Things are moving rapidly in our quest to turn a rather tired looking Peugeot 205 GTi into a box-fresh example.
We bought J39 JMR two weeks ago from Matt Kendell of White's Motors in Portsmouth for £1,200. A huge 205 GTI fan, Matt purchased four of the French hot hatches (two of which he still has if you're keen), and quickly realised he'd bitten off more than he could chew.
We snapped up the chance to get hold of the iconic 1.9-litre when he offered it to us and now we've embarked on a restoration project with vigour.
The first step was to get JMR through an MOT. Thankfully it was a smooth process – a bulb, new horn and a set of wipers were all it needed to get a year's ticket. Not bad for £46 all in.
With the MOT and insurance sorted we could tax it too – a rather scary £225 for the year.
Next step of the restoration was to get the paintwork assessed by a professional. We've decided to treat JMR to a full respray as the paintwork is tatty in places and if we're to do this, we might as well do it properly.
Step forward bodyshop and accident repair network, Fix Auto UK. With nearly 70 outlets across the UK, the paint professionals got in touch to see if they could assist with Project Peugeot.
With 20 years experience, James quickly highlighted the many scrapes the little hot hatch has picked up during its 22-year life. "I love eighties hot hatches, like you," he said. "My wife and I both had Ford Fiesta XR2s. These little types of car are great fun – and your 205's condition is pretty consistent with the age and mileage of a car of this type.
"It has had a respray on pretty much every panel, though. But don't worry – we can make it look like new again."
James explained he has tackled a few restoration projects like this before, but the problem usually is that enthusiasts just aren't prepared for the costs involved.
"There are a number of bodyshops who could do a quick respray – simply mask it up and get to work – for about £800," he explained.
"But it won't look any good. We'll do this properly and go to town on it, but it will take time."
Doing it properly involves a lot of work. All the lights and windows need to be removed, the plastic trim and badges taken off and every panel rubbed back. James estimates, conservatively, that the whole project could take more than 80 hours over the course of five weeks.
His team will also tackle the rust patch above the top right-hand corner of the rear drivers' side window and remove the dents, too.
Last job will be to completely refurbish the alloy wheels so they look like new. So how much will all this cost? Well, considering we've gone to a British Kitemark approved body repairer and not an under-the-arches outfit, it's not the cheapest – but then you have to pay for quality.
James estimates the final bill could top £2,500.
During its time at Fix Auto Petersfield, James and his team also plan to get my hands dirty and let me help with the work.
Now, I'm not so sure he knows what he's letting himself in for... but I'll give it a go.
Project Peugeot Costs so far...
Read Project Peugeot Part One by clicking here
Read Project Peugeot Part Three by clicking here
Read our first drive of the new Peugeot 208 GTI here