You probably already know how much we enjoy scouring the classifieds for interesting metal, and this one is giving us the downstairs fizz.
The Peugeot 106 GTi, only built in the later, phase two facelifted body style, was a 950kg, rev-loving hot hatch legend. Fitted with a zingy 1.6-litre petrol beneath the bonnet, tiny 14-inch alloy wheels and an oh-so-fashionable little tailgate spoiler, the 106 GTi looks every bit as good now as it did at its launch in 1996.
Its engine was a peach; a 16-valve range-topper from the TU family, coded TU5J4 and fitted to cars with NFX chassis numbers. Its output was a meagre-sounding 118bhp at 6600rpm, but that was plenty in the thin-panelled 106 to make you feel like you were going into orbit.
Pedants might point out that it was slower to 60mph than the mechanically almost identical but much, much chavvier Citroen Saxo VTS, but the reason for that is the Saxo’s taller second gear ratio that passed the 60mph point. The lower-geared, more eager 106 is generally more fun, though.
The reasons we’re quite excited by this 2001 example on eBay are thus. First things first, you won’t find much more driving fun anywhere, for any price. The sheer joy of thrashing this car around country lanes is hard to match, and you’re never going to be going so fast that the police simply put your licence in a shredder when they catch you.
Secondly, values are on the up for original-condition cars. This one is factory-standard with a full service history, as far as we can see, but we can’t be sure the old stereo head unit hasn’t been replaced with an aftermarket CD player. The pics aren’t good enough for us to tell. At £4990 it might look expensive, but if you look after it then values are only going one way. We’d expect this to make a much safer investment than stocks and shares, and in any case, you can’t drive paper investments for fun in the meantime.
Thirdly, this one really does look cared-for. It’s a one-family car from 2008, says the seller, with its owners since then listed as a mother and daughter. The interior looks to be in incredible condition judging by the sadly low-res photos, and for another thing, the owners have shod it with premium-brand tyres; a sure-fire sign on any 16-year-old car that it’s been cherished.
It’s only done 63,000 miles, or so we’re led to believe, there’s no visible rust even under the engine bay and the seats barely look sat in. Pinch us, because we think we might be dreaming.