1970s / 1980s / French / Future classic / Peugeot

Is the Peugeot 305 a future classic?

peugeot-305-1Introduced in the fall of 1977, the Peugeot 305 signaled the arrival of a new family of models whose name ended in 05. The car’s Pininfarina-designed lines were modern for the era and many compared its front end to that of the Simca 1307/1308/1309 trio that was launched two years earlier.

The 305’s career got off to a good start partly because it was offered with a wide selection of robust gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines. Additional variants were added throughout the production run, including a performance-focused GTX model powered by a single-carb version of the 1.9-liter four-cylinder mill that became famous under the hood of the 205 GTI a few years later.

As had been the case with most of Peugeot’s prior sedans, the 305 spawned a versatile station wagon and a two-door panel van aimed at commercial buyers. Peugeot reportedly toyed around with the idea of building a coupe and a convertible but it never made a favorable business case for either and they never left the drawing board.

The 305 sedan was replaced by the larger 405 in 1988 but the wagon survived for about another year after that.

Today, the 305 is not particularly rare in its home country of France and government statistics indicate that about 4,600 examples are still left on the road. The story is different in the United Kingdom, where less than a hundred registered examples are accounted for. 305s are particularly common in Morocco, too.

A quick look in the local classifieds reveals that a relatively clean 305 sedan can be purchased for less than a €1,000. As the oldest examples prepare to celebrate their 36th birthday, will the 305 became sought-after and go up in value over the coming years, or will it be a little too bland to earn the attention of collectors?

5 thoughts on “Is the Peugeot 305 a future classic?

  1. I reckon pretty much all cars achieve a classic status at some point either because there are so few left they become rare or because, even if common, they evoke childhood memories that remind you of your youth when people (like me) hit mid 40’s and beyond.

    I’ve never driven a 305 myself so can’t comment on their ride, handling or reliability but I do like the looks.

    I had a 2.0 petrol 405 GTX estate as a company car and did 100K miles in it. As far as I’m concerned that car was/is the best car I’ve ever driven (of over 200 cars) – it was supremely comfortable on even very long distance driving, it was very roomy and could carry stacks of cargo with ease, it handled well and it was far quicker than many other motorists thought it would be so could be really hustled along and yet it could also cruise around lazily and return 50mpg and that was in the days before people started to even worry about mpg and it was a petrol. If the 305 was anthing like as good it deserves the classic title. 🙂

  2. I owned a 1.5L petrol 305 wagon – dull blue, spacious, comfortable, disappointingly slow with a vague gearbox and already a little battered with 60K on the clock when I bought it. We co-existed for over 80,000 more, mostly motorway miles. I doubt whether it is one of the 100 UK survivors. Three things stick out in my mind. First, its negligible tyre-wear. The Kingpin remoulds that I had on the back lasted for an almost unbelievable 62,000 miles. The other two had to do with water. After a night’s rain, the glove-box was full of it. Not a drop elsewhere, inside. But I’d literally bail the glove-box out with a plastic beaker. Where all the other water went was in the engine. For most of the 80,000, a fine, café-crème, yellow-tinged mousse was doing the lubrication honours. Neither leak was ever traced.

    • Yes my 405 was not exactly the most reliable vehicle either. The alloy centre caps would fall off every time you went over a pot hole, the chrome trim strips kept lifting out, numerous electrical items failed and I even had a caliper snap clean off its mount under heavy braking once. It also had a leak in the passenger footwell that neither I nor the garage could trace. It still remains my favourite car though. I don’t think poor reliability has much impact on whether a vehicle is regarded as a classic or not, sometimes the most unreliable become the most sought after, look at old Fiats and Alfas or even old Land Rovers of which I’ve had many.

      Impressive mileage on the tyres, especially for remoulds 🙂

      I’m getting 100-120K miles from each set of, admittedly expensive, Bridgestone dueler D689’s on my japanese pickup trucks, have done for the last few trucks however they are an insanely hard compound and are lethal in heavy rain, ice or snow so can only use them as summer tyres and swap to a winter compound BFG’s for winter months.

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