President's Report - June 2003

Greetings All,

Things seem to come in pairs in the Pillans household these days. Sue and I both had separate front-end bingles a few days apart earlier in the year - now its punctures...

First Sue destroyed a Michelin on the 405, then two days later I did the same in the 505. Sadly the 405 tyre was less than half worn, but the 505 tyre was worn out already. When I took the 505 tyre into Woden Tyre & Exhaust, they didn't have any suitable replacement Michelins in stock, and none due in for several weeks. No worries they said, and promptly fitted a second hand Continental tyre, to use while I await the arrival of the Michies. There was no charge, and they are simply "lending" me a tyre until the real thing arrives. Now that's real service! 

Well, it seems that Redex fever is about to hit town. Not only are club members Ian Brock, Colin Handley and Chris Reid among the entrants in the Redex Rerun, but we have also coordinated French Car Day (FCD) to coincide with the Redex cars being in Canberra over the weekend of 19-20 July. In the lead-up to the Redex Rerun, our last club night featured video highlights of the 1954 Trial. Lisa Molvig and Barry McAdie from the Renault Owners Car Club also attended to discuss plans for FCD. The upshot is that French Car Day will be held on Sunday 20 July adjacent to Old Parliament House, where the Redex cars will also be gathering for departure on the day.

The annual PAC dinner will be held the night before at Cafe Ardeche in Civic.  By the way, it was pleasing to see the excellent article about the Redex Rerun in the motoring section of the Canberra Times on Friday 13 June. It seems highly appropriate, therefore, that our next club night on Tuesday 24 June at the Italo-Australian Club will have the theme "Rallying then and now", featuring video highlights of the 1955 Redex Trial, as well the 2003 World Rally Championship.

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this month's meeting as I am heading off to central Australia for a few weeks fieldwork. Up to Alice Springs, then north along the Tanami road as far as Rabbit Flat. Absolutely guaranteed to be warmer than Canberra at this time of year. Come to think of it - any time of the year!

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad


Good luck from the PAC to the local contingent of Ian Brock, Chris Reid, Colin Handley, David Rowell, Max O'Connor, and Tony and Judith Dorrell for the Redex rerun which begins next Sunday. Ian and Max will take a 203 previously owned by Peter Flanagan; the Dorrells will pilot a 1949 203, while Colin will co-drive a 404, as will Chris and David. More than 80 pre-1970 Peugeots will be in the field for the 11,500 km event. The route will shadow the original, north from Sydney through Maitland to Townsville, Mt Isa, Darwin, Alice Springs, down the Oodnadatta Track to William Creek and Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra to finish in Sydney on July 20.

Last month we invited suggestions about what President Brad could do with those 10 brass rubbish bins from Old Parliament House that he acquired from an ex-government furniture place in Fyshwick for the bargain price of $50. 405 driver Keith Birney sent the following idea: "Suitably engraved, they would make unique club awards or to give to speakers - depending on what we think of their talk!"

Brad recently received an email request from Megan Tanswell, who is getting married on 15 November. Megan asked whether our club could provide a car or cars at her wedding. When prompted for her preference of models, she replied that she was in love with the 202, 302, 402 and 403. Don't think we can help her with the 02s, but do any members have (or know of) any spivvy 403s and drivers for hire? Please contact Brad if you do. Neither Megan nor her fiance are members of the club, but from their choice of models they are obviously motoring connoisseurs! Megan also says she will be at French Car Day, so that would be a good time for any potential cars and drivers to peddle their wares.

It's getting more difficult to be shocked by price rises of automotive commodities in Australia, but in Zimbabwe, it's becoming simply outrageous. Richard Wiley in the Zimbabwe Financial Gazette recently reported a quote of $260 for a set of front brake pads for a Peugeot 306. Maybe we shouldn't complain so much after all. Take a bow, Mr Mugabe.