Project Peugeot Part 6: The detective work's paying off

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Project Peugeot Part 6: The detective work's paying off

The European-wide search for parts for our 205 GTi 1.9 has come up trumps – and it's all thanks to the Peugeot Parts Detective.

We introduced you to the Peugeot Owners' Club chairman Ian Kirkwood in our last update and since then he's been like a dog with a bone in the search for our missing bits.

Our restoration project of the classic hot hatch is reaching a climax, but to get it over the line we need the finishing touches.

Unfortunately, Peugeot no longer make most of the bits we need to ice our cake.

So, Kirkwood has been on a European adventure for AOL Cars to help track down the parts and he returned this week, after visiting dealers in Holland and Belgium, with some good news for us.

"It hasn't been easy, but I've got most of the bits you need," he declared when he called the office.

"I've been to dealers across Europe to find them – but it's been worth it."

Kirkwood has found us those illusive red inserts for the bumpers, new headlamps and some decors for the windows – all genuine Peugeot bits.

The iconic badges that are placed on the rear flanks won't be originals, but an expert in Slovenia will be making us up a set that will even fool the experts.

He's found us genuine rubber seals for the rear window, which had perished, and the driver's door too.

And he's sourced two sets of clips needed to attach the red inserts into the bumpers – all genuine parts from various continental Peugeot dealers.

"I visited one dealer in Belgium and it was an old-school site, a real rabbit's warren of rooms," said Kirkwood.

"He had more than €700,000 worth of parts on the shelves for cars dating back to 1950. It was a great find."

Kirkwood – who owns a 205 T16 and a 404 Cabriolet – says he has seen the prices of 205 GTi models really creep up lately.

One of his members is asking £15,000 for a concours example and another spent £8,000 recently purchasing a mint condition 205 CTi. "They are getting very desirable with collectors," he said.

Meanwhile, back at Fix Auto Petersfield, work on our car is moving forward rapidly. James Poste and his team have already applied the first coats of paint to the body and are in the process of repairing the wheels (more on that soon).

We're aiming to have the car completed by the end of June. Then we'll be heading to Peugeot UK to let them inspect the mechanicals in their head office workshops.

But, before that, there's still one elusive pair of parts we need to track down – the front fog-lights. "I've got the lenses for you," said Kirkwood. "But I still need to track down the backs for them and the brackets. Leave it with me – I'm not going to be beaten by these!" he added.

We're pretty confident our Peugeot Parts Detective will come up with the goods. We'll bring you more in the coming weeks.