Tag Archives: South

For Sale – Peugeot 206 GT #1335

For reasons that with hind sight defy any common sense while Peugeot was phasing out it’s extremely popular 205 in the early 1990’s Peugeot’s marketing department decided to abandon the 205 super mini market segment in the hope that it’s customers would opt either for the smaller 106 or larger 309.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Needless to say the strategy did not have the desired effect on sales and so belatedly the Peugeot 206 model was launched in September 1998, in the UK with a catchy ad featuring a Hindustan Ambassador being crashed into various walls, sat on by an elephant and otherwise modified until it resembled a new 206.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

As with the 205 a WRC Rally version of the 206 was built with which Marcus Grönholm became World Rally Champion in 2000 and 2002.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

The 300hp all wheel drive 206 WRC car featured slightly different front and rear bumpers to the production 206’s which increased the length of the vehicle from 3.83m to 4m and to get these parts homologated, certified for competition, Peugeot had to build at least 2,500 copies of these parts for their customers.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

So in May 1999 Peugeot announced it would build 4,000 limited edition front wheel drive 206 Grand Tourisme models fitted with the longer bumpers, 137hp 2 litre, 16 valve petrol engines, 5 speed gearbox and 9 spoke alloy wheels available only for this model.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Additional extra’s unique to the Grand Touriseme were numbered identification on the door pillars, body coloured wheel arch extensions, leather trimmed sports seats, a three spoke sports steering wheel, aluminium accelerator pedal and a unique metal finish instrument cluster.

Peugeot 206 GT, South Glouscestershire,

Acceleration times were quoted as 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 129mph, at the time of writing only 114 of the 588 registered on the road in Britain remain on the road with another 87 being registered SORN, stored off road, with the authorities.

Today’s featured example #1335 first registered for the road on the 27th of September 1999 is for sale with less than 105500 miles on the clock, MOT due 4th May 2017, no advisories, recently rebuilt rear brakes and reconditioned alloy’s.

The owner says #1335, which carries a couple of minor scars on the bonnet and off side rear wheel arch, has fantastic handling and brutal acceleration and would make a great track day car.

If you are interested in purchasing it, through the third party that owns it, please do not hesitate to leave a message below.

Alternatively come and see it at the Avenue Drivers Club Meeting, Queen Square, Bristol on Sunday June 12th 8am sharp, usual disclaimers apply.

Thanks for joining me on this “For Sale” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hybrid Test – Honda CR-Z Sport

As my landlady braces herself for the request from her teenager to take driving lessons, I thought it might be neighbourly to look out for some options to ease the pain, one of which was to find out about the Motability Leasing Scheme which he will be legible for.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

With this in mind last week I saw an Ad on Facebook offering test drives in the Honda CR-Z and pressed some buttons filled in a form and booked a test drive with Bristol Honda (South) on the Bath Road which was to take place less than 48 hours later.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

Steve the Sales Executive phoned me up the next day to confirm the appointment and at the appointed hour I showed up handed over my drivers license for copying and we discussed how Motorbility worked and I was given a useful information pack which my Landlady has found most useful and has allayed many fears regarding her sons coming of age.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

One of Steve’s colleagues thoughtfully brought the CR-Z I was to test round for me to have a look at and I was impressed with what I saw, the profile is reminiscent of the CRX models of the 1980’s, but all similarities cease thereafter.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

The CR-Z is a billed as a Low Emissions High Exhiliration hybrid with a 112hp petrol engine and an 14 hp electric motor powered by batteries that are charged using an energy recovery system that uses the heat from the brake discs each time they are used. This is similar to the kind of technology that is mandatory in Formula One these days.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

In the UK the CR-Z is available in 5 different colours with 3 different levels of trim S, Sport and GT, the model featured here has the unique to the £18,735 (otr) Sport model privacy glass at the rear and fabric upholstery trim combination.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

Once I had entered the CR-Z my immediate sensation was one of security as my Marblehead acquaintance Red Farmer might have observed I was sitting in a ‘cage’, a safety cage that is and that is good when compared to one city car that I have driven this year. Despite the fact that the CR-Z is a two plus dog only automobile I had no feeling of claustrophobia, in fact the exact opposite I felt as comfortable sitting in the CR-Z as I do in my Landladies German estate / station wagon.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

Being the first time I had ever driven a Hybrid I was not at all too sure what to expect, it turns out that driving a CR-Z is pretty much like driving any other kind of car, electronics deal with the management of the two power sources, you can preset the electronics for economy, normal and sport modes of performance and I certainly noticed the difference in the acceleration between the different modes. I understand that uniquely among hybrids the CR-Z is the only one available with manual transmission, and in this instance it’s a super smooth six speed.

Honda CR-Z, Bristol Honda

Over the course of the couple of miles I drove the car I was not able to discern how the car handles but I did observe the suspension felt reassuringly secure and that the steering felt as good as any I have ever experienced, reassuringly direct without being in anyway twitchy and it gave a good feeling for what was going on between the front wheels and the road.

Overall I was very impressed and I’d love to drive one of these models some more, particularly I’d be interested in doing some like for like tests between the Economy, Normal and Sport modes, ever since I first drove a Mk 1 Golf GTi with a fuel economy gauge I have been as fascinated with the fuel consumption I can achieve on a long journey as I have with journey time.

I’d also be fascinated to see how well the CR-Z performed in a production car trial or gymkhana, I suspect it might do really well.

On the strength of what I experienced I’d have no hesitation recommending the CR-Z to anybody who regularly drives in an urban environment or has to regularly negotiate heavy traffic, as I would any car that attracts a zero rate road tax.

My thanks to Steve and everybody at Honda Bristol (South) who made my visit real a pleasure.

Thanks for joining me on this hybrid edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !


Viva Firenza ! – Chevrolet Firenza Can Am

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

The Vauxhall Viva range of small family cars were designed in Luton and built primarily at Ellesmere Port with some also built in Luton, England to compete originally against the likes of the Morris Minor and Ford Anglia.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

Introduced in 1963 the HA Viva went through 2 stylistic upgrades HB in 1966 and HC in 1970. Production of the Viva ceased in 1979.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

For 1971 a coupe bodied HC VIva was introduced known as the Firenza to compete against the Ford Capri and it is this body shell that features on today’s featured car.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

There was also a South African Firenza production line which sold the model under the Chevrolet brand with three engine options 1.3 litre / 76 cui Vauxhall, 1.9 litre / 115 cui Opel and a limited homologation edition of 100 with Chevrolet small block 4948 cc / 302 cui engines. These motors were originally conceived for the first generation Camaro Z28 with which Roger Penske and Mark Donohue dominated the 1968 and 1969 ‘Trans Am’ series.

The ‘302’ also had a successful career in the Formula A/5000 series sanctioned by the SCCA.

The Can Am connection suggested by the sticker above most likely refers to the 2nd generation 305 cui Can Am which ran from 1977 to 1986, rather than the unlimited original Can Am which ran from ’66 – ’74 where larger variations of the Chevrolet ‘small block’ were used exclusively in Chevrolet powered Can Am challengers until Penske and Chaparral introduced Chevrolet ‘big blocks’ in 1967.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

Back in it’s heyday the South African only spec Chevrolet Firenza would also compete in rally’s with a high wing (see 15 secs) of the type that today would most probably only be seen on a vehicle competing on Pikes Peak.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

Running an HPI check on this vehicle revealed that the registration is associated with a Vauxhall Viva 1256 SL fitted with the larger 1800cc / 109 cui 4 cylinder motor which was often used with the automatic transmission option.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

I am not sure if this indicates the vehicle in the photos started life as a Viva and was converted to Chevrolet Firenza spec or if the car in these photos is one of the original 100 Chevrolet Firenza’s that has had an old number plate that was once registered to a Viva, if anyone knows which of these possibilities is definitively the case please chime in below or send me an e-mail, e-mail address can be accessed from my Blogger Profile page.

Chevrolet Firenza Can Am, Race Retro

Jan Hettema, who’s Chevrolet Firenza the paintwork on this vehicle represents, won the South African Rally Championship 5 times, the last of which was in 1976. Basil van Rooyen was amongst several drivers to use a Chevrolet Firenza in South African endurance races and is known to have finished 4rd at Cape Town behind 3 2 seat, 2 litre racing cars in November 1973.

My thanks to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club who kindly gave me a lift to Race Retro back in February, and to E1 pix, buckaluck, 2F-001, Lee Nicole, Tom, Bob, Frank and Rob of The Nostalgia Forum for filling me in on the history of the competition history Chevrolet ‘302’ small block.

Thanks for joining me on this South African spec edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again for tomorrow for a look at a one off V8 conversion. Don’t forget to come back now !

16 06 11 Update, I found out last night that the Chevy Firenza fitted with the 302 cui was marketed as the Chevy Firenza Can Am. More info here.


Springbok Special – ALFA Romeo GTV6 3.0

The ALFA Romeo GTV 2.5 was in production from 1980 to 1987 it featured a a fuel injected 156 hp 2,492 cc / 152 cui V6 motor from the Alfa 6 model, a rear mounted gearbox to optimise weight distribution just like the Porsche 924/944/968 and an attractive Giorgetto Giugiaro body with a bulge in the bonnet / hood to accommodate the V6 engine.

ALFA Romeo GTV6 3.0, BIAMF

These vehicles won four consecutive European Touring (stock) Car titles, however out in South Africa the touring cars were running to different regulations with a 3.5 litre / 213 cui class cut off as opposed to the 2.5 litre 152 cui class cut off as used in much of the rest of the world.

ALFA Romeo GTV6 3.0, BIAMF

In order to race competitively against BMW which ran 3.5 litre engines in South African Touring Car Races ALFA Romeo in South Africa approached Autodelta the competition arm of ALFA Romeo who obliged by supplying enough parts developed for a rally programme to build around 220 2934 cc / 179 cui carbureted V6 engines which were assembled and tuned in South Africa.

ALFA Romeo GTV6 3.0, BIAMF

The outcome was a vehicle that in 1983 beat BMW to win the South African Touring Car Championship and in mid 1984 was declared the fastest South African assembled vehicle with a top speed of 139 mph / 224 kph.

ALFA Romeo GTV6 3.0, BIAMF

With that ALFA Romeo Montreal inspired NACA duct in the bonnet and deep spoiler this 3 litre GTV6, belonging to Richard an acquaintance from ‘The Nostalgia Forum‘, is quite easy to distinguish from its 2.5 litre brethren.

My thanks to Richard for bringing his pride and joy to the Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Springbok edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !