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This 306 may not look much. But for those in the know, it is a very special car indeed. It dates from a time when Peugeot rated among the best builders of hot hatchbacks. And when it comes to quick Peugeots from the 1990s, the Rallye was the daddy. It was based on the GTi-6, itself a great car – its 2.0-litre 168bhp engine teamed with a fluid, quick-response steering and suspension set-up. It also had a six-speed gearbox – something really rather special back then.
The Rallye all the essential bits from the GTi-6 and ditched the air-con, electric windows and door mirrors, also replacing its suede-effect seats with plain cloth ones. For good measure, the fog lamps got deleted, too. All told, this reduced its weight by 65kg – as much as a modestly proportioned grown-up – and enough to make a difference in performance you’d notice. To finish things off, Peugeot sold only a few hundred white ones like this, and they cost a chunk less than the GTi-6. New, they shifted from showrooms quickly.
Ok. Reality-check time. This is a 15yo motor that has covered 122,000 miles. Even with the care that the vendor, our friends at Mark Duesbury Cars, promises that past owners have lavished on it, it will need much looking-after and ongoing expense to keep it going.
But we think such a car deserves it. If for no better reason, because it’s a survivor. Rare from the start, Rallyes will have been driven and enjoyed to the full. Inevitably, a few owners will have discovered the hard way that, although its grip is considerable, the 306 can punish the over-exuberant by ‘letting go’ quite suddenly. So a fair few will have ended up crashed. Others will have ended their days as track cars.
Happily, the fact that this one still features many of its factory-applied ‘Rallye’ stickers indicates to us that its panels are largely original. History accompanying this car also shows that it has had its cam belt changed at the correct intervals (the most recent, this year) and a previous gearbox overhaul, together with a renewed clutch. And one great thing is, so long as you keep this car in reasonable, shape it will be worth at least the price asked here. Keep it long enough and you might even see a return on your outlay. We’re sorely tempted.
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