President's Report - November 2016

Greetings All,

At the club’s Annual General Meeting, on Tuesday 25 October, a “new” club committee was duly elected. In time-honoured PAC tradition, there was exactly one nomination for each position, thus circumventing the need for any unseemly competition between candidates of the kind recently witnessed in the US election. It also made for a very efficient meeting, with no long-winded election speeches and no vote-counting required!

Needless to say, there are many familiar faces on the incoming PAC committee, but it is good to see a few new faces as well. After 17 years in the driving seat, I would have been happy to hand the presidential reigns to another contender, but I am equally happy to lead the club for another year.

As planned, French Car Day was held on Saturday 5 November at the Telopea Park School Fête. The weather was bright and sunny and the fête offered plenty of attractions, including a diverse array of food and beverages.

The trophy for best Peugeot was won for the second year running, by Tony Watson and his immaculately restored 203 wagon, while the best overall car was a beautifully presented Renault 10. The Peugeot line-up included three 203s – Tony’s wagon, my sedan and Colin Handley’s panel van, making 203 the most numerous model on the day.

I almost did not make it to French Car Day. As mentioned in last month’s magazine, my 203 has been sold, but the new owner has yet to take delivery. To keep the car ticking over, I decided that French Car Day could be its final outing before handing it over to the new owner. En-route, the car suffered a sudden loss of power and the engine cut out. Fortunately, I was able to steer the car safely to the side of the road before it lost momentum.

The symptoms seemed to suggest a fuel blockage, but with no tools on board I elected to call the NRMA. Although the 203 is not my nominated car with NRMA roadside assistance, they nevertheless despatched a service vehicle to my rescue. An hour or so later, the NRMA man arrived and we set to work locating the problem. It turned out to be a blocked fuel filter – an old looking in-line filter on the fuel tank side of the fuel pump. A few quick blasts of compressed air did the trick and I was on my way again, promising to replace the filter at the first opportunity. Afterwards I was grateful that the problem happened to me and not the new owner!

As I write this column, the Southern Cross Gold Rally is in progress, celebrating 50 years since the running of the first Southern Cross Rally in 1966. The Southern Cross Rally, which ran from 1966 to 1980, was Australia’s first truly international rally, attracting factory teams and top drivers from around the world. At the time of writing, legendary Australian Rally driver, Ross Dunkerton, is in the lead with only a couple of days to go – Dunkerton won the last Southern Cross Rally in 1980. Also competing are several classic Pugs, with the best placed (8th outright) being a 505 driven by David Hodge and Tom Seymour. Local rally legends, Geoff Boyd and Alan Cummine are running in Leg 2 from Sydney to Coffs Harbour, in Alan’s 504Ti.

On Saturday 12 November the Light Car Club of Canberra ran a Khanacross at Gundaroo, in conjunction with the rally. Local member, Jim Taylor, competed in the Khanacross, but told me that he was “slow” in his 504 compared with smaller cars, like a Mazda 121 driven by John Thorne’s son, Steve, who did very well.

I’m hoping to hear all the Khanacross news from Jim Taylor at the next club meeting, on Tuesday 22 November at the Raiders Weston Club. Dinner and drinks will be from 7 pm and the meeting will begin at 8 pm, as usual.

This will be the last club meeting for the year, but our final event will be the annual Christmas BBQ, with the Renault Club at 6 pm on Sunday 4 December. As in previous years, the BBQ will be held at the picnic area on the western side of Lake Ginninderra (Macdermott Place off Joynton Smith Drive, Belconnen). BYO food and drinks, but the club will also provide a complementary glass (or two) of Christmas cheer.

Have a safe and happy Christmas-New Year break and keep on Pugging.

Brad Pillans

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