1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
- Number 177 of only 200 road-going Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 homologation specials built
- Just three owners from new and showing a mere 8,300km on the odometer
- Originally owned by Sheikh Abdullah Khalifa Al-Thani at the Embassy of the State of Qatar in London
- Benefitting from a recent service by the renowned rally car specialist BGMsport
- A fantastic example of a rally icon – the only car to win back-to-back WRC titles in the Group B era
- Chassis no. VF3741R76E5100177
- Registration: C308 CYX
- Vehicle Location: United Kingdom
The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
That Peugeot’s sledgehammer-like 205 Turbo 16 – the only Group B rally car to win back-to-back World Rally Championships – originated from the humble and cute 205 is scarcely believable. In order to homologate its full-fat rally car, Peugeot built 200 of these road-going 205 Turbo 16s (16 denoting the number of valves in the engine), predominantly painted grey.
Although modest in comparison to the 400bhp-plus competition versions, the 200bhp Turbo 16 homologation special retained those cars’ lightweight tubular spaceframe, glass-fibre bodywork complete with ‘pop-up’ rear clamshell, and clever centre differential, which lent the Group B machine its signature nimbleness. Naturally, the two cars share the same four-wheel-drive mid-engine configuration.
It’s worth remembering that Group B rallying was the absolute pinnacle of motorsport in the 1980s – more popular even than Formula 1. As a result, the road-going homologation offshoots of the flame-throwing monsters which danced on the tightrope of speed and terror on the world stage are so desirable today. The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is certainly among the best of the frankly bonkers breed.
This Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
The magnificent Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 we’re offering is chassis number 177, the 177th example of the 200 cars built in total. On 11 January 1986, the car was delivered to its first owner, one Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani at the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Mayfair, London.
Assigned with the UK registration ‘C308 CYX’ (the registration the car has retained to this day), this Peugeot was a regular sight on the streets of the British capital. Al-Thani was clearly very fond of his 205. Not only did he keep the car until 2007 and diligently maintain it, as evidenced by the myriad service stamps all issued by Peugeot Warwick Wright in Chiswick, London. In order to make his Turbo 16 different from its grey counterparts, he also opted to refinish the car in black.
The simple change transforms the character of the 205 – the resulting stealth and menace is entirely befitting of the car’s Group B spirit. It must have looked the absolute business prowling the streets of Mayfair and Kensington by night, the amber glow of streetlamps and vibrant neon shopfront signs reflecting off the boxy black bodywork.
On 28 July 2007, over two decades after he took delivery, Al-Thani sold chassis number 177 to Haif Dilaimi, a resident of Twickenham in the suburbs London. Dilaimi carefully stored this Peugeot, seldom using it – from taking delivery to the point he sold the car in January of 2013, just 28km were added to the overall mileage (8,090km in total).
One Tom Kirby from Stroud in England was this 205’s third and final private owner. Clearly a died-in-the-wool enthusiast, Kirby recognised the significance of his new Peugeot, especially with it being the only 205 Turbo 16 finished in black and not grey. In his nine years of ownership, he exhibited chassis number 177 at a raft of high-profile events including the French Car Show at Castle Combe, the Peugeot Sport Club UK Meeting at Prescott and Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace. Furthermore, Kirby was able to get this 205 featured in a number of publications including Modern Classics and Performance French Cars Magazine, which accompany the car today.
Suitably impressed with this Peugeot’s condition and provenance, we at Girardo & Co. acquired the car in January of 2022 and promptly sent it to the renowned rally car specialist BGMsport in Northamptonshire for a comprehensive service. In addition to the replacement of the cambelt, engine oil and filter, coolant and brake fluid, we also took the decision to have all four alloy wheels refurbished. Once the service was complete, the car was sent for a professional detail.
It’s fair to say our very own Marcus Willis was raving about this Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 after his post-service test-drive. “As Group B homologation specials go, this is definitely among the most comfortable, spacious and ergonomically friendly,” he commented. “On the move, it’s similarly refined. And while it’s not going to set any performance records today, I don’t think there’s a quicker or more engaging means of travelling across a twisting British country road. Whatever happened to cars full of gauges? They’re ever so helpful when you’re pressing on!”
This is a fantastic example of Peugeot’s Group B homologation special. Chassis number 177 has remained in the United Kingdom for its entire life (and on the same registration), has covered just 8,600km, has always been regularly maintained, presents in excellent condition and drives beautifully. Furthermore, the car is accompanied by a generous history file, comprising scans of each of its V5 registration documents, the magazines in which it was featured, the factory-supplied repair manuals, the original maintenance and warranty booklet, and a 205 Turbo 16 press brochure. The unique and beguiling shade of black is the proverbial cherry on the cake.
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