Ask any petrolhead of a certain age about Dimma and one image instantly springs to mind! Who remembers the first ever issue of Max Power magazine? We certainly do. As one of the most influential forces over this writer’s teenage upbringing, maybe alongside the seminal artistic genius that is Weird Science with Kelly LeBrock – the Peugeot Dimma 205 that appeared on the cover of the debut issue of Max Power focused a collective attention upon modified vehicles unlike any other form of media. It was EPIC! And in typical Max Power style it featured a headline that set the tone for all future lad mag / car magazine content, “Throbbing Purple Monster,” it proudly proclaimed on the cover. Still, you can’t win them all, hey?
Anyway, the reason we’re at the Autoglym Academy today is to talk about Matt Day’s mouth-watering Dimma 205 GTi heading to Autoglym HQ for one of our much-revered big clean detailing sessions. This incredible little car has been an on-going project for over a decade now, and despite the fact that mint, original 205 GTis are now going for exceptionally strong money, never has returning his highly modified specimen to standard ever crossed Matt’s mind.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have already noticed that the engine bay is far from standard. Where once resided a 1.6 or 1.9-litre 8-valve engine from the factory, there’s now a 2.0-litre GTI-6 engine transplant from a 306 GTi / Citroen Xsara VTS. Not content with switching to the double overhead cam lump of the much loved 306, Matt has since gone on to inject even more pace beneath the hood thanks to a Rotrex Supercharger installation from Lynx Power Engineering. With a fully forged engine rebuild and a smaller pulley on the Rotrex C30/94 supercharger this car is now able to harness anywhere between 250 – 400hp depending upon pulley size and the resulting boost pressure. Small wonder it needs those wide arches and extra wide tyres to put the power down through the front wheels.
Anyway, Dimma? What of the Dimma kit? Well, the story goes that in 1984, Jean Todt – you’ll recognise that name from F1 nowadays, was at the head of Peugeot. When they needed a body kit for the ongoing rally programme, Dimma was called upon to provide the moulds and kits required to widen the track of the vehicle. This same wide arch ethos extended to the 306 rally car and the 206 Super 1600 of recent times. With such rally heritage and the advent of the 205 T16 rear engine group B monster, it’s little wonder the Dimma kit has become something of a unicorn for all 205 owners.
Matt’s is no exception and with it securely parked in the detailing bay, Ryan got to work making it pristine once again. Being black, commonly considered to be one of the most difficult colours to look after properly, Ryan began with a swift coating of Polar Blast snow foam to really get to work and start loosening and removing any stubborn dirt and contaminants on the bodywork. Adhering to a contact less wash for as long as possible is always worthwhile with any vehicle.
Once rinsed clean, the next step involved a fresh bucket of water, some UHD Shampoo and a clean wash mitt for a once over by hand to get rid of any other dust and debris that remained, paying particular attention to keep the wash mitt nice and soapy and lubed with fresh water.
Attention then turned to one of the Autoglym High Tech Microfibre Drying Towels in order to grab the water and leave a streak free finish on the immaculate black paintwork. By laying it onto the surface and lightly dragging it across the paint it’s possible to remove maximum water without applying any pressure. Because the 16-inch Dimma split rims were specially produced one-off rims to suit the girth of the arches, they have become highly prized in Peugeot circles, so Ryan took his time to clean and protect the polished ally dishes using some Autoglym UHD Wax to help coat and protect the raw metal finish and lend a little extra glossy shine to proceedings.
High Performance Tyre Gel also lent a nice shiny finish to the sidewalls for a true show-ready appearance.
With a final coating of Car Glass Polish to bring the sheen back to the portals, Matt was also keen to find out about the process of claying a car to remove any really sticky contaminants or fallout that may have embedded in the lacquer. If your paint feels rough and scratchy to the touch, there’s a good chance a clay bar treatment could do it the world of good. By saturating the panel with Rapid Detailer and gently rubbing the clay bar backwards and forwards you’ll soon find that any metal filings or particles embedded in the paint are dragged free and left in the clay itself. Once the clay starts to look dirty, simply fold it over and use the clean side to keep going, but always keep the panel you’re working on well-lubricated.
All in all, this Dimma 205 came out of the AG bay looking suitably immaculate. Okay, so it was already very, very well cared for when it arrived, but given how hard it is to keep on top of a black finish and promote perfect reflections or light refraction, we doff our collective Autoglym caps to Matt and his immaculate modern day classic.