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Specification:
Peugeot 306 Rallye
Engine:
2.0-litre, 4cyl
Claimed MPG:
30
Performance:
0-62mph in 7.8s
Weight:
1163kg
Price:
n/a

An email from Matt Jobling at Pug1Off where the 306 went to be brought back to life. “You’re not going to believe this, but we’ve replaced the battery and the seized fuel pump, done a quick puncture repair on the nearside rear for the convenience of rolling it about the place and… she’s alive”.

I’m lightly flabbergasted. A month ago it was 100 per cent dead in a lock-up and covered with cobwebs, but after the application of some automotive defibrillation, it is 100 per cent alive. I read on eagerly. Inevitably I shouldn’t have bothered. In my emotional state I’d read ‘alive’ and assumed ‘factory fresh and ready to roll’.

Of course not. The rest of Matt’s email details the issues that still need to be overcome. The highlights – more lowlights if I’m being honest – were as follows: corrosion either side of front sub-frame, rusting centre joint in the catalyst, brakes binding, inoperative central locking, dim indicator and off-side bulbs, play in the track rod ends, poor radiator fitment, fuel that had gone off so badly it smelled of turps and instantly re-blocked the fuel pump and… tadpoles in the screenwash. Apparently that’s not an automatic MOT fail.

Other things – track rod ends, bulbs, brakes binding – are, though. So Matt sets to work. 5hrs 25mins of labour later, plus £14 for a new track rod end, £20 for new bulbs and wiper blades and with a newly drained and refilled fuel tank and screenwash reservoir, T916 JKP goes in for an MOT.

It passes. This time we’re both flabbergasted. I drive up to Brackley to see my newly road-legal 306 Rallye. It looks spanking. I tell Matt there was no need to give it a full valet. “We haven’t, just a wash with soap and water and a hoover inside.” It looks a different car to the one I brought up here. The clean up has also revealed a few less desirable things. I knew about the discoloured off-side rear panel – it’s pretty much orange instead of red, a legacy of either an accident or respray before my time – but I’d forgotten about the ripple in the nearside front wing, and the scattering of dents and stonechips elsewhere. And the corroded wheels. And the fact I’d kept OE Pirelli P6000 tyres on the front, but stuck markedly less grippy Firestone Firehawks on the rear…

The only things it still needs are brake fluid and oil changes, so we take it inside and put it on a ramp. My heart sinks again – the Rallye’s undercarriage is more rust than metal. Matt tells me it looks worse than it actually is, reckons the best thing to do is take it home and drive it for a while, then decide what’s worth doing. Total cost so far? £619 for all parts, labour, fluids and MOT. In exchange I have a fully resurrected Peugeot 306 Rallye. Next step, blow the dust of the V5: it’s tax and insurance time.

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