Hagerty Video: Hot Hatch Restomod: Peugeot 205 GTi Tolman Edition | Henry Catchpole – The Driver’s Seat

Posted: 2023-08-16 15:00:32
Author: Hagerty
The Peugeot 205 is 40-years young in 2023 and this episode of The Driver’s Seat seemed like a very good way to mark that significant birthday. The 205 GTi is perhaps the quintessential hot hatch and this is now perhaps the ultimate version of the car. Chris Tolman of Tolman Motorsport originally restored a 1.6 GTi for himself but lightly updated it in the process to produce more power than a 1.9. This second Tolman Edition, however, takes things a big step further.

This is a 1.9 with a ported 16-valve head and new cams. There is also a new exhaust, a fly-by-wire throttle and a bespoke ECU. A competition clutch and Quaife ATB limited-slip differential help translate the resultant 200bhp and 160lb ft of torque to the road, while the brakes from AP racing help slow everything down again. The Bilstein dampers, with Tolman’s own tune, keep things fun but less unruly than the original had a tendency to be.

Despite all the mechanical improvements, the look is very much standard both outside and in. No big arches or bonnet bulges here. Even the new exhaust has the same turned down shape as the original. Inside, you still have the scratchy plastics and the original seats. The memories come flooding back as soon as you get in. Some Alcantara on the wheel seems to be the only change. Until, that is, you turn the ignition on and the digital dashboard comes to life.

The MoTec screen has perfect facsimiles of the original red and white dials and they look fantastic. But it gets better, because if you press the button with a Peugeot Sport logo on and hold it for five seconds, then the dials change to those of a 205 T16 Group B rally car! They really are so much fun.

A Tolman Edition will set you back anything from £55,000 (plus donor car) to well over double that for a car like this one. It’s a lot of money for a little hot hatch, but each one goes back to a bare shell for its restoration and in the world of restomods, it still looks like a relative bargain compared to many others. Which other hot hatches would you like to see receive the restomod treatment? A Golf GTi? A Renault Clio? Let us know in the comments down below.

Thank you very much for watching. Apologies that the British weather threw a slightly soggy spanner in the works with the continuity, but such are the delights of summer in the UK! If you would like to support the channel and this series, then do please ponder giving the film a thumbs up, maybe think about sharing it with others who might appreciate it and perhaps even consider purchasing a Hagerty Drivers Club membership. It all helps! Thank you. https://bit.ly/Join-HDC-Henry

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Hagerty Video Transcript

There are in life some binary questions which cause an awful lot of discussion tea or coffee I think you know where I stand on that one panels should they be affixed to the back of the steering wheel and move or should they be static on the steering column sources Brown

Or red it’s actually it’s very easy that one it’s before midday it’s always Brown source and then we have the Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 or 1.9 well now there might be a way out a third option [Applause] welcome to the Tolman Edition [Applause] why the debate with 205 gtis well you see some people adore the Readiness of the 1.6 but others Lush over the extra oomph of the 1.9 the 1.9 also has a disc rear axle as opposed to the 1.6’s drums and almost everyone prefers the 1.9’s

Allies not to mention the fact that the 1.9 lured people in with this advert I mean bonjour double zero set anyway when Chris Tolman of Tolman Motorsport built his own personal Resto mod 205 he took a 1.6 added the 1.9’s alloy wheels and rear discs but kept the Revy engine

While giving it 10 brake horsepower more than a 1.9 problem solved but this isn’t that car this 700 hour build is a 1.9 that revs and takes things a whole lot further the engine in this car absolute fire breaker of an engine 200 brake horsepower and boy does it like to run

Revs to just over 7000 RPM and it wants to be up there wants to be driven and driven hard What a Mighty little engine to have 200 brake horsepower 895 kilos that’ll be cool cylinder remains naturally aspirated and keeps the aluminum XU block but it has a ported 16 valve head

With new cams and a bespoke Billet cam cover tolman’s own stainless steel exhaust provides suitable Acoustics but like the whole car retains a standard aesthetic with the turned down tailpipe with a competition style clutch and compression and cams as Chris puts it it’s always going to be an urgent and

Slightly feisty experience but a new ECU and flyby wire throttle helps quell some of the aggressiveness and also improves cold and hot starting the numerical end result is an uplift from an original 1.9’s 128 BHP and 118 pounds foot to 200 brake horsepower and 160 pounds foot of torque while the note

62 time drops from 7.8 to 6.5 seconds welcome to British summer time sunny muggy one minute I’m absolutely heaving down the next it’s amazing getting back in here just how small it feels I know that’s made to be a very obvious thing to say but it is

I feel like the facts has been trimmed in Alcantara though makes the world a difference straight away but then you’ve got the standard seats which I like and I actually like having the scratchy Plastics too I absolutely adore these dials they’re just brilliant normally a digital dash wouldn’t necessarily be something I’d look

Forward to particularly in an older car particularly in one that’s sort of really so outwardly and inwardly unchanged but these are just brilliant I love the fact that if you press the Peugeot Spore button down here all the dials change to facsimiles of those you find in a 205 t16

How great is that that’s just fun other things that this car hasn’t got that Chris Tolman offers include air conditioning which I would have actually quite liked today despite the rain at the moment that’s the British summer for you and you could also get a screen with things like apple carplay on it

Which I’m sort of glad isn’t in here I like the file on the stereo Chris Tolman well his background is really in rallying he worked for a rally art for many years Building engines for them and then Building engines for btcc carts as well touring cars and now sometime he’s been running his

Own most sport engineering company and I asked him sort of why the diversity within it because he’s built all sorts of things you can go into the workshop and it’s not just peugeot’s in there at all there are lotuses Fords there’s even some Porsches and he said

That when he set it up what do you want it to be really was the next Pro Drive a place of engineering excellence you know what else has Myriad areas of Interest appeal and Excellence of course you do because you watch all these films with a religious fervor never skipping a

Second it’s a Haggerty Drivers Club subscription with its magazine discounts access to the Hagerty online valuation tool and roadside assistance all bundled up together just like um the five ratios in a GTI the gear shift they’ve improved it but it is very much still a 205 gear shift

It brings all his memories flooding back it’s not anything like as vague as I remember the 1.9 that I drove for a while which is Miami Blue but it still has a bit of that frenchness to it obviously with 200 brake horsepower we need some proper brakes in this as well

And it’s got them you can see the AP calipers peeking out behind those beautiful Wheels when Chris did his first one his 1.6 he put some GTI 6 brakes on it but this has got APS because he decided that he wanted the repeatability he didn’t want to be

Hunting around on eBay for all GTI 6 brakes understandable there are also ATEC CNC formed stainless steel brake lines to keep things fade free and while that all helps on the way into Corners it’s great providing the assistance on the way out with an ATB LSD or automatic torque barsing limited

Slip differential traction over the corners is excellent and the whole car just has more precision just nicely buns all the ergonomics are obviously the same so you still sit up quite high and wheel in your lap if you’re as tall as me but the pedals are still beautifully placed for healing and Towing

Gear shift just that little bit of a stretch but obviously because it’s tighter it’s not you’re not reaching for it and in those Corners over here it’s just that more precise your inputs are smaller than these bumpy B roads suspension does work really well still throttle adjustable walking with throttle adjustability this

Is a hedge and Legend has it that Legions of 205 gtis ended up going backwards through such Shrubbery in the surprised hands of owners after all they’re done was lift off the right hand pedal problems were threefold the second problem came in which was weight transfer

Which in itself can be a good thing in a car obviously the problem was the rear suspension was that much firmer than the front and that really exacerbated the weight transfer I remember it in my 205 rally car my first rally car 1.6 and over the

Bumps and all that rear end all was so busy this is much better there’s a new rear anti-roll bar and adjustable bottom arms combined with a bespoke tune of the Bilstein dampers all Tolman additions come with power steering too but it’s not heavy-handed in its assistance and overall is just a

Lovely tight feel to the car like this and it’s adjust how much more precise a plant and it gives you more confidence there are all sorts of other little mod cons in here because if you didn’t stuff One backwards into a hedge well there was a

High chance that it might get nicked so this obviously has an immobilizer an alarm and a Tracker in it clearly with so many options there is a wide range of prices for atonement Edition GTI each car gets a freshly prepared bare metal shell and then the choice is yours really with prices

Starting at 55 000 pounds plus donor car and rising to over 120 000 pounds for a conversion like this that’s a lot of money for something that unlike so many Resto mods remains almost identical in appearance to the Gerard Welter designed original but for me that unmolested look

Triggers something I haven’t really felt with a Resto mug before you know what they say about nostalgia it’s not what it used to be and in some ways it really isn’t because actually the derivation of nostalgia so nostos is great for homecoming Algos is is pain and it was very much

Seen as something bad nostalgia but that’s not the Caldera is more Associated now with a warm fuzzy feeling of things that made you happy or you think it made you happy in the past but most of the Resto mods that I’ve driven well the Nostalgia bit doesn’t really

Apply to me because they’re from an earlier era from generally in the 60s this however this this speaks right to me Nostalgia these days can definitely be a good thing and this is living proof of it