As a car-loving kid growing up in the depths of Cornwall, I hoovered up any motor racing that appeared on the cathode ray tube in the corner of our living room.

My favourite time of year was October and November, when BBC Grandstand showed highlights of the Formula Ford Festival and the Rallycross Superprix, and William Woollard's nightly reports on the RAC Rally were on.

I loved the fast and frantic format of the Rallycross Superprix at Brands Hatch, and although my favourite driver was an Audi Quattro-wielding Cypriot fruit importer named Dimi Mavropolous (surely one of the quickest-sounding names ever) I couldn't help but be impressed by the antics of Martin Schanche in his Xtrac Ford Escort G4.

Almost three decades later, I found myself visiting Xtrac, the transmission company founded by Mike Endean that played an integral part in the creation of Schanche's blindingly quick four-wheel-drive Escort Mk3.

Okay, so the organisation has grown up and relocated from its original bases in Wokingham to its current 88,000-square-foot facility in Thatcham, but there was still scope for me to briefly bask in nostalgia.

This week's issue of Autocar (dated 24 April) contains my feature on the Berkshire-based firm, specifically the way it is steadily expanding its scope from its core motor racing business into other industries, including road cars.