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Peugeot Manufacturer Profile & Rally History

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Peugeot Home Country: France France

First a note who is Peugeot - A family business in steel works and producing saw blades and springs; from the Bas de Doubs region near the Swizz border, so unusual for a French company far away from Paris and Peugeot still is proud of this today (as well as it is one of only two car manufacturers World wide where the founding family still has a say today). They used animal logos to show their different grades of strength for their saws and springs with the lion being the strongest and eventually becoming the company logo. One of their siblings, Armand Peugeot, was a really bright guy. He added light flexy-steel wirings to shape corsets (yes that sexy girls stuff, this is even an invention of young Armand as before corset wires and bra underwires were made of wood or fish bones, which could splinter, so Peugeot really improved the comfort for sexy girls!), coffee, pepper, salt, etc mills, bicycles and eventually cars to Peugeot's product portfolio and all of this he engineered himself! And in his spare time he was the mayor of Valentigney (just south of Sochaux). Funny his wife was called Leo, but the lion logo was long before and sadly their only son Ray died aged 12. The Peugeot 1 was a 3-wheeler with steam engine, but Armand was not happy with it, to his mind it was not a proper car. The Peugeot 2 of 1890 then had 4 wheels and a proper petrol engine which was closer to what we understand as a car today than Mercedes-Benz's excursions were! Curiously Peugeot sourced the engines from Daimler via Daimler's French importer Panhard. He got the engines in return for his chassis drawings and as Armand wanted to refine everything before launch it was then Panhard who sold the first proper car, even though based on Peugeot's drawings (if we don't accept Benz's motorbike thingy as first car)! Armand carried on with many new designs and ideas (inventing propshafts, using the chassis tubes to water cool the engines, etc, etc) and giving all his cars sequential project numbers. This went until near disaster with the Peugeot 13. Karl Benz tried to force Armand Peugeot not to sell cars in Germany, obviously fearing the competition. Armand sold his cars in Germany nevertheless, which led to Benz disallowing his partner Daimler to supply engines to France. Wonder how happy the Benz-Daimler cooperation really was, since Benz did chose to call his cars Mercedes rather than Daimler-Benz and now interfered with Daimler's business via Panhard in France, so Gottlieb Daimler sold the rights to his name to his British partner, which means today the rights to the Daimler name are actually with Jaguar and not Mercedes at all! For Peugeot this move meant 2 very tricky years before coming back with his own Peugeot engines in the Peugeot 14! And every Peugeot is equipped with Peugeot engines ever since. Anyway, this could be a long, fascinating story, but how Peugeot carries on with models and their numbers etc. you find in the motorsport stories below:

In other places in this data base, the Ford manufacturer description, we say the following: “If you are looking for the makes with the biggest rallying heritage, the big 4 are Peugeot, Renault, BMC (Mini, Austin) and Ford. You could add Fiat/Lancia, Saab and Citroën, but these already with a question mark as Lancia was only small scale, privateer support programs before the mid 1960s and Saab and Citroën have not been in any big involvement in the 1980s-1990s, while however Renault and BMC have also become quiet lately. So if you are looking into rallying heritage from all kind of angles, the two that are left as truly outstanding are Peugeot and Ford. These two share the biggest part of rallying heritage in different ways: while Peugeot was already into the sport before Ford even existed, in fact Peugeot was involved in the creation of motorsport, Ford is the most outstanding make by far when it comes to loyalty!”

So looking at the same from the Peugeot angle now, other companies may have had less breaks in their rally appearances over more recent years, but the impact and successes Peugeot had in this sport throughout its existence is hard to beat. You could not have been involved any earlier than Peugeot has been and yes, indeed Peugeot was even involved in the creation of this sport – not kidding!!!! So when we are looking into Peugeot’s rally heritage, we cannot avoid telling you how rallying and motorsport started. The start of both stories simply goes hand in hand. So, for ease of reading, let’s split this Peugeot story into 2 parts:

Part1 – How rallye/motorsport all started with Peugeot

Peugeot was already competing and winning in events in 1894, their main opposition being Panhard and de Dion, when i.e. Renault and Fiat were only founded in 1899 and Ford only in 1901. But were these events of the 1890s really rallies? Well, within reason yes. The entire creation of motorsport happened in a surprisingly obvious way, you only have to add the names. Peugeot was a bicycle manufacturer already before they started with cars. Peugeot’s first proper cars were produced in 1890 (Peugeot likes to ignore their earlier 3-wheeled, steam engined Peugeot 1), the human being always had a competition mind and so bicycle races were already existing at that time. And in 1891 for the bicycle race from Paris to Brest Peugeot sent out their cars to provide service and support for their team of cyclists. The race organisers and the Paris daily newspaper “Le Petit Journal” found this absolutely stunning that these at the time little known, even feared motor cars could seemingly with ease and reliably keep up with the bicycles (LOL, but serious!) throughout the distance. Inspired by what Peugeot did on that event the same race organisers and “Le Petit Journal” organised a similar event for cars, the Rallye Paris-Rouen on the 22nd July 1894. This was the first motorsport event ever. Incredibly 102 vehicles were entered (including steam and electric powered vehicles, who said electric cars are at the start of their development?) and the Peugeot 5 driven by Louis Rigollet won. And to add to it, Armand Peugeot, the founder of Automobiles Peugeot, was one of these rallye drivers.

But is it right to call this a rally? Yes, the word “Rallye” – note, with the “e” on the end as even today used by the British based team “Ford Rallye Sport” – originates from the French language, has a similar meaning to the English description, as in rally(e) = concentration run/navigating to a described meeting/collection place, and was already in those early days connected to this form of sport. If you further see that it started out from bicycle races and these bicycle races have not changed a great deal over these many years, it all becomes more obvious. Just look at the way the famous Tour de France is run, with all its different location overnight halts, varying specialised start-finish sections (mountain, sprint, etc.) and over public/natural roads, imagine this Tour de France was done with cars rather than bicycles, we would call it a rally, not racing! After all, look at even the RAC Rally in its early days, it was exactly the same layout, even all tarmac, heading towards a defined finishing town (Brighton’s promenade in the starting years). Interestingly even Formula1 sources confirm Paris-Rouen on 22nd July 1894 as the birth of motorsport, but since it is a start-finish race in Tour de France style, it certainly is more a rally than a (circuit/F1) race.

To further underline the direction Armand Peugeot, his friends and the creators of motorsport were thinking in, we have to refer to another outstanding “event” on the 12th November 1895: Motorsport turned hugely popular very soon, many cars entered and especially the town crossings were crowded with many, often irritated spectators while drivers where attempting to drive non-stop until they were dangerously tired. Here were certain dangers that accidents could damage the image of cars rather than help it. Therefore Armand Peugeot, Emile Levassor (of Panhard) and Count de Dion met, interestingly all 3 of them being car manufacturers as well as rallye drivers. It must be one of the worst pieces of motorsport fate that the ambition of the Peugeot-Levassor-de Dion meeting was to increase motorsport safety and on the very first rallye under their new rules, Paris-Marseilles 1896, Emile Levassor lost his life! On this 12th November 1895 Peugeot, Levassor and de Dion founded the Automobile Club de France “ACF” and with it the motorsport body which they called the “commission”. They designed a “reglement” for motorsport which included rules as – no collective starts allowed, starting only with 1 minute interwalls between cars (see, rallying!), – servicing and repairing was limited to make it fairer and show the reliability and ability of cars, - events were split into “etapes” and to make sure each driver had the same length of breaks and didn’t perform repairs (repair time was added to your competition time) a closed park was introduced at the end of each etape, these closed parks were named “parc fermé”, - to obeye these reglements, the commission appointed inspectors which they named “observers”. This is only a small extract from the rules, but don’t you think there is an incredible similarity to rallying more so than racing even today, well over 100 years later?! If you ever wondered why international rallying uses French language key words such as “parc fermé”, blame Armand Peugeot for it!

But let’s move fast towards the sporting history of Peugeot themselves. They were involved since the very beginning and they were as enthusiastic as could be. Already before the turn of the century Peugeot won many, many rallies. After the turn of the century the biggest shocker must have been the Peugeot 76. It was the first purpose built vehicle for motorsport and it was the first car in the entire automobile history to be fitted with shock absorbers and a DOHC 4v per cylinder engine. We are now only in the year 1912 and this car was capable of doing a top speed of 190km/h = 120mph! And it was a multi talent, it won races such as Le Mans and even the big Indy 500 across the pond (that one Peugeot won 3 times while European motorsport was effected by WorldWar1), but it won as well hill climbs as Mont Ventoux and, yes well known rallies as the Circuit des Ardennes and the Boucles de Spa. It is because of that car that names as Georges Boillot and Jules Goux are to the day reckognised icons in motorsport history. There was much more in following years, more cars, more drivers, more victories, but it would probably be only confusing, if not even impossible to list everything, as i.e. the famous little Peugeot 161, nick named Bébé or that the Peugeot 174, nick named Torpedo, was a huge success in many versions, events and years….

Part2 – Peugeot in rallying

01-02: So let’s make a jump and point out the models that offer more of a reference. In 1929 Peugeot themselves found their sequential project numbers were getting confusing (after all they were at #190 at that point for i.e. a 206 CC cabrio would be a slightly different project to a 206 SW estate, such as an example the 206 series would be made up of several names/numbers) and instead introduced a system that now would identify size (first digit) and generation (last digit) of each car with the “0” in the middle as their trade mark. You could basically read Peugeot 206 as Peugeot 2 Mk6. The first one, project number 191, was the 201 and we didn’t have to wait long, it won i.e. the Rallye Monte Carlo 1932. The 02 generation was the time cars started to have character, and you could identify a Peugeot from far away, for all 02-generation Peugeot models had the headlights aerodynamically behind the front grill. Sadly this 02-generation was overshadowed by WorldWar2, so we only saw a few 202 and 302 in racing and speed records, inspired by engineer Darl’Mat.

03: The 203 started a new era for Peugeot and motorsport when just for the joke of it in 1950 one "5063 H 75" was driven from Paris all the way to South Africa’s Cape Town and back again to Paris! Well, it was more than a joke. The driver was Charles de Cortanze, who also drove the Monte 1932 winning Peugeot (and father to later 205 T16 engineer André de Cortanze. Interesting how Peugeot kept things in the family, Automobile Peugeot boss Jean Boillot, who gave green light to Jean Todt and the 205 T16 is a relative to above mentioned Peugeot 76 rallye driver Georges Boillot!). And his navigator was a journalist of the “Reader’s Digest”, to ensure this adventure is regularly and well published. On the 26,000km route nothing broke but a speedometre finger. This adventure could well be regarded as the mother of marathon rallies! Sure enough, the maybe first big traditional marathon Rally, the Australian Redex, was born in 1953 and utterly dominated by a fleet of Peugeot 203, Ken Tubman being the winning driver. The Safari Rally also was born in 1953. But the 203 was a success in sprint rallies as well, i.e. a 203 won the Rally Finland in 1952, a victory that the 403 should repeat in 1955. And the 403 contributed strongly to Peugeot becoming a name for cars that are perfect to take conditions in countries with a lesser infrastructure, may that be Africa, South America or the Australian Outback. The 403 was a loved privateers car for the East African Safari Rally. And in 1963 the 403 made a major mark on one of the toughest classic marathons, the Grand Premio Sudamericana-Argentina. OK, a Mercedes 300SE won that 1963 event, but no less than 6 Peugeot 403 were in the top10!

04: And the 404 followed perfectly into the 403 foot steps. Only 2 years after the 403 success, the 404 took a convincing 1-2-4 on the Grand Premio Sudamericana 1965. Further the 404 GTI, the first car with injection engine, won the East African Safari 4 times in only 6 attempts in the 1960s. The 1967 East African Safari was yet another perfect showcase what Peugeots are all about: Not only a 404 won. Counting works and works supported cars, no less than 14 Peugeot 404 were entered and complimented by 6 Peugeot 204, one of those driven by a young Shekhar Mehta. While 2 of the 404s retired, the 204s took the top6 places in the up to 1300cc class! So if you count, of 20 Peugeots 18 made it to the finish on this extra tough event! Meanwhile 304 and 104 were more aimed at European tarmac programs. The 304 looked surprisingly aggressive and bulky and Hannu Mikkola was often invited to drive it. The 104 was the first real hot hatch, in rally trim it had just 1124cc and 106BHP, but that was enough for Timo Mäkinen to annoy some of the Porsches and Lancias and Escorts and finish i.e. 7th overall on the 1978 Rally Portugal. The 504 followed on from the 403 & 404 programs and as a case of repeat history, in the Grand Premio Sudamericana-Argentina in 1978 the big Mercedes 450SLC seemed unbeatable, only for the 504s taking a convincing 1-2 here the following year. So the 504 was for Africa and long distance again and so was the 505 – it basically is a case of make up any number with three digits and a zero in the middle and you have a successful rally car somewhere down the line!

When in 1973 the WRC was born, Peugeot’s current rally car of the time was the 504. As you find with Ford, BMC, Hillman and Citroën, at that time marathon and Africa rallies were a big and successful favourite with the marketing departments. So Peugeot was not alone having at that time a car and program aimed for Africa and marathon rallies already in place and sticking to it despite the creation of WRC. And the 504 was hugely successful, a regular winner on that type of events, some of them counting towards the WRC. I.e. the 2nd longest WRC event ever was the Moroccan Rally 1975, won by Hannu Mikkola and Jean Todt in a 504 "3504 QT 25" with a competition time of 23 ½ hours – which equals about 7 modern WRC events!!!! (The longest would be the Rally NZ 1977, which was however super smooth and a lot easier on the cars, plus Morocco 75 had stages up to 800km long!) In fact the 504 won all 3 major African rallies in 1975. And later the 504 Coupé V6 was just as famous and successful in this type of events. Just as one of many examples, the 504 Coupé V6’s first big victory was Bandama 1976 in the hands of Mäkinen/Liddon. Here a fleet of older 504 saloon cars, including Nicolas/Lefèbvre and one driven by racing ace Henry Pescarolo, ensured that Peugeot took the top5 places outright on this event! And it would easily have been top6 had Mikkola/Todt not lost their Coupé’s transmission when going off. (This in itself is an example of the Ford, Peugeot, etc. marketing departments stance on existing marathon programs vs WRC. Peugeot repeated their Bandama success in 1978. Bandama 1976 was no WRC, Bandama 1978 was a WRC round. Following Peugeot’s 1-2-3-4-5 result in Bandama 1976, it's 1978 WRC inclusion hardly had a bearing on Peugeot's decission to participate. As further proof, even only starting African events in 1975, the 504 was so strong that mid season Peugeot was 2nd in the makes WRC, that still did not persuade Peugeot to compete for the WRC title or even just advertise that fact.) To see just how far the 504 theme was taken and how popular it was you have to have a look at the group B(!) Peugeot 504 Pick Up story.

Peugeot may not have competed for full championships in the mid 1970s, but they moved with the times in other aspects: While regular drives seemed unusual and even Timo Mäkinen and Roger Clark for Ford were more used as experts for local events, it was Peugeot who started (and stuck to until today) the trend of having a regular Scandinavian superstar line up when basically throughout the 1970s their regular drivers were Timo Mäkinen, Hannu Mikkola, Ove Andersson and Simo Lampinen – with Jean-Pierre Nicolas replacing Andersson only from 1976. This was actually a tradition started by BMC’s Stuart Turner some 10 years earlier, but nobody seemed to pick it up until Peugeot (in fact on Jean Todt's initiative) turned it into a fashion.

It was partly for the already long existing 404 & 504 program and its success, partly for Peugeot’s ownership of Talbot and their WRC program that Peugeot themselves didn’t get into a full season’s attempt to win the WRC titles until 1985. Actually you can and should count the Talbot WRC success story to Peugeot's credit. For a start you have to understand that it was Automobiles Peugeot rather than PSA who bought and created Talbot. In difference to fairly independant PSA sister Citroën, Talbot is 100% Automobiles Peugeot. It's the same as Alpine successes are credited to Renault. But as well the Peugeot Sport operation we know now, for a while called PTS = Peugeot Talbot Sport, is stronger linked to Talbot Sport than Peugeot's original team. Even Corrado Provera is originally a Talbot man. The decission to create the 205 T16 team was taken the moment Talbot won the title, in San Remo 1981, where Jean Todt was still navigating and managing for Talbot. Jean Todt already had a say in driver management in the Peugeot 504 days, but basically the 504 team had been killed off with the launch of PTS.

The 504 team was called Peugeot Competitions and based at Peugeot's home factory Sochaux. That team was run for about ten years by Gérald Allégret with some background support by Roland Peugeot (who also took an interest in the Talbot Sunbeam team). There seem to have been some problems with Allégret's program that contributed to the decission to lay the future into the hands of the Talbot characters. In 1975 Allégret's team won all 3 African events. For 1976 they launched the stronger 504 Coupé V6, which managed to win its only 3rd event, Bandama 1976 (remember, the team even filled the top5 places). At the same time the 104 had a well promising launch and there was work on a 104 group 5 prototype as well. One could have wondered if the team had their fingers in too many pies. By 1977 Allégret's team was working on and running 4 different types of cars, 104, 104 proto, 504 saloon & 504 Coupé V6 and i.e. in that year's Safari Peugeot lost Mäkinen for a wrongly mounted oil filter releasing all oil, Nicolas for an unbalanced fly wheel and Mikkola for the distributor not being water proof - silly little things that did not at all fit to the heritage of the 504. In 1978 the 504 Coupé V6 dominated Safari and Bandama again and the 104 showed massive competitiveness. Especially Nicolas' Safari 78 victory was totally crazy, completely demolishing Mercedes and Porsche in a heavily crashed Peugeot 363 RF 25. But while arch rival Renault showed which events were best to promote a little hot hatch, Allégret kept sending the 104 to national events and the Bandama and he never even seemed to make much use of the much stronger Evo2 versions 104. I.e. while the small, FWD R5 Alpine managed 2nd & 3rd places overall in a snowy and twisty Monte Carlo 1978, the whole rallying World was scratching their heads why Allégret never ever sent a 104 to that event. The 104 showed it had huge potential but the team never gave it the chance to turn this into a desperately needed (for the 104) marketing and image boost. All in all the Sochaux 504 team has a fantastic heritage, therefore in the whole picture we have to be very grateful indeed to Gérald Allégret. But, while the cars were fantastic, things were not always run efficiently and when Allégret's team set out to develop a RWD 305 V6 for a 1983 launch, that was the final stroke to decide for a completely new start with Peugeot Talbot Sport. To have a RWD V6 for a 1983 launch group B car sounds intriguing enough, but marketing considerations must have put even more question marks over the efficiency of the same team that failed to find a decent program for the so promising 104: 1983 was the sales start of the Peugeot 205 while the Peugeot 305 production was nearing its end.

To be fair to red wine drinking Todt friend Gérald Allégret, for that PTS future decission things in Sochaux's competition department did not exactly improve when Gérald fell ill and the managing was taken over by Claude Charavay in 1980. Gérald Allégret worked at the factory anyway, was a fan of cars and took cars straight from the Sochaux production lines and prepared them for rallying right on the spot in Sochaux. Gérald was happy when Jean Todt carried out the dry paper work for him (See also Jean Todt's driver profile). Claude Charavay was a Peugeot finance expert, why should he rely on the help of co-driver Todt for management and paper work? So Charavay denied Todt’s managerial help and he delayed the 305 V6.... Hard to point fingers where the mistake has been made, i.e. who appoint a finance expert for this position in the first place? Well, Charavay was not meant to be a permanent replacement, only Allégret's health situation took longer than expected. When then the PTS reshuffle came with Todt at the wheel, it is easy to see why he preferred to built on Des O'Dell rather than Claude Charavay. Oh yes, and of course Peugeot (Talbot) Sport was never a one-man show, if you investigate through these articles the background of other team personal at not only that time, Boillot, Nicolas, Lefèbvre, de Cortanze, Vaucard, Provera....

And the RWD 305 V6 idea was not quite as silly and dull as it sounds. The 305 V6 was smaller and lighter than the 504 Coupé V6 and the 505, plus thanks to groupB it had bulky, Quattro style wheel arches, a wider track and improved suspension travel. Remember that throughout groupB the African and marathon events were basically never won by a 4x4 car (Bandama 84 being the one and only exception at WRC level and even Hong Kong-Bejing 85 it was a matter of seconds that denied the 240RS of Lars-Erik Torph victory over Mikkola's Quattro). Instead on that type of events the pace was made by all RWD cars like Opel Ascona 400 and Nissan Silvia 240RS with 2.4 4-cylinder engines and Toyota Celica TCT with a 2.1 turbo, and in the comparison the 305 with a 2.7 V6 could have worked very well. At the same time the super-efficient Talbot team had a RWD but mid-engined(!) Horizon Lotus ready (yes, ready, even registered: RAC 777W) and where working to even turbo charge the Lotus engine. It seems clear, had the presence of the Audi Quattro not forced a complete re-think, 305 V6 & Horizon Lotus were the next logical step for Peugeot Talbot Sport to carry on with their usual trick of "Peugeot for African/marathon rallies, Talbot for sprint rallies".

Anyway, the Peugeot name has a huge rallying heritage, quite possibly the biggest of all, but a full season WRC attempt under the Peugeot name didn't happen until 1985. But when they did, WOW – did they do a proper job out of it! The groupB 205 T16 was a car of extremes. It debuted on the Tour de Corse 1984 with Ari Vatanen, a gravel specialist driver who has never competed on Corsican asphalt in his life, yet his stage times with 323 EXA 75 already on the first 2 stages has Peugeot's opposition in deep shock and fear. The 205 T16 was launched in 1984, competed only on 5 events that season, won 3 of them and amazingly only 5 starts took Peugeot to 3rd overall in the 1984 final makes WRC standings. That their first full season was going to be big was already clear when on the 1985 season opener, Monte Carlo, Ari Vatanen in 716 EXC 75 was on the stages a quarter of an hour faster than the entire competition! In 1985 and 1986 Peugeot won both WRC titles both years convincingly. In groupB the Peugeot 205 T16 competed in 26 WRC events and won 16 of them – there is no doubting the fact the Peugeot 205 was the most successful groupB car! And if it wasn’t for the banning of groupB and groupS with it (to which the 405 T16 project was aimed), Peugeot would have stayed and kept on winning. Instead they took their groupB 205 & 405 to raids, won the Paris-Dakar 4 years running and as well won the Pikes Peak hillclimb in record breaking style twice.

After that came a spell in circuit racing in which at least the 905 and the 406 were very successful indeed. But Peugeot never lost touch to rallying. They were represented small scale through importers with cars as the 309, but at that time Peugeot as well created the most successful one-makes-rally series there is to date, using 205, 309 later 106, 206, 207 and now 208 models. There was no front line rally program for a while, but by 1995 Peugeot turned out the 306 Maxi, a car designed for the new F2 class and yet again a car being near unbeatable at what it was designed for, even so much it gave WRCars a run for their money on asphalt. After all this, are you still surprised the 206 WRC turned the success story it is and that Peugeot won more WRC titles with it? In fact until 2003 they won every single makes title they competed for and even then they were only narrowly beaten by their own sister Citroën! The 207 S2000 then won the first three IRC makes and drivers titles in succession. Would you still be surprised if the 208, and whatever famous 3-digit number with the “0” in the middle is hitting the scene next, would turn a huge success?

COLOURS & TYRES:

This only seemed to become a subject with the 504 as before then cars generally didn’t carry any specific identification and i.e. the Africa 404 and 204 where just white with the mat black bonnet so typical at that time. Early 504 were just white with black bonnet too, but had coloured marks to identify the different drivers, an idea that Peugeot liked doing on many future occasions – a very interesting idea on which I describe the details in our "colours introduction". In 1975 with the 504 Peugeot had an unusual idea as the car had a scheme with Peugeot’s blue & yellow house colours but layed out in a way that the bonnet and boot would display a big, white “P” for Peugeot. When Peugeot became the owners of Talbot, the two companies operated very closely together and the sports department was renamed Peugeot Talbot Sport. Peugeot Talbot Sport had this destinct but colourful symbol red-dark blue-yellow-light blue which was indead as simple as a combination of Peugeot house colours = dark blue & yellow and Talbot house colours = light blue & red. When Talbot ceased to excist Peugeot interestingly kept the red, so Peugeot’s house colours now are blue-yellow-red. This may remind a little of the 504 Coupé back in the late 1970s, but that car only had the red added because of Esso sponsorship. Interestingly between 1982 & 1984 (Talbot Sunbeam, Peugeot 505 & Peugeot 504 Pick Up) Peugeot Talbot Sport went as far as using the four colours all over the cars rather than just as a symbol, you couldn’t find an ounce of white on them. The silver used on the works 206 WRC makes absolutely no sense at all in this context.

Peugeot used Michelin tyres throughout (except 2005), they even had the Michelin brothers competing in their cars and testing tyres in early motorsport history.

REGISTRATIONS:

Please refer to our general registration guide for more information on the French reg system. Peugeot only once played with reg plates, when the 206 WRC of the Evo1 version always had reg plates starting "206". In fact through this you can identify 206 WRC Evo1 from later versions (all Evo2 were converted to Evo3, but the Evo1 could not be updated). Otherwise the normal French system applies - both of them however. You find in the Peugeot history story above, that the famous 504 team around Gérald Allégret operated straight from Peugeot's mother factory in Sochaux, while the Peugeot Sport team as we know it today only was formed for the 205 T16 project. Therefore the basics are easy. Sochaux is in the Bas-de-Doubs region, near the Swiss border, actually not far from Basel. They have the post code 25218. In terms of reg numbers, this translates to the area code (last 2-digit number) 25. The modern Peugeot Sport facility is based in 78140 Vélizy, however the cars produced here are registered on the Peugeot Societé Anonyme headquarters in Avenue de la Grande Armée, 75116 Paris, hence they have a 75 plate. One slight hick up is in this order. There was a reason why Peugeot Sport was based in Vélizy. Vélizy is the home of La Garenne, Peugeot's research and development centre. There is a permanent, strong exchange between La Garenne and Peugeot Sport. So did La Garenne's Gerard Welter design road car as well as WRCar chassis of 205, 206 & 307, but in return Peugeot Sport found data is relayed straight back to Peugeot's road car R&D centre. The exchange is interesting and bigger than you would believe. When in the second half of the 1970s Gérald Allégret ran the 104 & 104 proto projects alongside 504 saloon & 504 Coupé V6, it all started to become a little hectic in his competitions department. Therefore, while the 504's were built up in Sochaux, the 104's would be assembled at La Garenne in Vélizy. Therefore, we have already the works 104's displaying a 75 plate, even though Peugeot Sport Vélizy was not yet existing and the 104 were run on the events through Sochaux's competition department. In fact, even in the very early days (i.e. 203, 403, 404) Peugeot competition car registrations always swapped between 25 = Peugeot's mother factory and 75 = PSA headquarters. Why some early works 504 are registered in Marseille "13", and even in Kenya, can be read in the stories of Jean Todt and Jean Guichet. Today the 207 S2000 cars are another rare exception, being mostly works built and then privately sold these cars start live on a "78" registration for Vélizy itself. We have some cases of Peugeot being UK registered and even rarer German registered. The German importer is right at the border to France, in Saarbrücken, Saarland, leading to plates starting with "SB". For Peugeot UK the typical Talbot registration stories (see Talbot makes chapter) apply, though before the merger with Talbot, UK registered Peugeot 504s would display London regs.

Chassis numbers: The 208 T16 was actually the point when I decided to extend a chassis number chapter beyond Opel only. But in order, as with basically all group2, 4 & A cars all Peugeot 504s and before and all Talbot Sunbeams had normal random road car chassis numbers and no build numbers in any interesting order, though especially on the Sunbeam you get a good idea of the build order by the order of the reg plates. The 205 T16 had however chassis numbers similar to build numbers, with the first batch of rally cars being C001-C020 (with pre-production test cars being called prototypes P1-P4). The 205 T16 E2 started from C201, Dakar and Pikes Peak 205s from C301 and Dakar & Pikes Peak 405 T16 from C401. Later projects as 206 WRC, 307 WRC, 207 S2000 all have normal sequential build numbers. However a curious exception is the 208 T16: Since the R5-regulations are a little nearer to road chassis, Peugeot allows private tuners and dealers to build cars from a 208 GTI shell and a bag of spares, a bit like was the case with i.e. group4 Escorts and groupA Sierras. Well, bag of spares, this includes a front tubular frame that is then mated with the road chassis (and chassis number), and this tubular frame allows for build numbers. Unusually for Peugeot if you order your complete car at Peugeot Sport, the chassis is than actually seem welded and roll caged by Matter in Germany before final assembly at Peugeot Sport themselves. Maybe this is what led to a system very similar to that of Opel with the Ascona 400 (see very end of Opel makes chapter). If you wondered that only a couple of months after the 208 T16 debut Pieter Tsjoen started Ypres with the high chassis number 061, the reason is: Peugeot ordered 60 chassis conversions up front at Matter for works assembly, and for this they reserved chassis numbers 1-60. A chassis number 61 or higher than indeed identifies a privately assembled car. In the example of Pieter Tsjoen’s car, it is actually the 13th 208 T16 built, but it is the first privately assembled car, hence chassis 61.

Peugeot Rally Cars

Model Class
Peugeot Peugeot _ancient_  Group 2
Peugeot Peugeot 104  Group 2
Peugeot Peugeot 106  Formula 2
Peugeot Peugeot 106  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 106  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 106  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 106  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 205  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 205  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 205  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 205  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 205  Group B
Peugeot Peugeot 206  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 206  World Rally Car
Peugeot Peugeot 206  Super 1600
Peugeot Peugeot 207  Class R3
Peugeot Peugeot 207  Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T
Peugeot Peugeot 208 (1)  Class R2
Peugeot Peugeot 208 (1)  Class R5
Peugeot Peugeot 304  Group 2
Peugeot Peugeot 306  Formula 2
Peugeot Peugeot 306  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 306  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 307  World Rally Car
Peugeot Peugeot 309  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 309  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 309  Group N
Peugeot Peugeot 405  Group A
Peugeot Peugeot 504  Group 2
Peugeot Peugeot 504 Coupé  Group 4
Peugeot Peugeot 504 Pick Up  Group B
Peugeot Peugeot 505  Group 2

Rally Honour Roll

Year Class Place Manufacturer Events
2016 IRC Class R5 6th. Peugeot (57pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2015 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 2nd. Peugeot (205pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2014 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 3rd. Peugeot (191pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2013 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 2nd. Peugeot (246pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2012 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 2nd. Peugeot (217pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2011 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 2nd. Peugeot (241pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2010 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 2nd. Peugeot (87pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2009 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 1st. Peugeot (112pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2008 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 1st. Peugeot (106pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2007 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 1st. Peugeot (114pts) 9

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2006 WRC World Rally Car 4th. Peugeot (88pts) 16

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2005 WRC World Rally Car 2nd. Peugeot (135pts) 16

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2004 WRC World Rally Car 4th. Peugeot (101pts) 16

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2003 WRC World Rally Car 2nd. Peugeot (145pts) 14

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2002 WRC World Rally Car 1st. Peugeot (165pts) 14

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2001 WRC World Rally Car 1st. Peugeot (106pts) 14

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2000 WRC World Rally Car 1st. Peugeot (111pts) 14

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1999 WRC World Rally Car 6th. Peugeot (11pts) 14

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1993 WRC Group A 10th. Peugeot (5pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1988 WRC Group A 10th. Peugeot (15pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1986 WRC Group B 1st. Peugeot (137pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1985 WRC Group B 1st. Peugeot (142pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1984 WRC Group B 3rd. Peugeot (76pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1983 WRC Open 7th. Peugeot (18pts) 12

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1982 WRC Open 10th. Peugeot (24pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1980 WRC Open 66th. Peugeot (16pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1979 WRC Open 9th. Peugeot (34pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1978 WRC Open 8th. Peugeot (45pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1977 WRC Open 12th. Peugeot (21pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1976 WRC Open 9th. Peugeot (31pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1975 WRC Open 5th. Peugeot (40pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1974 WRC Open 12th. Peugeot (4pts) 8

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1973 WRC Open 15th. Peugeot (13pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar