You've no hope of getting a Rallye for shed money – but you can still have a 106
By Tony Middlehurst / Friday, August 13, 2021 / Loading comments
In 1982, Donna Summer sang about a state of independence. Just 18 years later Peugeot launched its phase two 106 Independence. Coincidence? You be the judge.
The Independence, or strictly speaking the New Independence as the final 2002-on ‘special edition’ of the last injected 1.1-litre 106s was officially called, ran from 2000 to the death of the 106 in 2003. By that time the 106 had been satisfying skint motorists for twelve years with its sweet mix of affordable small car service overlaid by a jolly wisp of fun.
That wisp became an appreciable waft if your 106 was a Rallye, but you try and grab one of them at sensible money. The cheapest right-hand drive Rallye that Shed could find during the course of researching this piece from the tap end of the postmistress’s bathtub was a 138,000-mile specimen at a fiver under £9k.
The 106 you’re looking at here might only have 60hp but that will feel more than adequate in something weighing so little (around 800kg). Better still, our shed has only just passed the 60,000 mile mark, having had just three owners. It comes with a clean MOT and has a refreshingly un-Rallye-ish price tag of £995.
In 2002 a (New) Independence cost six and a half grand. For that you got power steering, metallic paint, radio/cassette and an airbag. Just the one. Looking after your passenger cost another £210. Looking at the pics, Shed thinks that our car might actually include this wanton waste of money. By 2002, ‘features’ like these were the only bragging rights that Peugeot’s PR folk of the time managed to come up with. After eleven years they’d apparently forgotten about the underlying talents that had made the 106 so appealing when it first appeared: its light and easy drive, its willing and generally unburstable drivetrains, and its ability to put a smile on even the glummest of chops.
The information we’re given in the ad for this one – ‘MOT 11/02/2022’ – is as vestigial as the car itself, but it’s all we need really as the MOT history, pictures and average annual mileage of one to three thousand a year suggest a hardly used second, third or old lady’s car that’s done a weekly shop run and nowt else.
It’s not all been sweetness and light though. In early 2012 the MOT tester made a shocking discovery. Insufficient liquid was coming out of the washers. The owner obviously had a ‘just fix it and hang the expense’ approach to MOT advisories because that wallet-buster was put right in time for the next test. In January 2015 the front bumper was reported to be insecure, suggesting a parking kiss some time in 2014. Four years later, the bumper situation was getting really serious, with ‘slight damage’ reported. Alarmingly, that wasn’t put right. If you look closely you can see a small crack.
There were no advisories from the most recent MOT in January this year, by which point the 106 had done 59,000 miles. In the seven months since it has done another couple of thousand. Aside from the Driving Miss Daisy stuff, some normal driving did go on from 2016 when the average mileage shot up from 200 to 8-9,000 a year, suggesting that the old lady owner, if it was one of them, had passed on to a better place, Bournemouth maybe, in 2015. The sudden ramping-up of activity doesn’t seem to have done the 106 any harm. Nothing major has ever appeared in the reports. No accusations of corrosion have ever been levelled at it.
But let’s forget all the paperwork for a minute and simply look at the car. Put a stock photo of a 2003 106 next to this one and see if you can tell the difference. Shed can’t. It sits just right with that characteristic bum-in-the-air stance. The Moonstone Blue metalwork looks mint. The tres Francais artwork on the upholstery looks wackadoodle but it was arguably less daft than the jumping frog motif with which Peugeot saddled earlier Independences.
Being picky, there might be a wee (non-Scottish type) stain on the driver’s seat but generally speaking this is a ‘plug and play’ example of a cute city gadabout that’s ready to wag its tail for the next lucky owner. Someone who will come along and turn it from something hardly used to something used hardly, or perhaps even continue with the programme of kindness that it’s clearly been shown so far through its 18-year life.
Just going back to the surviving an accident thing for a moment, there’s no sign of the 106 ever having been crash tested. All we’ll say is that if you’re going to be crashing into anything, it might be best to make sure it’s something softer and smaller than a 106, like a Saxo, or softer and considerably larger, like Mrs Shed.
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