Peugeot 205 Hot Rod
Originally on Whistlin' Jack Smith, 2007 and edited in 2012
Originally wrote as part of the blog, the piece has proved successful and snowballed into a larger piece. Part One was first wrote during 2007 and part two was added a few weeks later. This is an ever-evolving article that looks back into the most iconic hot rod of the 1990's.
As time progresses we get newer cars and the older ones disappear. But where do they go? How many are sitting in a garage untouched for years or have they gone onto the great scrap yard in the clouds. For me the Sonny Howard built Peugeot 205 was a changing point in hot rodding history, where have they gone?
To answer where every hot rod is would be an everlasting task. Being a hot rod historian/ archaeologist would be an interesting job, not sure the pay would be good but this might be the start of it. For me I started watching racing in the late 80’s, going into the early 90’s still a kid I was fascinated by hot rods and the Toyota Starlet was a non-exist road car with no appeal. The Peugeot 205 though was a different story, the cars looked light years ahead of the dated Starlet. Eventually the Nationals were all becoming Peugeot 205’s, space frames were the way forward and SHP were building them.
SHP built at least 50 of these cars. Not all made it onto the ovals, some went to the circuits or hill climbing. But 12/15 years on from the boom of the cars where are they now?
Starting with the first successful 205, Norman Woolsey’s World championship winning 205 of 1989. That was one of the best looking hot rods ever, that car stayed in the family and Wayne used it for the 2 litre hot rods when they replaced the 1600’s back in 1998.
Norman Woolsey's world winning 205 is now in storage still sporting the 2lt shell as raced by Wayne. Though this was a home built car, he did own one SHP 205. This was campaigned as a 2lt hotrod by Davy Clarke in the shape of a vauxhall corsa during 2008. Mark Madill
In 1994 Ricky Hunn won in a Peugeot 205, that car was originally thought to be the one that Colin Smith who raced it for a few years, off it went to Barry Bowyer then Tony Goodsir and recently used by Jason Villa in the Outlaws.
The world winning 205 was sold to donut then Gavin Seager had it, bought it back and wrote it off at Wimbo down back straight car, Alan White bought the car fixed it sort of repanelled as a Saxo but i believe its been cut up. This 205 was built in 1992.
Ricky's 2nd 205 which was labelled evo 1 and half; was sold to Colin Smith. There were only three of these: Ricky had one, Phil White and Skitty.
The third 205 was sold to donut which was just beaten in 1996 w/f, Ricky never raced this one. Hunn Motorsport - National Hot Rod forum
The next year Ian McKellar won the world final, that car is still about with Alvin Doak occasionally racing it in Northern Ireland.
The gist of it is that Ian was told by Sonny Howard that he was too young to go Eurocar racing, and whilst at Wimbledon one night the McKellar team met Bert Taylor and decided to go into National Hot Rods. They phoned Phil White to enquire as to buying his new 205, to be told "you ain't got enough money for it".
The only other car available immediately was Cliff Butler's, now in Paul Sheard's hands (Bert was Paul's mechanic then). They bought it in the January along with a brand new MASS engine. Literally as McKellar snr was towing the car home, Bert had a call from Phil White saying he would sell the car after all, and they collected that too and were testing at Northampton the following week.
Just before the '95 world they also purchased a brand new Evo 205 from SHP, but without the time available to prepare it, the White car was used for the victory.
So there were three McKellar 205's....Perry Clack went on to race that new SHP evo 205, before McKellar's sold it to Steve Dudman. Neil Rowe - National Hot Rod forum
That's just how it all happend so the '96 World winning car is was the ex-63 car and now in the hands of Alvin. The car 951 Dennis Kinnane used was also an ex-McKeller car, and before Ian had it, it was the 77 car of Cliff Butler. The 3rd car was a new SHP car that we never used, but Perry went on to use it before we sold it to Steve Dudman, we also had a 4th car which was raced by Perry it was also a SHP 205 which was sold to Mike Holtby. Bert Taylor - nationalhotrod.com forum
Someone mentioned about McKellar having three 205's I only know of two, the winning one definatly went to Doak, they also had a brand new one built for the World final which was put together with best money could buy, but wasn't used as Ian preferred the old car, I bought the spare one some years later from Steve Dudman, I used for a time as a 205 then repanelled it to the more modern 206 shape, it eventually got sold on to Keith Lynam. Dick Hillard - National Hot Rod forum
New to Nationals this year (when wrote in 2007) Warren Farazmand has been racing a 205 (ex-Perry Clack), he had a newer 206 at his disposal but raced the 205. The 205 was the car Clack used initially in Outlaws and then squeezed into the 2003 World Final qualifying 20th in the points after Skitmore, Paffey, Burgoyne, Willis and Neal Smith all stopped racing mid season. Perry Clack raced in the mid-90's using two different 205's.
The Perry Clack car was a left hand drive car from Baarlo, it was sold to Perry from my dad, brought from Decker racing. It was then sold on to Warren Farazmand. Dale Fewings - National Hot Rod forum
Russell Wilcox although has a Fiesta (now a 206), he has an SHP 205 as a back up. This was the first evo 2 built for Gordon Bland that Jason Fitch also raced.
I purchased the ex Bland 205 off Jason Fitch, and raced it at Peterborough for some years, sold the engine to an autograss man, and the rolling shell went to ex Superrod man Andy Tidmarsh, who now uses it at Grimley Raceway. Terry Wilcox
At Arena Essex in the Outlaw scene there’s still a few knocking about. Roy Rawlins, Rick Fray and the afore mentioned Villa still have SHP 205’s. Fray’s car is the ex-Mick Phillips car, Rawlins is ex-Paul Simmons but it’s life before that is unknown. Richard Simmons has started in the Outlaws this year in a 205 and won a few races in his 205. Patsy Enright raced a 205 last year but that ex-Dave Fry car is an Autocross chassis. Trevor Bibby also had a 205 that Nick Brewer built and started life on the dirt track of Braintree. Gary Deal had a bit off success in the ex-Skitmore 205 that Ian Cross used for a new at Peterborough before its closure.
Heading north in Buxton Ivan Grayson successfully campaigns a 205, while Ian Davidson and Adrian Hall also race 205’s. The fading south-west scene has Brian Loram, Mike Norton, Tony Collings and Larry Langmead with 205’s. Loram’s is self-built the other while Langmead is ex-National from Dick Hillard. The car then went west with Tyronne Snell, hit the sprints before getting back on the ovals.
Moving to the middle is where the inspiration came from. Standlake produces excellent banger racing as well as having a decent hot rod scene as well. Being an independent track the cars can be several years old and had a tough racing life.
Old National Hot Rods (providing they are not wrote off) go through a progression. From Nationals, to Outlaws, to independent tracks. Sometimes they get morphed into something else while other times stripped of parts to suit a newer model. At Standlake Lee Jaycock races a 205, which Shane Newman raced last year at the same track and also at Mendips. Also Mike Freeman raced a 205 which is a SHP, starting life with John Engledow, then Keith Woods, Lee Fisher and Freeman.
I was in my first year of 2litres I was 16 or 17 and Deane Wood had just taken over Spedeworth and I was juggling Standlake and Spedeworth, we was told we couldnt race my Spedeworth car at Standlake the same day as a 2litre hotrod Spedworth meeting, so we brought the car from Lee Fisher and I raced it for 1 meeting winning all 3 races, we then sold it onto Dave Fry, Fry didnt use it and couldnt sell it so we brought it back and sold it to Mike Freeman who had it for a few years, unfortantly Mike got cancer and asked us to take on the task of selling off all his racing gear to give the money to his mother, (rip Mike)
We then sold the mass pug1.9 engine to Lawrence Connors and Mikey Godfrey brought the chassis as a spare for him, he then sold that car to Lawrence!! Jason Kew
At the time of writing there was 18 cars still active, at least 8 of them SHP’s. What has happened to the rest of them, this is only 16% cars surviving. Why is this such a small ratio?
There's at least a dozen 205's in the Republic of Ireland, some active in the local 1600 Hot Rod class at Tipperary, some in sheds, at least one at the Pike raceway at Waterford, and several others in sheds or written-off (the ex-Clein/Kinane one for example). There are two active ones still at National-spec - Eddie Foott Jr's example, and of course the very well known Mike Oliver ex-Blackman machine. And several have become Corsas. Neil Rowe