President's Report - February 2002

Greetings All,

Welcome back after the Christmas/New Year break. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the first magazine for 2002 - a palindrome year, appropriate for me to highlight, because two of my favourite pugs are also palindromes (404 and 505, of course).

The annual Shannon's Wheels display was held at EPIC on Sunday 10th February, and as usual we had a number of club cars on display (see the magazine centre-fold). Also on display, our new club sign - a beautifully crafted sandwich board with the club name and rampant lion, courtesy of Colin Handley, professional sign-writer and former club president. Unfortunately, the weather was a little unkind, and early afternoon rain saw most participants heading for home. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day for all concerned.

One of the more unusual cars in our line-up at Wheels was the 604 of new member James Ashley from Wagga. Being part-way into a restoration project, the car was not quite in concourse condition, but since 604's are becoming quite rare these days (they were never common anyway), it was great to have the model represented. The car is unusual in another way too - it has a Volvo engine.

According to the organisers, the ACT Council of Motor Vehicle Clubs, the venue for next years Wheels exhibition may well be switched to back to Northbourne Oval in Braddon. After several years at EPIC, costs have increased to the point where they are too high. Negotiations are underway with Canberra Raiders football club to secure the use of Northbourne Oval, which has the advantage of being cheaper, and more central than EPIC. On the down side, it is a rather smaller venue, and numbers of participants might have to be restricted.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad


Bouquets for Peugeot Australia and Melrose Peugeot over a local warranty claim. A condenser fan motor failed on Sue Langford's 306 just three months out of warranty in December and after just 39,000 kms. That's not the sort of reliability one expects from Peugeots. Contact was made with the new Sime Darby concessionaires and a test of the failed fan arranged with Melrose Peugeot. After some initial misunderstanding, the test was duly done and the malfunction confirmed by Melrose.

"We are not like the Teutonic or Japanese manufacturers on such matters when a part has failed just out of warranty," a Peugeot Australia customer service manager responded reassuringly before the test had been completed. Sime Darby agreed to replace the part free of charge except for labour. Well done Sime Darby and Melrose Peugeot!

Many club members own more than one car, but how many of us have an NRMA membership for each vehicle? Brad Pillans says that when he lived in New Zealand, membership of the Automobile Association (AA) was based on the person, not the car. In other words, each driver pays one annual membership fee, regardless of how many cars they own. Pretty sensible really, since a person can usually only drive one car at a time! By the way, it's not just the New Zealand AA that uses this system - Brad is pretty sure it is used by the motorists associations in Victoria, South Australia and the UK, to name a few.

Theoretically, Brad could regularly ring the NRMA and change the car registration number on his NRMA membership to suit the car he is intending to drive next. That way he could cover all three cars with one membership. However, for the cost of all the phone calls, and the inconvenience, Brad might as well pay three memberships. But he's not going to…Brad says, the irony is that NRMA members who visit New Zealand are automatically covered by the AA for road service, regardless of the car they are driving! Is the NRMA a motorists association to serve its members or one more interested in becoming an insurance company? Brad has asked the ACT Council of Motor Vehicle Clubs to investigate the matter.