Buying Classics Abroad
Peugeot 205 GTI/CTI
1 BODY AND CHASSIS
Bodyshells were galvanised from 1987, but do check for rust. Inspect floorpans, suspension mounts, fuel tank area and the windscreen surround. Look for uneven panel gaps and other signs of crash damage. Some replacement panels can be tricky to find.
The 1.6 and 1.9 are both reliable, but check the service history for regular changes of cambelt and engine oil. Worn valve stem oil seals is the likeliest cause of blue exhaust smoke. Other running issues can be due to a faulty airflow meter or cold-start valve.
Imprecise gear selection is common, normally remedied by renewing the joints in the gear linkage. A stiff pedal may just mean the clutch cable needs adjusting or replacing: the clutch itself should be durable unless the car has been thrashed.
4 TRIM AND INTERIOR
Seats without worn bolsters are very hard to find. Models with a sunroof used a vacuum powered by the engine to seal the roof; check it works and look for leaks. The convertible CTI gained an electric roof in 1990.
5 RUNNING GEAR
Worn rear radius arm bearings can damage the axle, so check for even tread wear on the rear tyres. Outer driveshaft joints have a tendency to fail on 1.6 cars. Other failure points include the ABS system (1990 onwards) and worn steering rack and bushes.