I’ve never been to Palm Beach, but I suspect you’re more likely to find somebody under the age of 70 than you are a Peugeot 106.
The tropical climate would suit the little Peugeot, although the sun would soon turn the signature metallic paint from Palm Beach to Palm ‘Bleached’ faster than you could recite the lyrics to Don Henley’s Boys of Summer.
I’ll be honest, I was today years old when I discovered the Peugeot 106 Palm Beach, but I was struck by its vibrant paint, black bumpers and stupendous steel wheels. It also serves as a reminder of the simple brilliance of the three-door Peugeot 106.
The Palm Beach never made it to these shores, but UK customers were given “the keys to a perfect summer” in the shape of the Key West and Key Largo special editions. The Florida flavour was maintained, but the rather anonymous wheel trims were a far cry from the naked beauty of the Palm Beach steelies.
In this regard, the 106 Palm Beach is closer in spirit to the seductive 106 Graduate of 1992. First-class honours are achieved by the wheels, although it loses marks thanks to the absence of rubbing strips and the exotic name.
On the continent, the Palm Beach was pitched as a “Colourful Dream”, which sounds suspiciously like something Billy Ocean might sing. “The blue of the sea, the green of the palms, the white of the beaches, the sight of Judith Chalmers,” proclaimed the ad man.
It was designed for young drivers, with the Palm Beach powered by an insurance-friendly 950cc engine and offered with cheap finance.
The specification was about as generous as a Florida motel room, albeit without the cockroaches and chance of being murdered in your sleep. A rear window wiper, analog clock, adjustable door mirrors and a ‘radio-ready’ aerial – this was as lavish as things got in the Palm Beach.
Far from being an endangered species, the Peugeot 106 is fighting its corner, helped by low running costs, ease of maintenance and the huge number of cars sold here and in Europe. Predictably, phase two cars are more common than the earlier models, while there’s strong demand for the sporting versions.
Right now, the Palm Beach might be my favourite special edition, which is why it’s gracing the pages of PetrolBlog. If you own one, get in touch. I’d like to know if the reality is as colourful as the dream.
Main image © Peugeot, logo image © Detectandpreserve/Wikipedia.