty much instantly ditched any professionalism in trying to get shots of the young trendy city car and made a b-line for the little Peugeot 205 GTI.
What’s the Appeal?
I will be the first to admit that this is not the most incredible car ever made but it is, for me (and if you’ve read this far, probably you too) one of the most desirable. So what is the appeal of this little ageing hatchback? Why is it still so appealing today and why is it so cool that it would find itself in hipster-central and not look out of place?
I recently attended the auto sport international event at which, the centre-piece was the all conquering Ferrari ‘LaFerrari’ a car that is so technically advanced and generally unbelievable that you need to be a quantum mechanic just to get your head around the thing. Parked next to it, was a mint condition Peugeot 205 GTI that had no right to even be sat in the shadow of his lordship. Yet, the plucky little pug was getting equal amounts of attention.
The fact is that those of us of a certain age and even a lot of younger car enthusiasts love an underdog, we love a car that is really good at what it does and we love something that we could actually, realistically own and use! Let’s be honest, I doubt any of us will ever own a ‘La-F’ and if we did, it would be wrapped in so much cotton wool that it would barely see the light of day. Where as the little 205 could pretty easily be used as a daily drive and still give us just as much entertainment.
So what makes it so special? It’s a true working class hero! It’s an affordable classic that is still highly desirable by the young, old, car geek, hipster or that simply know a thing or two about cars. There is no doubt that the 205 GTI is right up there in my top ten cars of all times and it is a shame that as the years go by, they will become a rarer sight on the road, but to those owners out there that still drive, care for and enjoy their little bit of motoring history, I salute you!
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