Through the German forum frenchclassics.de, a meeting place for German French car lovers (yes there are loads of them), I met a guy named Axel. He lives a half hour from my home, and casually told me he had some parts I was looking for my 1989 Peugeot 205 CTI.
I have been seriously considering bringing this car to the USA with me. I am in Germany with the US Army, and in February 2015 I will be returning to America, moving to Virginia. I have checked with the Peugeot Club of America and apparently there are no 205 CTI in the US. There are a dozen or more 205 GTI, the hardtop version of this car, but no convertible cars. Mine would be the first.
I recently posted on French Classics that I was looking for a few parts for me car. If I commit to bring this car to the US I want to fix a few issues I have with it. Axel told me to come over to his place and he would hook me up with some parts.
I got to Axel's home and it was 205 heaven: cars, engines, wheels, transmissions, interior pieces, switches, all over the place, loosely organized. Between Axle, his father and his brother, there are two 205 GTI, and two 205 CTI. So two hardtop, and two soft top. One of the GTI has a full cage, and is powered by a Peugeot Mi16 engine, pushing close to 190 hp. On a lightweight car like this, it is some very good power.
On to the parts. My car has been running rich for a while, and I had been scratching my head trying to figure out why. Two months ago however, I met another German guy who owns a few of these cars and he took one look at my fuel injectors and said "I think you got the wrong injectors there". I checked part numbers and sure as shit, my injectors are for a Ford 2.3-liter engine, and flow twice as much as my stock injectors. Axel has stock injectors for me. For free. The price was right!
Axel also had a few interior trim pieces, notably the A-pillar trim in dark grey, which on my car was brittle and broken. Also free. Rummaging through his garage we also found a starter that I need, a correct shift pattern shift knob (mine had the incorrect BE3 pattern, my transmission is a BE1 with the reverse next to first gear), he gave me two CV joint boots (he had a half dozen laying around), a distributor o-ring, and a trunk weather seal.
He also had a set of Peugeot 14-inch "Pepper Pot" wheels for sale. The wheels were for sale for a while, starting at 200 Euros, and he kept on lowering the price. I got them for 80 Euro. My car is currently wearing 13" steel wheels with winter tires because my summer tires, 195/50-15 on 6.5" wheels, is rubbing on my wheels arches. Those wheel arches are made of plastic and no longer available from Peugeot. The ones you find intact are expen$ive. With the 14-inch wheels, which are stock for this car, shod with 185/60-14 My car should stop rubbing, fixing that one problem.
Axel also had a shell of a convertible like mine, but with disk brakes on the rear axle. He says they are about to junk that shell by winter time, but I could have the rear axle with the disk brakes. I will be coming back for that at a later date, as the whole rear axle is big and heavy, and I'll need to bring my family wagon to haul that big piece away. My rear axle is one of those parts I need to fix before bringing the CTI stateside, as one of its outer bearings has some play; getting an upgrade from rear drums to rear disks would be good too.
I spent a whole hour with Axel, his father and his brother. They were all very welcoming, and were amazed that an American had a Peugeot 205 CTI, and was thinking of bringing the car back to the US. His father was adamant that I must bring the little French cabrio to America, if for no reason than to drive a one-of-a-kind-car in the US. He says he is now comited to helping me find parts I need for my Pug. Axel's father only requested that I bring some American peanut butter next time I visit, because German peanut butter is Scheiße in his opinion: not creamy enough.
So between getting parts for my car - including now my fourth set of wheels for it - and making some new friends, today I can say I had a good Jalop day. I just can't forget the peanut butter next time I come by...