Collecting Cars

2003 PEUGEOT 206 RC - EX-RICHARD BURNS

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This Peugeot 206 RC is a showroom-fresh example of the brand’s early-noughties hot hatch, previously owned by the late 2001 World Rally Champion, Richard Burns. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 175bhp; enough to give a 0-60mph time of 7.4 seconds. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Having spent most of its life in storage as part of the Burns Collection, the odometer reads only 5km from new.

According to people close to Richard Burns, the car was delivered in the later part of 2003, and on Peugeot’s internal system it was given the fictional number plate of ‘RBURNS1’ to show who it belonged to. However, it was never used on the road. Instead, it formed part of his collection, and it can even be seen in the recent documentary Richard Burns – The Making of a Champion, a screen shot from which is included in the gallery.

The seller acquired the car directly from Burns’ private collection through liaising with rally specialist Autosportif Engineering Ltd, which has worked closely with Burns’ family and representatives for many years. Having been in storage for some 17 years, recommissioning work was subsequently carried out earlier this year, and the car was registered in the UK.

Sold as the 206 GTi 180 in UK markets, this left-hand drive RC model is of European specification. The model set itself apart from lesser 206s with the addition of 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, front bucket seats and shorter first and second gear ratios.

Finished in its original silver metallic shade, the Peugeot presents in remarkable condition. Save for a minor mark on the front bumper, the 206 is free of any damage, and was evidently stored carefully over the years. The badges and plastic trim are in very good condition, with no sign of the degradation. The glass is similarly unmarked and presents very well.

The 206 retains its original factory-fitment five-spoke alloy wheels. These are in exceptional condition, with no kerbing or scratches apparent. The wheel bolts and lion mascot also present in immaculate condition.

Moving inside, the 206 RC’s cabin is a blend of everyday practicality and sporting features. The black half-leather seats are free of damage, as are the door panels and dashboard sections. The switchgear is in full working order, with this example benefiting from factory-fitted electric windows, air-conditioning and a CD player. The plastic trims retain their original dark finish, with no discolouration present.

Having spent the majority of its life in storage, the 206 underwent a significant recommissioning earlier this year totalling some £2,800. This work was carried out in June 2020 by Auto Torque Ltd, and entailed a full service with replacement cambelt and water pump, as well as new brake discs. The front hubs, drive shafts, and rear torsion bar arms were removed, stripped, cleaned and repainted where necessary.

During their ownership, the vendor has also had the bodywork professionally machine polished and protected with a ceramic coating.

The most recent MOT test was on 15 April 2020 at 5km (3 miles), which unsurprisingly resulted in a first-time pass with no advisories. The matching Pirelli P Zero Nero tyres are as-new, having been fitted at the June 2020 service.

This 206 RC will be supplied with its original handbooks, brochure and tool kit, as well as the invoice for the recent overhaul. There is also a letter from Club Peugeot UK confirming the car’s date of manufacture, including email correspondence from Peugeot Customer Care. In addition, there is a screen shot from the documentary Richard Burns – The Making of a Champion, showing this car in the background.

Offering unrivalled originality and provenance, not to mention being in as-new condition throughout, this ex-Richard Burns Peugeot 206 RC is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an exciting hot hatch with an unbeatable motorsport connection. Presented in pristine cosmetic and mechanical condition, it would be the ideal candidate for presentation in a museum or private motorsport collection, but of course is ready to take to the road, where the next owner will be the first person to drive it as intended.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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