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When ‘affordable Hot Hatch’ turns into a full restoration, most people would be put off. Kyle nearly was when he first went to look at the Peugeot 106 XSI we’re writing about in this article.. 

The wee pug has had a load of work done on it over the  last two years, we were keen to find out everything Kyle  has done to the car in his owner ship so we got a catch - up with him to get the background story.


kyle under pug.jpg

Kyle always had the intention of buying a project car, his inspiration to buy a 106 came from his first car – a 2002 Peugeot 106 Zest (1.1L). He was attracted to the XSI trim because he liked the styling of it, it’s not a 106 Rallye or a 106 GTI and is styled slightly different from both.


The XSI is arguably more subtlety styled than both (Rallye & GTI), the arch flares and bump strips resemble the 205 GTI more than they reflect another trim of 106. Kyle liked the fact the XSI was rare and retro, but they don't come with the 'Rallye tax'. 



Finding the ideal


After months of searching an XSI popped up for sale on Gumtree, being local to Kyle’s work he went and had a look at the car. In kyle’s words “The condition of the car when I went to look at it was very poor, the thing was pretty much a rolling shell and was rotten front to back, it didn’t even have matching wheels and just looked like a wrecker.” Because of the amount of work needing done to the shell alone naturally he was put off buying it, initially turning down the car and telling the previous owner the good old excuse “I’ll get back to you”.



car straight off the trailer.jpg
welding prep door open.jpg

A few days after Kyle had been to see the car, the owner messaged him asking if he was still interested as someone else was going to buy it but had let him down, Kyle looked at this as a second chance, he had been offered it again and decided this time he’d go for it,.


That same night after work he went and picked the car up on the recovery truck and had it transported back to his work.


And so the fun begins...


It was at this point of the build where Kyle and his workmate Jamie realised the actual severity of the rot on the shell, it needed work on the front inner arches, sills, floorpan, various chassis legs and rear inner arches..


Luckily they managed to source a Saxo VTR shell that was going to scrap, and it very kindly donated most of it's floorpan with some help from an angle grinder... 



Once the pair had most of the floorpan off the VTR they could start work on the mammoth task of removing and welding the rot on the XSI.


After the welding work was completed on the shell, Kyle had to seam seal and red oxide the underside of the car in preparation for applying the underseal. 




Once the underside of the car was fully prepared and probably had about a million coats of red oxide on it (Kyle wasn't taking any chances) it was time to apply the underseal.

Many coats of underseal were applied to the car to give it the best chance against the elements.


whole floor undersealed.jpg

Reassembly &


full engine bat shot clearcoat applied.j

Now that all of the undersealing work and engine bay had been painted it was time to reassemble the XSI. 

When Kyle picked up the car he didnt have an engine or gearbox for it, so he decided the most cost effective way to put an engine in it and keep it looking some-what original would be to pick up another Saxo VTR as a donor car.

After a trip down to Stranraer he sourced the ideal donor. A saxo that was a good runner but needed a wee bit of work, it was perfect for donating it's drivetrain to the XSI.



With the replacement 1.6 8valve engine, 1.1 gearbox, 

'3 plug' wiring harness & ecu,  VTR front suspension, Power steering setup and rear suspension now on the car.

It was time to focus on getting it ready for an MOT, the car got new VTR brakes all round and a reconditioned lowered VTR rear axle, a long with a set of 106 Rallye steel wheels. 

The interior was reinstalled with new sound deadening applied to the floorpan of the car, Kyle also took the time to fit some new speakers all round as well to help give the car the feeling of being a 'new' car.



slam panel fitted.jpg

Whilst the car was being prepared to go back on the road, Kyle also prepared it for a respray and had someone at his work lay the paint. The XSI also got new front wings, a new front bumper, a new bonnet and a full new oem arch & bumpstrip kit.




Mods & Upgrades


  • 1.6 8 Valve VTR engine

  • 1.1 Gearbox (shorter ratios)

  • Compomotive TH alloy wheels

  • Saxo VTR front and rear brakes 

  • Saxo VTR rear axle

  • 2" Pugsport exhaust system



  • Lowered 30mm

  • Polybushed suspension 

  • Saxo VTR power steering setup 

  • Strut brace

  • 106 GTI 'Half leather' seats

  • 106 GTI spoiler 




Final thoughts...

As a build I have followed from day dot, I'm always interested in what Kyle is up to with the XSI, To anyone who knows me personally will know I love a small french hatch, especially a 106.

I've seen many 106 builds in the time I've owned one but very few come close to the level of perfection Kyle has put in to building this car, from the multiple layers of underseal to prevent it rusting again, to the period correct modifications kyle has made to the car to put his own spin on what is fast becoming a collectors item.

We will be very keen to see Kyle's car at future Scottish Car Scene events, I predict this will be a car that will have a follow-up feature in time to come. 







So we could capture the true essence of this build, we organised a small photoshoot session.


Photo's by Crank Chamber on behalf of Scottish Car Scene .





Crank Chamber Facebook link 




Written and edited by Paul Young.

Images by Crank Chamber & Kyle Johnstone.