President's Report - February 2001
Well, the year has started with a flurry of local and international Peugeot activities. On the international scene, the second round of the World Rally Championship saw Finnish driver Harri Rovanpera pilot his 206 to victory in the Swedish Rally. Meanwhile, in Paris, the 307 has been officially released. Locally, after the traditional Christmas break in activities, the club resurfaced with a display of vehicles at the annual Shannon's Wheels Exhibition at Exhibition Park on Sunday February 11. As usual, a good mixture of Pugs were presented, ranging from the Withington and Handley 403s through to the 206 GTi of Graham Taylor.
Chris Reid and Ian Brock had other vehicular commitments on the day, so unfortunately we had no 203s on display. Regardless, we attracted a steady stream of visitors, and fielded a number of membership enquiries. We also learned of a 403 ute, languishing on a farm up near Toowoomba, which may be worth rescuing - a bit far away for us to seriously consider mounting the rescue expedition ourselves, but certainly worth alerting other clubs when we receive complete details.
While at the Wheels Exhibition, I attended a meeting convened by the Council of ACT Motor Clubs, which discussed the new regulations for registration of Veteran, Vintage & Historic (VVH) vehicles. As of March 1, annual inspections of VVH vehicles by the Club Inspector (Bill McNamee) will no longer be compulsory (though strongly recommended), and responsibility for maintaining the roadworthiness of vehicles will be entirely within the hands of vehicle owners and their clubs.
However, as an unnamed club member (who received a defect notice) recently found out, VVH vehicles are subject to the same random inspections as vehicles having standard registration. As of March 1, VVH registration forms will only need to be signed and stamped by me as Club Registrar, at which time I will check that the vehicle logbook has been maintained in accordance with the requirements of the VVH scheme, and also provide each VVH vehicle owner with a copy of the new regulations.
VVH vehicle inspections will still be required by the ACT Road Transport Authority on transfer of ownership, or when a vehicle is first registered in the ACT, just as they are for vehicles with ordinary registration. Remember, that the VVH Concessional Registration Scheme is a privilege, not a right, and all members of car clubs in the ACT depend on each other to observe the guidelines and keep within the spirit of the scheme.
Keep on Pugging,
LOCAL Peugeot legend Geoff Boyd is singing the praises of a 505 STI these days. "It's my wet weather car," he volunteered at Wheels after turning up in a fine weather car - his brutishly powerful open Lotus Clubman.
Geoff is long remembered for rallying 203s 20 to 30 years ago, perhaps most famously in the Yellow Terror, a 203 with a Daimler 2.5 litre V8. He parted with the car in the early 80s and its whereabouts has remained a mystery, often prompting wistful recollections among fraternity members about its deeds.
But the mystery is no more. On a recent trip to southern Queensland Geoff heard that the Yellow Terror was in the paddock of a wrecker who is a Peugeot enthusiast near Toowoomba. Sadly, it is beyond repair and as it was night time, Geoff was unable to take any photos.
There was much discussion after Geoff left about whether his rather infamous bumper sticker (among Japanese car punters) might still be with the car: "I'd rather eat worms than drive a Datsun!" Ah, those were the days.
ACCOMPANYING Geoff was Bill Norman, whose father Eldred Norman, was a noted racing car champion in the 1930s. Bill has always had a penchant for Jaguars, but after having driven the latest model was moved to say it did not compare in ride comfort with Geoff's 505.
SPEAKING of Wheels, a discussion took place about the merits of sunroofs on Peugeots. The debate was brought to a sudden conclusion when one aficionado volunteered this politically incorrect observation: "Sunroofs are only good for one thing - for blondes to stick their legs out of." Ahem. No correspondence will be entered into on that one.
GOOD to see Peugeots with appropriate number plates. The editor was in Sydney recently when he saw a yellow 504 with registration YEP-504. Yep, it was a Canberra car.
SPOT the Peugeot in movies has long been a trivia interest and the Australian-made film, Traps, set in Vietnam in the early 1950s, fits the bill. There's a rather nice 203 which plays an important role. Interestingly, it is not the only well-oiled body in the film, which also stars Britain's Saskia Fraser and Australia's Jacqueline McKenzie. It's out on video folks.
Where was the fuel tank filler situated in the Peugeot 202?
Answer: under the hub of the spare wheel placed on the back of the car.