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Weekly Motor Fix: the daily driven 1992 Peugeot 405 Mi16

16 March, 2016

If I said “’80s hot hatch”, I’d suggest invariably that the Peugeot 205 GTI would pop into your head.  If I then said “fast ’80s sedan”, I very much doubt that the Peugeot 405 Mi16 would register in the first hour. But it should, if only for the name. While the boxy lines of the 405 now more closely resemble that of a Russian tank, the Mi16 was actually a very good car. 

With a 7200rpm redline, 1.9-litre motor (apparently costing upwards of £3000 per unit at the time of manufacture), the Mi16 puts out 165hp and sprints along to 100kph in just over eight seconds. While these numbers are not going to impress modern-day high-performance sedan owners, the 405 still drives well. Once you get some momentum up, it even feels a bit like a proper sports car. The Mi16’s party piece was its stiffened chassis and independent suspension making for excellent handling.

This particular example in ‘Bordello Red’ (it’s not actually called Bordello Red) belongs to the writer of this very article you’re reading. 

I have had some previous experience with quick, relatively unknown Peugeots, as one of my first cars was a 309 GTI — the 205 GTI’s less-popular brother. Unfortunately, the 309 decided it had an itchy back whilst on a spirited drive through the Waitakere Ranges late at night. Luckily, the only injury sustained was a minor one to my neck when I forgot that the car was upside down and took off my seatbelt without bracing against the roof. It took me around 15 years to take a bold step back into Peugeot ownership following that event. 

I bought the 405 with the intention of turning her into a 2K Cup car (by turning up at the event with a tank of petrol on board). In the meantime I just enjoy looking at what is essentially a competitor to the E30 M3 sitting in my driveway for less than $2000.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?