President's Report - October 2015

Greetings All,

Our magazine editor, Peter Rees, is travelling in Europe at the moment, (and he’s written an account of the ramifications of the VW scandal for this edition of Roar), and I have just returned from 2 weeks in Western Australia, so the magazine is literally being put together ‘on the run’.

In WA, I spent most of time in and around Kalgoorlie, with red dust and flies as constant companions (see photo on right). Kalgoorlie is, of course, a Peugeot desert and I do not recall ever seeing a Pug in a town that is very definitely dominated by 4WDs and utes. Not wishing to look out of place, but mainly for its off-road versatility, I was driving a Landcruiser, which more than proved its worth in soft sand and on numerous bush tracks.

One day, about 10 km out of Kalgoorlie, the Landcruiser started to wander all over the road and, on pulling over, a rapidly deflating rear tyre proved to be the culprit. We had two spares, but we changed the flat and headed back to town to get it repaired. Two things struck me – firstly, even though we had the puncture repair kit and the tools to remove the tyre from its split rim, to put it bluntly it’s a bugger of a job, so I cheerfully paid a bloke $80 to fix it in town. Secondly, why is it that car jacks are always so infuriatingly useless when needed to change a tyre?

The jack in my 508 is a pain in the butt and so was the bottle jack in the Landcruiser – how many hundred turns of the handle does it take to raise the car a few inches? And why is always so awkward to position the jack in exactly the right place? Give me the simple 404 jack and jacking points any day!!

One final thing about the Landcruiser – with a roof rack, carrying camping gear, it’s a bit more top heavy than a 508, and I was nearly caught off-guard on a seemingly innocuous bend, on bitumen, in drizzling rain. All of a sudden the tyres let go and I performed a nice little fishtail manoeuvre as I brought the slide under control. Needless to say, the car next to me (it was a two lane on-ramp to a freeway in Perth) was probably not amused.

Meanwhile, back in Canberra, French Car Day is looming – 2.30 pm, Saturday 7 November at Telopea Park School fête. The car display and fête is always a very enjoyable afternoon and I encourage all members to come along. As usual there will be trophies for the best cars and lucky dip prizes that all entrants will be in with a chance to win. And remember, street parking may be at a premium, but display cars get free parking right in the school grounds.

This month’s club meeting is the Annual General Meeting and will be held on Tuesday 27 October at the Weston Club, at 8pm, with dinner and drinks from 7pm. The AGM is a great opportunity for members to have their say in running the club, so if you haven’t been to a club meeting for a while, this is a good meeting to attend. And don’t be afraid to come along – no-one gets railroaded into being an office-bearer (not unless they want to be, of course).

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad