Erik Fuller ©2018, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
This Peugeot remains in thoroughly original condition and now shows 48,000 km (29,825 miles) on the odometer. It wears its original gray metallic paint and its original two-tone gray leather and Alcantara interior, both of which remain in superb condition with only the most minor signs of use. With red-edged charcoal carpet, red accents throughout, and of course, the proper 5-speed gearbox, this exceptional car both looks and performs like the racing legend it is. It is offered with its original books and spare tire, and is ready for spirited road use or for showing at local Cars & Coffee gatherings. Always owned by enthusiasts and maintained in superb original condition, this Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is one of the finest examples we have presented. With only 200 built, they rarely come to market, making this a likely unrepeatable opportunity to add one of the most successful racing cars of all time to the world’s finest collections.  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 hatchback
Years Produced:1984–85
Number Produced:200
Original List Price:$30,000 (roughly, in 1984 French francs)
SCM Valuation:$191,000
Chassis Number Location:Right side bulkhead, front trunk
Engine Number Location:Right side bulkhead, front trunk
Club Info:Rallying with Group B
Alternatives:1984–86 Ford RS200, 1985 Audi Sport Quattro, 1985–86 Lancia Delta S4, 1980–84 Renault 5 Turbo
Investment Grade:A

This car, Lot 139, sold for $156,800, including buyer’s premium, at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction in Amelia Island, FL, on March 9, 2018.

When Group B rally was created in 1982, the new class ushered in a golden era for the sport in much the same way that the Can-Am series delivered unprecedented racing in the 1960s and 1970s. Group B offered very few rules and made big power easily attainable. For five years, the rally world was mesmerized, watching some of the most outrageous machines humankind has ever built for racing.

The list of Group B cars is also a tally of some of the most sought-after collectible racing vehicles in the world today. Group B included the Audi Sport Quattro, Ford RS200, Lancia Delta S4 and the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, or T16. The related Group 4 Renault R5 Turbo was an immediate predecessor.

The homologation rules of Group B were simple. A manufacturer had to produce 200 street-legal examples of a given model to qualify for competition. That’s why you’ll find only a few more than 200 road-going examples of any Group B car were ever made. That has kept values high even as modern performance has moved far ahead of Group B standards.

Built for speed

Of all the Group B cars, the Audi Sport Quattro is by far the most famous, but it wasn’t always the most successful in competition. Audi had dominated Group B in 1982 and 1984, with Lancia scoring the championship in 1983. The Peugeot was a relatively late arrival to Group B in mid-1984, yet the Peugeot team won three of the last four rallies of the season.

Peugeot went on to win seven more times in 1985 and six times in 1986, claiming the championship both years. All told, the Peugeot 205 managed 16 World Rally victories, two constructor’s titles and two driver’s championships.

The 205 Turbo 16 is very loosely based on Peugeot’s compact 205 hatchback. But where the basic car was a front-engine, front-wheel-drive econo-box, the Turbo 16 moved the engine behind the driver and carried a sophisticated full-time all-wheel-drive system, along with upgraded suspension and brakes.

In rally form, the 1,775-cc DOHC 16-valve turbocharged engine could be developed to produce over 500 horsepower, but the homologation models were tuned to a reasonable 197 horsepower and 188 foot-pounds of torque with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and an intercooled turbo.

Power is routed through a 5-speed manual transmission and then an epicyclic viscous limited-slip center differential and limited-slip front and rear differentials.

The chassis features a double-wishbone suspension with coil-overs front and rear, rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes. The car’s central monocoque is made of steel, but unlike the basic 205, the rear is cut off and a polyester clamshell is used to cover the rear space frame. An additional front subframe carries the front axle and suspension. Additional bracing and a firewall sit behind the driver and passenger. Of the 200 homologation models, the first one was painted white to match the factory race cars, and the remaining 199 were painted in a handsome dark gray with red highlights.

The road-going version of the 205 Turbo 16 hits 0–60 mph in about six seconds, and has a top speed of about 130 mph. For comparison, that’s about the same as a contemporaneous Corvette.

Collecting the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

With only 200 road cars ever built (plus 40 competition cars), you can just about track any given car’s history through its auction sales on SCM’s Platinum Auction Database.

The cars with bona fide Group B competition history carry price tags to match their glory. The 205 that won the 1985 Rallye Monte-Carlo and Swedish Rally in the hands of 1981 WRC champion Ari Vatanen failed to sell on a bid of $565,000 in 2016 (SCM# 6809570). Works rally cars with a less-glorious history have sold for $372,145 (SCM# 241572) as recently as 2014.

The homologation models that have come up for sale in the past several years show good condition with low miles, and four or five cross the block each year.

Two cars that had been purchased new by General Motors were sold this year in Scottsdale on the same day by Barrett-Jackson. One that had been kept absolutely unmolested brought $187,000 with 2,192 km (1,362 miles) on the odo (SCM# 6863148). The other had been the subject of some development tests by GM, and while it was in good shape, the suspension had been altered. It sold for $146,300 (SCM# 6863149) with 15,914 km (9,888 miles) showing. You have to go back to 2010 to find one of these cars selling for less than $100,000 (SCM# 165328).

Our subject car is representative of the Turbo 16s that cross the block. It’s original, with some interior wear showing — and 47,984 accumulated kilometers (29,815 miles). The purchase price of $156,800 is on the low side, considering the same car sold for $198,000 in August 2016 (SCM# 6806637), and then turned up for sale on Hemmings by December of that year with an asking price of $285,000.

Interestingly, the original books and toolkit are visible in the trunk in the 2016 photos, but they were not present for this year’s sale. That’s a bummer, but not enough to justify a $42,000 discount.

The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 will remain collectible, and prices may move slowly — but will doubtless continue to rise over time. The Peugeot collector has an advantage over the Audi and Lancia fans because this model is not yet well-known in the United States, but the 205 Turbo 16 has a solid place in the pantheon of Group B legends. For that reason, it’s certain that this car was very well bought. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.)

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