I’m delighted that there’s been an enquiry or two about the fate of the Autocar Peugeot 309 GTI track-day car, mainly because it gives me a chance to describe how the car has been covering itself in glory.

Some of you may remember that the car was bought about four years ago for £250 on eBay. The idea was to build a ‘backyard’ car that would be as quick as a Mini Cooper at the Bedford Autodrome. It nearly worked.

We gutted the car, fitted a half-cage plus semi-race suspension (courtesy of Peugeot UK) and the car duly ran against a Cooper on one of the longer Bedford circuits, getting within a second a lap, which was reasonable if not a triumph.

I’ve always liked the idea of owning a cheap hillclimb/sprint car, so I took it over. First it went back to Peugeot where the apprentices cut out the old glass sunroof and replaced it with standard tin, saving about 20kg.

It was good, but not notably quick.

Then, just as inspiration was running out, the whole effort was saved when I made contact with a rally preparation specialist and Peugeot 205/309 expert, Christian Prynne, based in Builth Wells, who agreed to assess the car and suggest a plan of action. We started again.