A Car For Every Occasion - The Peugeot 505 GTI
Above is the Peugeot 505 GTI turbo, one of the many variations of this car and possibly my favourite. In this blogpost today i will go through some of the best and different types of 505 explaining why this car can be used in many different ways.
Peugeot make has always been renowned for durability and comfortable strength, and had a perfect showcase in the 1960s when the East African Safari was the domain of essentially showroom models. Peugeot 505 models varied very much in equipment. Base SRD cars with the 2.3 diesel engine didn’t even have power steering, but the GTD Turbo, the GTI, the V6, and the TI all had power steering, central locking doors, air conditioning, a five-speed manual transmission, moon roof and front fog lights. And it also looked great with that long bonnet and tapered down to give a mean look to the car, all in all the 505 GTI was a great fast car.
Introduced in the spring of 1982, the Break (Estate) and Familiale versions were quite different from saloons. The wheelbase was also longer, to help make it one of the most spacious in the market, at 2,900 mm. This was, not coincidentally, the same exact wheelbase as had been used on both the 404 and 504 estate derivatives. Dangel offered a taller four-wheel drive version of the 505 estate equipped with either the intercooled turbo diesel 110 hp (81 kW) engine or the 130 hp 2.2 L petrol (96 kW) engine. The four-wheel drive 505 also had shorter gear ratios for more off road capability. The Familiale (family estate), with its third row of bench seats giving a total of eight forward-facing seats, was popular with larger families and saw as a family taxi. The two rows of rear seats could be folded to give a completely flat load area the total load carrying capacity is 590 kg. When released, it was hailed as a luxury touring wagon. The Familiale was marketed as the “SW8” in the United States, for station wagon, eight seats.
Surprisingly the 505 hit the scene with a bang. Peugeot Talbot Sport Deutschland was the first to prepare a 505 STI and sent it with Holger Bohne and Peter Diekmann to the Tour d’Europe. Tour d’Europe was a once very famous long distance event, starting at the Nürburgring, the rally would go through Austria, CZ, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Tunisia (yes, Africa), Atlas Mountains (Algeria), Morocco (Africa), Spain, Portugal and France back to the Nürburgring. And on its competition debut (for the STI version), the 1981 Tour d’Europe, the Peugeot 505 was a very convincing winner ahead of a works Toyota Celica. The 505 was as well a famous “road car” in Africa, but African rally drivers never really liked it. but despite all the odds against it it won its first ever rally.
for its next rally Peugeot had another interesting idea for the 505: They turned a 505 Diesel into a rally car to prove that diesel is not at all as conservative as people believe. The rallied version was a turbo charged version, to test, develop and prove a new technology: the world’s first diesel-turbo road car was the Peugeot 604 in 1979! What sounds like a modern idea even today turned into respectable success already back then. Of course a 505 Diesel was an unlikely outright winner, but it had massive torque and alone the fact that it managed to finish in the top 10 of the 1981 Rally Acropolis which is better than Mercedes 450 SLC team managed the year before! shows that it was a more respectable car than many would want to believe. In fact this is the only time ever a diesel car managed a top 10 finish at WRC level to date.
The Peugeot 505 STI was a vintage racer with an interesting history. These large sedans were dominant in showroom stock racing in the late 80’s, especially renowned for their combination of speed and reliability. Peugeot was keen on seeing their cars succeed on track, and offered plenty of incentives to racers in both amateur and professional SCCA showroom stock racing. This particular car was a pre-production model with some factory tricks to improve performance, such as putting the hot STI drive-train in but installing the cheap, lightweight taxicab interior trim. Obviously, showroom “stock” racing in the 80’s tended to be a bit liberal with the “stock” label. but looking past that the 505 STI was a very fast race car from stock (ish) and went on to win a handful or races against cars like the Celica 240’s etc… and they left the IMSA racing on a high winning the last championship the car entered.
It all started in 1976, when the FFSA launched the French Production Championship pushed by the pilot Claude Ballot-Lena. Jean-Pierre Beltoise joined the project, and driver of the BMW with which he won the first two championships (1976 and 1977). At the end of his career in F1, Beltoise became an ardent defender of this championship, setting cars that were very close to the series (hence the name, but the regulations evolved to offer more power to the cars and make them lighter. but the Championship remained under the aegis of the FFSA. He then tried to interest the French manufacturers. To lure the barge, in 1980 he himself hired a 505 GTI turbo prepared by Danielson, a 2 litre engine pushed to 238 hp (thanks to two carbs double Weber body instead of injection), and lightened to 870 kg. This helped the 505 fend off the much more powerful and heavier German cars and went on to win the championship in the 505 in 1978.
some variants i didn’t talk about.
Thank you for reading, one thing i would like to ad is some of these articles were in French and i had to translate all of them so some parts of them might not make a lot of sense but i tried my best guys. let me know what you think of this post down in the comments.