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Used Car Reviews – 2001 Peugeot 206 GTi

Photo 17.10.2014 13.03.35

As an owner of a Peugeot 205, the 206 has always interested me ever since I got my little Pug. I’ve only ever driven a 206 Roland Garros – a posh special edition – and that was when the car was new a decade ago, so I haven’t had a clear comparison to how they stack up next to each other. As this black example of a cheap 206 GTi popped up for sale, I wanted to go over and have a look. Could it capture some of the 205 feel, or would it be an unjust comparison to begin with?

The initial problem with the 206 is that it isn’t a 205. Thing is, no other car than a 205 is a 205. The first two numbers and the “GTi” add-on mean the 206 GTi travels on dangerous ground. Peugeot couldn’t really replace the 205, so they brought in the 106 as a smaller, somewhat overlapping replacement and kept making the 205 as long as it was in any way viable. The 106 grew old and uncompetitive, so another replacement had to be ushered in, and about that time Peugeot’s design language and general demeanour had grown up to favour the more ballooned and stretched look, just like the 307 that followed the ’90s 306. That is an another can of worms that eventually led to the all-face, no-trousers 407, but it’s fairly obvious they couldn’t keep making the 205-306-405 set forever. You know they tried.

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Helsinki Sightings – 1978 Datsun 100A

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This wonderfully bile green Datsun 100A was spotted in Punavuori, Helsinki by erstwhile Hooniverse contributor and collaborator frankiess. Put short, the Datsun looks amazing. A handsome amount of these were sold here new, and a good chunk of those have been run down to the ground during the subsequent years – but this one is doing daily driver duty in hipster Helsinki.

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Red Wedge – 1984 Lotus Turbo Esprit

Antti Kautonen October 9, 2014 Finnish Line

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Before our jaunt to the Ahvenisto race track, we stopped at the nearest service station for summer cabin groceries and whatnot. We hadn’t prepared for the cutting edge slice of exotica parked on the best spot: a gleaming red Lotus Turbo Esprit from 1984.

Tan leather, gold wheels and graphics, faultless paint; the Esprit looked wonderful even in the slightly gloomy and foggy weather.

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Track Day in Beaterland – Sierra CVH at Ahvenisto

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What do I love most about taking a humble daily driver on a track? Well, there’s just something about it that feels deliciously wrong. Tracks are for track weapons in the purest sense, for purpose-built, caged cars that are driven by people who actually know what they’re doing for most of the time, people who are able to shave seconds off lap times instead of just doing a different series of mistakes on each lap. Instead of a bread and butter conveyance, you get into a machine that’s been painstakingly built into a faster, safer, and yet more disposable vehicle, something that can be driven hard, something that still declares “This isn’t even my final form!” A car that’s been built into a track day car or a racer doesn’t have a way back. This is its life now, roll cage and all.

But for a modest outlay, and as long as you’ve brought your helmet and as long as you’re aware of how your car is doing mechanically, you can enter a track with your grocery-getter and have a brilliant time – in case the premises offer the possibility of tourist drives or booking the place for your usual gang of idiots that form your car camaraderie. Like us, the Finnish part of FinalGear, the guys who sauna the night before and watch Regular Car Reviews and Birgirpall until everyone’s so tired from laughing they don’t know if the helmet fits on the next morning. But as the leaves are falling and the forested track of Ahvenisto looks amazingly beautiful, despite being treacherous under the motivational autumn photo guise, it’s time to wrap up the driving season on the track asphalt with a group of good friends. And now it was the 1990 Ford Sierra‘s turn to earn a couple stickers.

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Two Wheel Tuesday – Get your GSX-R on Route 66’r

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A good friend, Mikko, decided before this summer that what he needed in his life, along with American cars in various states of functionality, was a fast bike. He proceeced to acquire a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K4 without hesitating, and he’s had a great summer riding around the country on the yellow menace. But now, he believes it might be for the greater good to get rid of it. Can you believe?

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Summer Holiday Souvenirs – 1977 Zastava 101 on the Nürburgring

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Let’s say you go for a vacation on an island in the Adriatic sea. What would you bring back home from there? A suntan? Some handicraft? Two of my friends went for something with a local flavour, and went halves on a 1977 Zastava 101. You could do worse.

Beni, the guy who drove to my town a couple years ago with a blue Miata via Norway, is no stranger to wrenching on older, quirky cars, as he also owns an X1/9. This pretty much means he wasn’t afraid to set off to Germany, crossing the Alps, in the pea soup green 1100cc Fiat derivative. The thing even managed a comfortable cruise on the revered Autobahn. Joe Isuzu was nowhere in sight, though.

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The Carchive – The DeTomaso Pantera L

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Some time in the late ’90s, I wrote to the exotic sports car manufacturer DeTomaso and asked for a Pantera brochure. I wanted to get something as a present for my brother, as in those days I did do some Haininging myself, and as a result there’s a few brochures taking up Expedit space in my apartment even today. Back then, I was very fond of the Pantera and the ’90s DeTomaso products that were slowly churned out really caught my attention.

Weeks or months later, the brochure arrived in the mail. Surprise! It was an older brochure from the early ’70s, when the Pantera initially came out under the watchful eye of the Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the first batches, after being introduced in the 1970 New York Motor Show. My 15 years of not-too-careful admiring have torn the four-page leaflet in two, but it’s definitely scannable – and that’s what I did to hi-jack the Carchive slot for today.

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Project Car SOTU: The 1990 Ford Sierra

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The call came in: we’re doing a project car post series. In these posts, we deliver the report on how our respective fixer-uppers are doing.

I took a deep breath. What would I cover this time around, regarding my Beaterland fleet? The Saab, the crown jewel of my old cars? Nope, sold it a while ago to raise a bit of travel cash for my two weeks in California. The Xantia? I’ve delegated it to parts hauler duty, with no meaningful repairs being performed except a rear brake caliper getting a look at so the car passed inspection. The 205? It’ll just get driven, but the appearance remains the same save for a set of aluminum steelies. The Polo I’m actually somewhat ashamed about, as I haven’t still put the cylinder head back on it and it remains a non-runner. It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting better.

Fittingly, there’s a new blank canvas on my doorstep. Another fresh start, yet another cheap beater that will get the skipped maintenance forced back on the schedule again. It’s old, it’s quirky-looking, it’s rear wheel drive. It has the Bob Lutz seal of approval. It’s a Ford Sierra.

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Stockholm Sightings – Audi 5000S

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Walking around the Kungsholmen island of Stockholm, close to our hostel, I noticed this chrome-laden, seemingly early Audi 5000S parked on the street. The bumpers sprouted out proudly, the sealed-beam headlights added a touch of old-world class to the otherwise aerodynamic design, and the entire car was sparkly clean.

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Stockholm Sightings – Chrysler LeBaron Convertible

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This thing, this right here, this Chrysler LeBaron is among the best sightings I’ve posted, from my own view point. I managed to see just the angular, white-on-white tail sticking out of the line of parked cars, and decided to walk closer. When I realized what it was, my step hastened, my pace quickened. An actual, early K-platform LeBaron convertible right there in Stockholm’s Södermalm district, just a stone’s throw from the old town. Can you tell I was excited?

To own, I’d perhaps prefer the newer LeBaron. Those are a touch more modern in appearance, not revealing their Reliant K roots too easily, but the older car is a lot more Iacoccan. Like Regular Car Reviews put it in their charitable piece about the ’80s New Yorker, Lee Iacocca knew how to make an entire line-up out of just one basic car.

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