Entered by the Works Peugeot World Rally Team in the 2004 Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, the 307 WRC’s competitive debut
Entrant in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 World Rally Championship, as confirmed by its FIA Gold Book
Two outright special stage victories on the 2005 Swedish Rally
Twice a finisher of the Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, the most famous rally of them all
Among the rarest Works ‘World Rally’ cars, with as few as 13 understood to remain
The Peugeot 307 WRC
Enter the Lioness. When the unenviable time came for Peugeot to replace the all-conquering 206 WRC at the end of 2003, the French marque knew it needed to push the technological envelope in order to keep up with the ever-evolving regulations. In a decision which was no doubt catalysed by the marketing department, the 307 CC was chosen as the model to be thrust onto the world stage. It was to be the first – and only – WRC car conceived as a convertible.
The 307 WRC, however, was about as radical a departure from its road-going counterpart as you could imagine. Here was a car designed to stalk special stages, not supermarket carparks. Firstly, that retractable hardtop was bolted shut and the heavy electric motors used to operate it were disposed of. An evolution of the 206’s inline-four engine was utilised, assisted by a large Garrett turbocharger which raised power to 300HP.
Initially, a transversely mounted Hewland five-speed gearbox (operated by a neat circular paddle on the steering wheel) was homologated, though for the very first time in a ‘World Rally’ car, a four-speed was nominated as the car’s ‘alternative’ transmission. The car’s three differentials (front, centre and rear) were all electronically managed, and the larger wheel arches allowed for greater suspension travel than the preceding 206 WRC.
As idiosyncratic a rally car the Lioness was to look at, its sleek and svelte coupé-cabrio bodywork, with its elongated rear deck and small rear spoiler, cheated the wind and proved to be more aerodynamically efficient than its opponents. Peugeot’s squadron of hot-shoe drivers including double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm, Markko Märtin and Harri Rovanperä earned the 307 WRC three outright victories and 23 podiums in 2004 and 2005. In an era of inherent unpredictability, prodigious talent and fantastic cars, those numbers are especially impressive.
This Peugeot 307 WRC
Assigned with the internal Peugeot Sport number C03, the 307 WRC we’re delighted to be offering was completed on 15 September 2003 and registered with the French licence number ‘954 PRV 75’.
Its maiden competitive outing came on 23 January 2004, when it took to the starting ramp of the 72nd Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo under the Works Marlboro Peugeot Total World Rally Team banner. The Belgian duo of Freddy Loix and Sven Smeets was earmarked to drive C03 on the notoriously challenging winter rally.
Not only was Monte-Carlo the first round of the 2004 World Rally Championship, but it was also the 307 WRC’s competitive debut. In what was a sure-fire indication of the radical new car’s great potential, the two Works-entered Peugeots, C02 and C03, finished fourth and fifth overall respectively.
In fact, Marcus Grönholm, who’d clinched the 2000 and 2002 titles driving the older Peugeot 206 WRC, won four of the twelve special stages in the sister 307 WRC and, if it weren’t for an ill-judged tyre choice in the closing stages, would have been well in the fight to beat Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb to overall victory. Loix’s drive to fifth with this 307 WRC was a mature and deft display of skill in the face of especially difficult winter weather conditions.
The Works retained this 307 WRC, entrusting its French satellite outfit Bozian Racing to enter it in round two of the 2005 World Rally Championship – the 54th Uddeholm Swedish Rally. Still wearing its virtually unchanged red Marlboro Peugeot Total World Rally Team livery, C03 was driven by the local pairing of Daniel Carlsson and Mattias Andersson.
Using their inherent knowledge of the local roads and snowy conditions, the duo finished a remarkable sixth overall with this 307 WRC. In what was an exceptional achievement, Carlsson and Andersson topped the time sheets on not one but two special stages towards the end of the rally, beating the likes of Sébastien Loeb, Marcus Grönholm and Petter Solberg.
C03 returned to the twisty alpine stages above Monaco in January of 2006, contesting the 74th Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo in the hands of Olivier Burri and Christophe Hofmann, run by the Swiss Team Garage Burri. Against the might of the factory teams, C03 finished the gruelling rally a commendable 12th overall.
Shortly after the rally, Peugeot Sport finally parted with C03. The 307 WRC was acquired by Developpement Exploitation Automobiles in Seynod, France, and re-registered with the licence number ‘3048 YQ 74’. The car’s final World Rally Championship outing came at that year’s Tour de Corse, where it was raced by the French pairing of Nicolas Vouilloz and Jack Boyere.
In the following years, this Peugeot 307 WRC was campaigned by respected outfits in national rally championships across Europe, predominantly in France and Italy, claiming no fewer than 10 outright victories. Most recently, C03 was owned and professionally run by Peugeot Slagelse in Denmark. Girardo & Co. acquired the car in August of 2021, commissioning a thorough mechanical inspection and reinstating its Works Peugeot 2004 Monte-Carlo livery.
We have compiled an extraordinary history file to accompany this Peugeot today. Using the Girardo & Co. Archive we have sourced 50 high-res photos of C03 in action during the 2004 Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo. We have included the car’s FIA Gold Book, which crucially confirms the World Rally Championship events the car contested, and its Italian CSAI and French FFSA technical passports. In addition to a full history report and complete copies of the original FIA homologation papers for the 307 WRC, there are also several operational manuals explaining the car’s various systems in detail – an incredibly useful tool for those wishing to use the car. Four spare wheels are also included.
For us, the most fascinating aspect of the history file is the comprehensive documentation for the Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, C03’s maiden event. With everything from driver pace notes, spectator guides, media itineraries and journalists’ first-hand notes to special stage timesheets, maps and manufacturer schedules, it’s a nostalgic and extraordinarily detailed snapshot of the world-famous event in which this car competed.
This spectacular Peugeot would be an excellent car to demonstrate at prestigious events such as Rally Legend in Italy and the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s understood that as few as 13 Peugeot 307 WRCs remain today, making C03 among the rarest factory World Rally Championship contenders. Furthermore, this is one of the two ex-Works Marlboro Peugeot Total which marked the debut of the 307, a daring and unconventional car built by one of rallying’s most successful manufacturers.
Price: £250,000 (GBP) (European VAT Qualifying)
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