Filed under: 1989 Peugeot 205 (F560 VAD)

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Well, the trusty 205 completed the toughest 400 miles it'll do for a while I think!

First of all, I was horrendously late getting down to Bristol for the drive down to Chris's so the car was thrashed good and proper on the way down there - cruised just below 90 most of the time, and didn't drop below 80 for the entire trip (nearly 100 miles). So I arrived at Chris's somewhat wired but not as late as I could have been. Smashed my record for the trip by an incredible 22 minutes, down from 1h36 to 1h12! Mind you, that is the first time I've done it in a car with a real engine, and it was from the Esso in Knowle to Chris's house on Old Park Hill - both nice and close to the motorway.

After a small break for pizza and digging out my tux from the (quiet) house, it was back to the M5 for a slightly gentler drive down to Cullompton services at J28. Tone and Ellie in Tony's E30 325i and Sarah and Chris in his MX-5 were accompanying me, on my lonesome in the 205 of wonder.

Chris had planned a nice route of rally-esque roads which was excellent fun and surprisingly not too bad to manage without a nav. We rejoined the M5 at J29, from where it was not far to Chris's house (luckily I ended up behind him for the last bit so I couldn't get lost!).

On Saturday, we started by playing around with some autotest trials, which the 205 dabble in with handbrake-induced success :) The brunt of the abuse was taken by the trusty Panda though!

Next it was a bit of forest driving, which the 205 and I ended up tackling as the civilized choice of a convoy of 5 vehicles! Not often I end up in that situation, but the other 4 were 2 off-road karts (no suspension!), a quad bike and the Panda... So I found myself chauffeuring Sarah and her 3 flatmates in my car up a rapidly deteriorating track into the woods. It wasn't just unsurfaced, it was pretty much undriven so there was much slithering and clonking of fallen branches hitting the floor! the rear suspension coped better than I expected with the number of people on board too. Near the top, Dean took over the XS and I went in one of the karts. Got embarrassingly beached a couple of times but a quick shove up the arse by the 205 got me going again :) Apparently Dean was a lot scarier to be driven by, say the girls. The fun came to a halt when a stray rock broke the fuel line under the car, but luckily we were able to freewheel all the way back down to the house where a section of fuel pipe was borrowed from under the bonnet (between pump and filter) where there was some slack, and a quite professional repair effected.

The last piece of entertainment was a hilllclimb up and down Chris's (quite substantial) drive. Luckily we used the karts for this, since I stuffed it into a tree and broke the steering rods (sorry Chris!),..

Then today after the Grand Prix and breakfast had been gotten out of the way, the long journey of pretty much the whole M5 lay ahead. The 205 coped tremendously, (in fact it was me who cracked and had to pull off for forty winks) and I really enjoyed the huge sunroof on such a lovely day too. Must get the radio working though. Reached a new maximum of 110 on the A46 on the way back too - its definitely running better :) Just the warmer weather perhaps? Nice empty roads, Easter Sunday, lovely stuff. Had a bit of a dice with a mk5 Escort which ended prematurely when he ran an amber light I wasn't prepared to risk!