Project Cars: 1994 Peugeot 405 Mi16 Phase II – Update 4

The CarAdvice/Drive team reveal what is hidden away in their sheds and backyards awaiting some TLC…

Update 4: Summertime makeover!

One of the things that has bugged me about the 1994 Peugeot 405 Mi16 since I brought it back from Cooma, was the untidy paint on the roof, spoiler and lower valance.

To be fair, the front of the car was simply peppered with 320-thousand kilometres worth of stone chips, whereas the roof and spoiler were victims of the well-known 1990s European clear-coat drought.

Both needed a bit of love and a chance conversation with a friend, Glenn, over the Christmas break provided an opportunity (or excuse) and so the Pug went to visit the ‘booth’ for a makeover.

This isn’t a big-budget repair job though, and nothing as fancy as glass removal or dent repair was even contemplated.

Mask. Block. Prep. Paint. Shine.

The simplest of all respray recipes.

A quick scan on the Paint Colour Chart website confirmed my duco as Gris Magnum Metallic with a far less exciting code name of ETA. The paint is recommended to cover a dark undercoat so as to deliver a strong but relatively conservative ‘stormy’ grey finish.

The most extreme part of the preparation process involved removing the front foglamps, which needed some wiring finesse anyway, and taping up the plastic mask for the rest of the car. Keeping glass in, and trim on made this a much easier job, and since the car has never pretended to be anything close to concourse condition, the touch-up approach worked well.

This was further rationalised when Glenn, while getting the surfaces ready, noted that other panels were slightly off in terms of colour matching and commented that ‘this is not the car’s first visit to the panel shop’. A quote for the ages if there ever was.

Two coats and clear laid on, the car was left to cure over the weekend and given a quick buff to encourage all the other panels to look their best.

And, for a 30-year-old, 320,000km Frenchie, it now looks pretty sharp!

But why stop there…

Emboldened by the car’s snazzy new look, I was keen to up its sporty quotient by replacing the chrome rub-strip inserts with red ones, like on the Peugeot 205 GTi. As a factory part, these are expensive and hard to find, so I figured some improvisation was in order.

The insert strip is exactly 80mm wide. Conveniently, so is electrical tape.

Ghetto-mods don’t come much more thrifty than this, and despite using top-shelf professional-grade Nitto tape, the entire process of ‘wrapping’ the car’s trim cost a princely $4.

To ensure a strong ‘stick’, we prepared the chrome surface with some 1200-grit sandpaper and wiped it clean with methylated spirits. Just because I’m cheap doesn’t mean I can’t be thorough!

The tape was carefully tagged into place and left overnight to form a strong bond.

I wont lie. As a cost-vs-reward outcome, it looks fantastic (from a distance). Xibit himself would be proud.

To complete the transformation, I even added my 1990 Paris-Dakar Peugeot Camel Racing Team sticker for a proper period look.

Why all this effort?

The little Peugeot was planned to have a cameo appearance in an upcoming episode of Drive TV so I wanted it to look a little less sketchy.

How did that all work out?

Well, let’s just say the Mi16’s story doesn’t end here…


Current Status – Looking sharp!
Odometer – 321,207
Next up – C’était un rendez-vous!


MORE: Project Cars: 1994 Peugeot 405 Mi16 Phase II
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