President's Report - September 2000
Last month's club meeting was a great success, with the large audience being entertained by the irrepressible Geoff Boyd. Great to see a few old faces (Rod Noller, Peter Browning and John Thorne for example) along to reminisce about the good old days. Naturally, Geoff's stories of his legendary yellow, V8 powered 203 (in which he won the 1977 ACT Rally Championship) were the highlight.
According to Geoff, when he first bought the car, he didn't think it was running well enough, so he dropped it off to get it dyno-tuned. When he returned to pick it up, everyone in the workshop was gathered round the car, astonished that the pug was putting more power to the back wheels than an XU-1 Torana!
Geoff, who was a few minutes late to the meeting, was very nearly upstaged by a guy hiding behind a bad, bright tie. Who else but Al Grassby can wear a tie like that and get away with it? Al, who obviously enjoys a quiet night at the club, popped into the meeting to collect a fine coat he had left behind earlier. As I handed him his coat, I nearly asked him if he had ever owned a Peugeot... maybe next time.
Keep on Pugging,
BUYING a near-new car is not always what it seems. We can report an interesting incident concerning a 306 purchased earlier this year in Canberra as an executive vehicle with low kilometres on the odometer. When the time came to transfer registration from NSW to ACT the vehicle had to undergo the customary rego inspection. It was at this point that an odd find was made: the vehicle's compliance plate did not match the stamped chassis number. Staff at the garage began to get quite excited, scurrying away to the office, bringing back others to see. Yep, indeed the numbers were different. Talk of a "hot car" could be heard. And they didn't mean performance...
It was protested that this was absurd, as it had been purchased as a near-new car from the dealer. Doesn't matter mate, you can't leave until this is sorted out with Rego. The car was, to all intents and purposes, impounded. Rego came back after what seemed like an interminable wait and proclaimed that somewhere along the line Peugeot had stuffed up. Almost certainly when the car landed in Sydney. It appears that the car in question came out on a ship with a 306 GTi. The two cars had almost identical chassis numbers. One letter was different in either number. That was enough to cause the problem when it came time to affix the compliance plate. But you've got to wonder why it took a year, during which the two vehicles passed through various company and official checks, before a routine Rego inspection picked up the error.
SPEAKING of transferring registration, we know of another case where a NSW-registered 405 had to be re-registered in the ACT. The new owner did not read the small print about doing this within a fortnight and was consequently surprised to hear Motor Registry demanding a $78 late fee for a minor oversight. We think that is extortion, but then so was another case we heard about where a person in the fraternity parked their Peugeot in Civic for a full day just after the introduction of the GST on July 1. They put in the usual $6 they had been feeding the machine all year for all-day parking, only to be horrified on return at the end of the day to find a parking ticket. The GST, you see, saw the all-day charge rise to $6.70. Clearly, this was an oversight, but the parking inspectors for the revenue-hungry ACT Government were not prepared to give any leeway. Nor were the bureaucratic authorities when the circumstances were pointed out to them. Cars and their owners, it would appear, are regarded as a milch cow by some governments. But then, someone has to pay for the cost of keeping the grass green, don't they? Paint is expensive these days, we understand.
Here's an easy one for any serious 203 owner. I have a small crank handle which sits in a special clip in the glove-box of my 203. What was the purpose of this nifty little gadget?
Answer: To operate the windscreen wipers.
Keep on Pugging,