The wait is over – our Project Peugeot's exterior makeover is now complete and it looks absolutely stunning!
The renovation project of a classic 205 GTi 1.9 has taken us nearly four months to complete and during that time our French fancy has been under the Fix Auto Petersfield microscope for an incredible 150 hours.
However, now the restoration work is finished and J39 JMR is looking better than new.
The full back-to-the-metal respray has worked wonders - the black paintwork looks deep and flawless and the parts we shelled out on really finish it off.
You may remember our Europe-wide search for genuine parts for the GTi which finally led us to Belgium and Holland where our contact, the chairman of the Peugeot Owners Club, Ian Kirkwood, tracked down the elusive parts.
There he found new headlights, fog lights and red bumper insert strips. I'm glad Fix Auto project leader James Poste persuaded me to track them down – he was right they really do make all the difference.
The alloy wheels look impeccable too after James and has team sorted the chips and kerb damage and repainted them perfectly. "I'm over the moon with the job and hope you are too," he told me when we visited to collect the car.
"It's been a labour of love for me and team. We wanted it to be the very best we could do and I'm pleased it is. There was damage on every panel which we've managed to fix – now it looks showroom fresh."
And he's right. In fact I'd go as far as saying the 205 has better quality paint on it now than it did when it left the showroom back in 1990.
Now the car is looking like new, we need to make it feel like new too – so the next steps included some under bonnet fettling and an interior makeover.
The latter will be taken care of by the experts at Autoglym who will work wonders on sprucing up the relatively tidy seats and carpet. The biggest problem inside is the driver's seat has some stitching coming away at the shoulders. We plan to tackle that first.
Mechanicals wise, the GTi needs a bit of work. Peugeot has offered to take a look and I'll be asking them to investigate the fast idling, which occurs when it's hot, the rear suspension that appears to be sagging a little and for them to fix the wonky air-intake pipes.
"It's pretty good all round mechanicals wise," said Fix Auto MD and former engineer Ian Pugh, who joined us for the handover of Project Peugeot. "Have the cambelt changed and a general service and she should be fine."
We'll be doing just that in the next few weeks and I'll report back then.