This 131 Mile Peugeot 309 GTI Has Spent Its Life In a Lock-Up Garage
Sssssh! We’ll let you into a little secret… contrary to what the headlines will have you believe, and a well-kept secret within the rallying world, is that the Peugeot 309GTI is generally considered a far superior driving package over Peugeot’s beloved 205GTi. We’re also pretty certain we might earn an extra brownie point or two by also letting you know that an immaculate one-owner GTI edition, with only 131 miles on the odometer, is coming to the classic market. Heading to auction at the UK’s Sandown Park Race Course on Tuesday February 26, courtesy of Barons Auctions, there’s just enough time to tell you why you need this underrated Peugeot in your life.
Sharing a sizeable proportion of parts with the 205GTI, the larger but lesser-known Peugeot 309GTI is very much the wolf in sheep’s clothing. A casual glance would indicate that the 309GTI is a spacious and incredibly practical daily driver and rightly so for both statements are true. However, that same initial inspection is unlikely to giveaway that the 309GTI is an incredibly competent car that now finds itself labelled as a retro classic, and which helped launch the career of World Rally Championship legend Richard Burns. Launched in 1987 as a 3-door family hatchback, it didn’t take long for motoring enthusiasts to clock onto the Peugeot 309’s potential when it evolved into the GTI edition. Its more famous stablemate, the 205GTI, was considered brilliant by almost every member of the public who tried it (at least those who didn’t crash it), but within motor sport it was the 309GTI that was gaining itself an excellent reputation for stability and speed that could rival any 205GTI with surprising ease.
Thanks to a stiffer bodyshell, wider rear track and a longer wheelbase, many rally drivers quickly concluded that the 309GTI was a significantly more balanced and stable machine. In addition, thanks to its powerful 1905cc four-cylinder all-alloy engine up front, delivering 128bhp and a 0-60mph of 8.0 seconds, the 309GTI was impressively quick especially given its bulkier dimensions. In fact it was only 0.2 seconds slower than the 205GTI–not bad at all for a car original marketed for family driving… As an owner of a 309GTI you could boast down at the pub that the longer tail of your chosen steed made its top speed 5mph faster. Two-tone plastic and painted bodywork further boosted your swagger while the quadruple array of fog lights nestled in the front bumper hinted of the huge multiple spotlamps used in rallying. And if anyone did happen to ask, as reward for winning the 205 Peugeot Challenge in 1990, Richard Burns gained a works drive in a RAC Rally 309GTI before winning the WRC ten years later with Peugeot.
This particular 309GTI comes with remarkably low mileage thanks to having been bought by an owner who primarily worked overseas and consequently didn’t have the time to use it as often as originally hoped. Instead, this 309GTI has spent the majority of its life tucked away in storage and remains in showroom condition today. Estimated to sell for between £8000-£11,000 ($10,300-14,100), it makes for a very tempting investment as well as a great opportunity to see why rally drivers really preferred to drive the 309GTI.
Images courtesy of Barons Auctions