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Hello from Germany (until December, then back to USA!)

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Hello! My name is Ren (short for Renato) and I am a US Army Soldier, currently stationed in Germany. I currently own two Peugeot, a 1991 309 GTI-look-alike (has GTI body and interior, but 1.4 engine), and my pride and joy, a 1989 205 CTI.

The 205 is painted in a 106 color, Sundance Yellow, and is like a street legal go-kart. The car is powered by a 115 hp 1.6-liter engine that loves to rev. It is a blast to drive. I bought the car cheap because it had an old tattered top that was leaking. Replacing a convertible top in Germany is quite expensive, I would find. I was quoted 1500 Euro for a brand new German-made top installed at my Peugeot dealer!

Fortunately I am quite internet savvy, and I found a company in the USA, Tops Online, that manufacturers convertible tops for the 205, even though the car was never sold in the US. They ship their tops world wide! The price for the 205 top? Just $319 shipped to Germany! I then found a local auto upholstery artisan in a small German rural town who installed my top for just 250 Euro. Altogether it cost me 479 Euro for a new top! I would highly recommend Tops Online if you need a rag top for your convertible. Their top looks good and stays dry even on a downpour.

I unfortunately had a minor fender bender on the 205. Of all cars in the world to hit a Peugeot 205, mine was hit by a Ford Crown Victoria. The owner said he didn't see my car (it's bright yellow!!) and damaged the front bumper, left turn signal and left fender flare. The bumper and turn signal were easily replaceable, but the fender flare is still somewhat broken. He paid me 100 Euro for the flare, but I am still searching for one to replace it, as no one makes them any more sad.png

One thing I did immediately on the car when I bought was install a new steering wheel. The previous owner had a tiny 30 mm steering wheel, which coupled with 195/50-15 tires and no power steering made for quite an effort parking the tiny car. I replaced the wheel with a 34 mm one, which made a world of difference.

The previous owner lowered the car a bit too much, and that is my next project on the car. I am buying higher springs for the front of the car, so I get a good clearance over the tires, then I will raise the rear suspension (done by rotating the torsion bars).

Other things I need to do to the car soon is to install the correct injectors (it runs a bit rich and I just recently found out I had injectors that flow 30% too much), and also add a resonator to the exhaust to quiet it down a bit. Other thn that the car has minor niggles here and there, but drives faithfully every day.

I am seriously thinking of bringing this car with me to the USA when I return next year. The car is already over 25 years old and would be imported without any hassles. I know there are some 205 GTI in America, I am unsure if there are any CTI. Maybe mine will be the first?

The 205 CTI has the distinction of being the 205 that was made both in France and Italy. The bodies were made as hardtops at the factory in Socheaux, then shipped to Italy to the Pininfarina factory, and alongside Ferraris the Italians would chop off the top, weld the strengthening pieces, rust proof it, then ship it back to France. There the assembly continued and the car was finished. Must have been quite an expensive process to make these little cabrios!

Without further ado, here is my 205 CTI:




Very French interior in half black leather and red carpet... (tiny 30 mm wheel installed)


New 34 mm Raid steering wheel installed. I am hoping to find an original CTI leather steering wheel soon.


And here is my Supersprint exhaust. It gets a bit loud at high rpms and for long drives it is a bit annoying. A resonator should fix that.


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Welcome Renato! 205 looks nice and I doubt there's a CTI in USA. I know Marc in L.A has two 205 GTI's,one 1.6l and one 1.9l. Before you bring it back I would do XU9J4 swap which would make it scary fun to drive. BTW I was born in Croatia and my cousins husband's name is Renato as well.

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Well, deep in my heart I am a Saab guy, have owned nothing but Saabs (and one Jeep) for the last six years. If I did a swap I might do a Saab 2.0 or 2.3 Turbo. Even without mods 185 to 230 hp in the tiny Pug will move it right along :D

A German friend of mine who owns five 205s recommended me to get a Schrick fast road camshaft since I have the 1.6 engine with the 1,9 head, the Schrick cam is good for another 20 hp at the flywheel when coupled with this head.

The swap I would really like to do, especially for the US, is a gearbox off a 205 GTI 1.9, or Citroen BX GTI 1.9, as the gears I have are super short. The gears off the BX would be better, as first and second are short, but the others are longer. I'm unsure yet how that would play with the low torque of the 1.6 engine... Good neas is my German friend has both those gearboxes (205 and BX GTI 1.9) for sale for 30 Euro each.

By the way, I am really glad I found this forum. I had been searching for a while for a forum for American Pug owners with no avail. I knew there had to be one. I am a member at FCIA but that place is all but dead. I have been pretty active at PSCUK (Peugeot Sports Club UK), and 205 GTI Drivers, mostly 205 guys there, both are UK forums.

Also, I was talking to a Peugeot engine builder in the UK and he says he has a client in the USA with a Peugeot 306, and he was just building a full race engine to ship it to this guy. He wouldn't tell me where in the US the car was (understandably), but apparently somewhere there is a 306 race car prowling a race track in the US. The engine builder said he didn't know if the car was street legal, but given the arbitrary 25-year rule for street legal imports I highly it.

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welcome, ren! what state would you be registering the car in when you come back to the states? regardless, we should get you connected to marc (the guy here in LA with two 205s that Savo mentioned)...marc is very active on the facebook group -- not "officially" connected to this forum but lots of overlapping membership...it's run by fernando (eurotrash on this forum), as the group has gotten bigger he's gotten a bit more selective in admitting members from outside of the US/Canada, just send a message with your join request indicating your US connection.

AFAIK there are no 205 CTIs here, so i hope you bring your car here! hope i get to see it in person sometime in the future.

by the way, your seats look good but if you ever want to recover them, there is a guy on aussiefrogs (the australian french car forum) who sells reproduction fabric in your pattern...


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Andre, I really don't know where I iwll end up when I return to the US. Could be Alabama, Virginia, Washington, Kansas, Colorado, Texas... I really have no clue yet. I am hoping for Viginia or Washington but I don't have too much say so.

I have requested to join Fernando's group on Facebook, and I'll send a message requesting to join if he's being selective, which I understand.

I am also a member of the 205 GTI Club de France, and they also have the reproduction seat cloth. My seats are actually from a GTI 1.9, as all CTI had full cloth seats, only the GTI 1.9 had the half leathers like mine. The leather has no tears, just a few spots where I need to put some leather dye, but other than that the leather is in good shape. The cloth has no tears too, but has a few strands of red that are starting to fray.

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Welcome Ren!

The CTI is awesome! I even like the 309's so feel free to post up pics when you can.

If you brought the CTI stateside I think you'd be the one car that I know of that has one - but I've also never hear of a 306 race car in North America either...

I met Marc for the first time at PPIHC '13 and got to drive his 1.6 GTI - awesome car.

Cool that you're a Saab guy as well - but be warned the Pug bug is just as addictive!


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The 309 is my winter car. Germans love to salt the crap out of their roads (excuse my language), and finding older cars with no rust is tough here. The 309 has its fair share of rust, more than I car for. I will probably sell the car soon as I will be leaving next winter. The car has a full GTI interior in good shape, and rare aftermarket Storm bumpers. The car handles quite well, but the 1.4 engine is anemic and the gears are long. Not sporty, just sporty-looking.




Currently the 309's ignition key is stuck in the cylinder, a common problem in 205s and 309s, but I just bought a used but good ignition cylinder on eBay, should be fixed next week.

I also own these two Saabs, a 2000 9-5 Aero Wagon, and a 1987 900i:

The 9-5 is our family bus and Autobahn burner. 161 mph top speed with Stage 1 ECU tune makes for some fast cruising. I usually cruise at 100-120 mph when on the Autobahn on this thing, get 17-18 mpg going that fast with three people and luggage. The 9-5 is a Swiss market car and an import in Germany (Germans like to buy used Swiss cars because the Swiss take care of their cars better than the Germans), it was previously owned by the famous Hirsch Saab dealership in Zurich. I bought the car with over 250,000 km but it might as well have been brand new.


My other Swede is this 900i, I bought the car from a German guy in France because the car is rust free. It was worth the four hour drive to get it. It is extremely reliable and I wouldn't bat an eyelid if tomorrow I had to drive ten hours on it. Sometimes I think of bringing this to the US instead of the Peugeot, but other than being an European car there is nothing really special about it, it's not a turbo car, not a notchback, not a five door car.


I imagine in the next month I might sell the 309, then the 900 by the end of the summer. The 9-5 I'll keep until we move back to the states and find a buyer for it right before we get out of here (being less than 25 years old I can't import it). The 205 will most likely be the car I ship to the US.

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I live in Canada, and with our harsh winters AWD is a must, so my family sleds are Swedish sisters to the Saab's - we've got '01 & '06 Volvo V70R's... The '00 R is likely very similar save for the AWD, but I think it's stock top speed is 152 MPH. I've got some mods planned however and if I get the ECU tune HP should go from 261 to ~330HP.

My Peugeots have been regulated to my summer fun cars...


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Awesome story Ren! One of my bud's from high school is stationed for the Airforce in Japan. He's already owned a couple of JDM bests, and currently has RHD Hilux Surf (jdm 4runner) that's thinking of bringing back to the states under the 25 yo law.

A quarter of my family (grandmother's side) lives in Germany. My relatives are from the Dusseldorf and Munchen areas...

My E30 plates are reg. from my uncles town (Krefeld)..


Country's close to my heart, hope to be visiting at least this winter - when I hope to bring some parts back with me for the E30 & Pug.

Please bring a pug (or two) back with you! Maybe the CTi and a euro 505 turbo? :D

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