Autocar's 1967 test car had a bit of a jumbled history, having been built as a circuit racer but then converted into a rally car, making it "much more docile, pulling well from as low as 2000rpm in fifth gear".
We continued: "The clutch is not fierce and can be eased away quite gently. The rally car has a full-length exhaust system rather than the flat megaphone under the driver's door of the racer, so it's not as noisy. But it's just as exciting.
"In place of the usual rev counter, a chronometric instrument reading to 10,000rpm had been fitted, complete with red tell-tale needle.
"At about 3000, the engine would go flat until 4000, where it would suddenly clear and scream on to a limit of 7500."
We took the GTA for a drive on the A50 – "a fast and twisty main road largely through farmland" – where we found that "the grip in the wet was quite astonishing, and even on muddy patches we were able to turn on the power very early in the bends without snaking".
We then went to the MIRA test track: "I was away, into the double bend and down the main straight, which is just over half a mile long. Before the next turn, 7500 was showing in fifth and I had to lift off. Then hard on the brakes and heel-and-toe down through fourth to third, lift off, another dab and into second for a nasty tight bend.
"Surprisingly, the tail stayed right in-line when I opened up before the apex, and I was away again.
"As I came out of a double-left-hander toward the back straight, accelerating hard in fourth, the rev counter showed 7000 (about 95mph) and I was using the full width of the track and getting a bit of twitch on the tail.
"And so I went on lapping, feeling more and more at home in the snug bucket seat and enjoying each corner more and more.
"Soon, I was having to lift off at 7500 in second all the way through the bottom bend, so I took it in third next time around. That was my undoing, for without the same torque at the rear wheels, the front of the car ran wide and I found myself understeering straight for a barrel. I managed to tweak it around enough to clear, but then I was off and sliding wildly on the gravelly track shoulder. I collected myself and proceeded with more restraint."
It was then time for Howard's colleagues to drive, and of watching them, he wrote: "Listening to the exhaust wailing and growling, crackling in the overrun and blasting forth with renewed strength at every gearchange, it took me back to Spa and the excitement of an endurance ordeal."