French cars aren’t all that common in Hungary, and as time goes on there are fewer and fewer French classics are on the road. So to search out not one but two ’80s Peugeots, let alone modified versions, is about as remarkable as automotive finds get here.
I’ve been wanting to shoot Sonny Sándor Szijgyàrtò‘s – AKA Sonny Works – 1986 Peugeot 505 1.8 SR for a very long time now. We had planned to do a photoshoot in spring, but unfortunately that never happened. Nonetheless, Sonny and I managed to get it done before he put the automotive away for the winter. And not only his 505 sedan either, but in addition his 505 wagon.
Sonny purchased the SR sedan in March 2017. Prior to this he had owned other Peugeots models, but really wanted a 505 that are considered rare. The distinctiveness of those cars lies of their rear-wheel drive chassis and the striking resemblance they bear to old Nissans. The latter provided Sonny with a transparent idea of how he wanted to accumulate the automotive: Japanese style. Lot of ideas were swirling around in his mind, and Sonny wasted no time putting them into motion.
In the course of the first round of modifications, Sonny fitted Peugeot GTI-spec suspension and a custom air-ride system, plus classic-style 15×9-inch eight-spoke wheels with stretched 195/50R15 Toyo Proxes tires which required the fenders to be pumped and the lips modified. A rear wing and bullet mirrors up front accomplished the look, before fresh factory silver paint was laid down over the bodywork.
A limited slip differential and GTI brakes with EBC pads were also fitted, while the inside was upgraded with GTI seats and a picket steering wheel. In only 4 months, the primary version of Sonny’s dream automotive was accomplished. He used the Peugeot on this configuration for a full two years, attending various meet and events. Then the 505 wagon got here along, but we’ll get to that in moment.
Given the 505’s rarity, finding any spare parts was a challenge, but Sonny at all times kept an eye fixed out, especially for the really hard-to-find components. Sonny was overjoyed when he tracked down a pair of USA-spec front lights, which led to a number of minor changes for the Peugeot sedan. At the identical time, Sonny had begun working with carbon fiber and promptly created a carbon lip, carbon wing and carbon bullet mirrors, which quickly found their way onto the automotive.
By 2022, Sonny had more plans for the automotive, starting with an exterior rethink. The mundane silver was replaced by a custom red hue named ‘True Blood’, which completely altered the automotive’s character. Additional carbon fiber elements were crafted to enrich the prevailing ones, namely carbon fender flares and carbon covers for the lights.
Inside, a roll cage was installed and color-matched to the outside. Bride bucket seats replaced the GTI items and were fitted with Sparco 4-point harnesses.
At the top of the 2022 season, Sonny decided it was time to finally address the weak link within the custom construct – the engine. What to switch the 505 sedan’s original motor with? A 1.9L DOHC 16-valve engine (XU9J4) from the high performance Peugeot 405 Mi16 in fact.
Because the Mi16 was front-wheel drive and the XU9J4 was designed to be mounted transversely, some work was needed to get it up and running within the rear-wheel drive 505. After an exhaustive online search, Sonny got here to the conclusion that nobody had accomplished such a conversion before – or no less than documented it in any way – so he was on his own. Latest engine mounts were fabricated, the oil pan was modified, and a custom bell-housing made as a way to adapt the brand new engine to the 505’s gearbox.
As you possibly can see, the Mi16 engine isn’t stock now either. The cylinder head was ported and fitted with performance camshafts and adjustable gears, a Jenvey 45mm individual throttle body setup was added, and a custom chrome steel exhaust manifold running right into a full custom exhaust system fabricated. Further to this, the fuel and cooling systems were upgraded, a MaxxECU engine management system was wired up and tuned, and an upgraded clutch installed.
Sonny used the chance afforded by the engine swap to smooth out the bay and have it painted. Subsequently, the inside was refreshed too. The old, faded dashboard was flocked, and a brand new Nardi steering wheel and carbon shift knob were added. Finally, the air ride installation was placed on display instead of the 505’s rear bench seat.
As mentioned, a number of years prior to all this, in late 2019, Sonny also began working on one other Peugeot 505 – this time a rare 1986 2.5L turbo-diesel wagon, imported from the USA.
Over the winter months, Sonny set to work, fitting the wagon’s first round of modifications: air ride, 16×9-inch Azev wheels, and a custom front lip. He attended events with the wagon while he planned out the sedan construct, but now that each 505s are done, he’s showing them as a pair. For stylish transportation, a trailer was matched to the wagon, with each receiving reimagined Peugeot-Talbot liveries.
On their very own, each one in every of Sonny’s Peugeot 505s is something special. But together, this Sonny Works pairing is so cool.
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