The fleet here at Scuderia Matt has gotten way out of hand and something needs to go. The recently procured Baja bug friend-group project seems to have been the tipping point and I’m in full on freakout mode to get some space so that my garage door will actually swing open again. Logically, it should be my daily driver, a dependable but somewhat ratty 1991 Peugeot 405 Mi16. Find it for sale right here, right now for somewhere around $1,000.
Because I’m an idiot, I begged and begged a friend of mine in Michigan for this car, finally getting it about a year ago in non-running condition and 800 miles away. The ECU turned out to be full of water and a bunch of resistors rusted off the board. Naturally I didn’t figure this out until I had replaced the plugs, wires, crank sensor, distributor cap and rotor, and a whole lot of other things that might be related to not having sparkles. While I was waiting for my ECU to show up from Zagreb, Croatia, (along with a bag of cookies, thanks Karlo!) I converted it to EV14 Bosch injectors, put manifold gaskets on it and all new vacuum lines. The car now runs perfectly and sounds super classy through a straight pipe that I just had to add. The car is fun and loud but generally overshadowed in obnoxiousness by the driver, so you may have a different experience.
The body of the car does show some evidence of spending about 8 years in the Great White North with some rust bubbles on the rockers and in the inner front fender wells. I did also have to make a pretty large patch in the driver’s side floor support, thanks to a leaky master cylinder. Someone at some point slammed into another car and did some paint matching to the code and not to the orange-y red-y hue the car currently has – the painters conundrum. The paint in general is pretty faded and looks like it’s been through a car wash every day of its life with more swirlies than your younger brother got in middle school. However, this is likely this is the reason the body has fared pretty well over the years. And look how great it still looks surrounded by contemporaries.
The interior is quite swanky and in pretty nice shape, aside from a tear in the drivers seat. The driver’s side window has a
snapped cable rare one-touch-down feature that you may or may not want to retrofit. You can forget about the moonroof going back and forth but rest assured that its moon viewing functionality is retained. The system that turns the lung blanching, foggy swamp gas into breathable air is non-op due to a busted condenser but (summer’s-end spoiler alert) that issue will fix itself in about a month or two. With any 1980’s luxury sedan, I can’t vouch for all of the electronics, only the ones I use regularly like the lights, Frenchy horn stalk, and blinkers. Heated seats? Fog lights? Think of it like a lottery every time you press a button. A direct result of its Alpine heritage, this car has the ski bag that extends forward into the cabin from the trunk, which, also glamorously, fits 8′ pine boards and metal stock…nearly.
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