I remember a sales guy at Marshalls in Bedford trying to sell me one of these when I was about 18/19 but I went for the 205GTI instead, the right choice back then, but it left an itch that wouldn’t go away. That and an old brochure from an Earls Court Motorshow visit – probably ‘86 or ‘87.
I bought this car from someone on the owners’ forum, he called it the Silver Dream Machine and he was right. It was awesome, so much lower and smaller than people think, but with a massive presence. Yes, the dash was awful and it only had 200hp, but it weighed nothing and have I mentioned the noise and the pop and cackle on over-run! It had the sought after and hard to find Azev-A alloys, upgraded front seats and an aftermarket exhaust, it was awesome, by far my favourite car to date at that time. Have I mentioned the stereo, check out the equalizer in the pictures!
You know that feeling when you turn up to see a car knowing you are pretty much going to buy it whatever… this was one of those. It even blew a fuel hose and spat petrol everywhere when I was testing it. But an hour helping the seller to fix it and the deal was done and I was driving home. Of course, it wasn’t a proper fix and when I got it home and drove round to show it to my kids it blew again and we had to walk back, but we’d never get lost with the fuel trail to follow.
I moved to Dubai whilst I owned this and the Volvo, it opened up a whole new car world to me, but sadly meant the end of the GTA. I kept it for a year or so garaged and used every few months when I was back, but it was a waste and I sold it on. I believe it was crashed by the next owner and maybe written off – such a shame. I did look at one in Dubai, but it was a bit of a dog and I’d imagine may melt in the Summer.