President's Report - October 2016

Greetings All,

It’s that time of year again, the club’s Annual General Meeting will be held at 8 pm on Tuesday 25 October at the Raiders Weston Club. The AGM is an important event in the club calendar – activities for the past year are reviewed and plans for next year are discussed. So, don’t be shy. Come along and have a say in how we shape our club’s activities. And, I promise that you won’t be roped into taking a position on the club committee – not unless you want to, of course! As usual, dinner and drinks will be from 7 pm.

One of our major annual events, French Car Day, will be held on Saturday 5 November, starting at 2.30 pm. The event is held in conjunction with the annual Telopea Park School Fête – La Grande Fête – and it is invariably a great afternoon, including lots of terrific food and entertainment.

As in previous years, we will join our other Froggy car friends (mostly Citroen and Renault, but other French marques occasionally attend, too) to compete for ‘best car’ trophies and lucky door prizes, sponsored by Shannons. All club members are encouraged to attend, and remember – parking is free if you display your car.

After many months of advertising in the club magazine, our much-loved 1949 black 203 has been sold. It was a matter of waiting for the right buyer to come along, which is what eventually happened – in fact, two very worthy buyers expressed strong interest in the car.

Sue and I have enjoyed owning the car for several years, but we had to rationalise our vehicle fleet to keep to our strict four car policy, simply dictated by the fact that we have a four-car garage! Anyway, the 203 is heading to a good home down Albury way, and its place is being taken by a Landcruiser – a purely practical vehicle which will enable Sue and I to do a bit of travelling to remote places.

Over more than 30 years, almost as long as I have been driving pugs, I have driven Toyota Landcruisers for fieldwork in remote places and they have performed well. As it happened one of the ‘cruisers at work was being sold, so I took the opportunity to buy it, knowing that it had been well-maintained. It’s a 2001 model with the 4.5 litre petrol 6-cylinder motor and it’s only done 170,000 km. Not great fuel efficiency compared with a diesel, but I will live with that.

We do, of course, retain our 308 and 508, plus I hope that our NZ-assembled 404 will come out of the garage for PAC events after being laidup for a few years. The brake booster has failed and needs to be reconditioned or replaced. Not a cheap job, but necessary to get the car back on the road.

I recently had to replace the tyres on the 308 after a modest 45,000 kms. They were 225/45R17 Continental Contisport 3’s and I guess I expected a bit more tyre life. It’s Sue’s daily drive, so maybe she’s harder on tyres than me! Only joking… Anyway, when I went to get them replaced I was quoted $250/tyre for 225/45R17 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 replacements. Fortunately, a much more common and cheaper size 235/45R17 did the job for $215/tyre, for an overall saving of $150. I might be imagining it, but I think the slightly wider Michelins make the car handle a bit better. Or maybe it’s just that they are new. Hard to know…

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad