Chris Hughes from Peugeot Sport Club UK invited The Gay UK along to their 2019 Peugeot Festival at Prescott Hill in the picturesque village of Gotherington, Cheltenham.
Sunday’s weather, the Saturday was the hottest it had been all year, was thankfully, milder in comparison. .And, all the better for it. As someone who can be both mechanically sympathetic and murderous to precious metals, the last thing you want is to thrash your vehicle up the hill climb in excessive heat. And that Saturday heat would have done the peak power no good. Being so dry, it makes the fuel-air mix less dense. Not the best for the big bangs that were needed.
We meet Chris, albeit very briefly, running through the paddock. Phone going off in one hand and clutching a hangover in the other. Despite this brief encounter, it was finally good to put a person to a twitter follower and I thanked him for the invite.
There was an abundance of Sochaux’s finest here. Considering the clubs core audience, there were some classic gems to be found dotted around the site too.
Worthy of note was the display of 309s and all in rather good condition. You could say they were commonplace today. Remember the 309? No, not many do. It was the remnants of Peugeots take over of Talbot and despite its unusual place in the 05 line up of the ’80s, the oddly numbered 309 (something we haven’t got to yet) was surprisingly able and good. Sadly many have disappeared so this ensemble was a real treat.
As you would expect, the 205 almost out numbered everything there and while most were GTi’s, there was a handful of the Peugeot savour that the person on the street could afford. Likewise the 106 Rallye was present in a plethora of both MK1’s and MK2’s.
Perhaps being the smallest of the Peugeots, like the kids of the club, they were causing havoc with the marshals as they lined up to tackle the hill climb, all going out in coordinated colours. perhaps lost on the paddock organiser, but nicely done in my eyes.
While a lot of the GTi’s tackled the hill climbs, that didn’t mean the older of the Peugeot’s couldn’t. The 504 Pick Up and 404 rally Safari were seen buoyantly tackling the hill. It must be said that they were not as quick as the GTi’s but grand in the visual pleasure they gave to those who had been around Peugeot’s for a long time.
Dotted around the site were the rare older cars and then some gems. Like the Mad Max pursuit interceptor inspired 406 saloons. Totally over the top but nicely detailed with the odd little Mad Max touch here and there.
Thankfully no explosive devices were located on the vehicles to protect the fuel, just warnings. These almost became my stars of the show but were knocked off the top by a long way, as it happens (sorry chaps, 2 nice chaps too, just don’t ask them if the cars are from ‘Back to the Future’!)
There, under a tree was a blue 1983 305 GR estate. Incredibly rare and in this crossover phase model with the later front and early tailgate. The owner was an enthusiastic chap and more than willing to show the car off and rightly so, it was gorgeous. So I couldn’t resist a jump inside and my word, I’d forgotten how soft and sumptuous the French used to make their seats!
So, worthy for your 2020 calendar? Hell yes. The event centres around action and there is something there for every Peugeot enthusiast and fan. And if you get the chance, do the hill. I have driven my old 504 up the hill, and it is a worthy experience.